Direct Pathway for New Zealand Citizens Applying for Australian Citizenship
Are you one of the over half a million New Zealand Citizens currently calling Australia home? If so, you’re in luck! In April 2023, the Australian government announced a new direct pathway for eligible New Zealand Citizens applying for Australian Citizenship. The new pathway is open to New Zealanders who have been living in Australia in excess of four years.
When does the direct pathway for New Zealand citizens to apply for Australian Citizenship commence?
The new direct pathway commences from 1 July 2023 and is available to eligible applicants, being New Zealand citizens holding a Special Category Visa and who meet the eligibility criteria set out below.
Eligibility for New Zealand citizens applying for Australian Citizenship after 1 July 2023
Some of the basic aspects of the new legislation are:
- You must hold a subclass 444 visa (generally issued when entering Australia on presentation of your NZ passport) and have arrived after 26 February 2001. New Zealanders who arrived prior to that date already have a pathway to Australian Citizenship. You can learn more about that in our blog “Permanent residency for New Zealanders living in Australia”;
- You must have been living in Australia for at least four years;
- If you have been in Australia on a subclass 444 visa prior to 1 July 2022, you will be considered to be an Australian permanent resident from 1 July 2022;
- If your first Subclass 444 visa was granted after 1 July 2022, you will be considered an Australian permanent resident from that date;
- The same will apply to New Zealand citizens who are overseas and who last left Australia holding a subclass 444 visa;
- In addition, any child who has been born in Australia to a Subclass 444 visa holder on or after 1 July 2022 will automatically be considered an Australian Citizen at birth. From 1 July 2023, these children will be able to apply for evidence of Australian Citizenship.
What is the cost to apply for Australian Citizenship?
Current government charges for an Australian Citizenship application are:
- $490 for an adult;
- $300 for someone 16 or 17 years old;
- $300 for someone over 60 years; and
- free for a child 15 years or younger who is applying on the same form as a parent.
The current government charge for evidence of Citizenship is $240.
There has been no indication that there will be any fee concession for this new direct pathway for New Zealand citizens applying for Australian Citizenship.
Note: These Government charges change from time to time and are due to be increased from 1 July 2023, so may differ from those noted above.
How the direct pathway for NZ citizens applying for Australian Citizenship works
The changes for New Zealand citizens applying for Australian Citizenship (being implemented from 1 July 2023) will allow New Zealand Citizens residing in Australia to satisfy the general residency requirement for Citizenship (by conferral) contained in the Australia Citizenship Act 2007.
That residency requirement stipulates that an applicant must have been present in Australia, lawfully, for at least four years in total, and that four year period must include at least twelve months as a “permanent resident” on the day that they apply for Australian Citizenship.
Applicants must not have been outside Australia for more than 12 months in total in the four years prior to applying for Australian Citizenship, including no more than 90 days in total in the past 12 months.
Get help from a registered migration agent
If you would like more information about commencing your Australian Citizenship application or obtaining evidence of your child’s Australian Citizenship, or any other migration queries or issues you are having, book an appointment with our registered migration agent, Leanne Taylor.
Contacting Hall Payne Lawyers
You can contact us by phone or email to arrange your consultation; either face-to-face at one of our offices, by telephone or by videoconference consultation.
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This article relates to Australian law; either at a State or Federal level.
The information contained on this site is for general guidance only. No person should act or refrain from acting on the basis of such information. Appropriate professional advice should be sought based upon your particular circumstances. For further information, please do not hesitate to contact Hall Payne Lawyers.