From July 1, 2023, New Zealand citizens who hold a non-protected Special Category (subclass 444) visa can apply for citizenship by conferral, subject to meeting other eligibility requirements.
The process to become a permanent resident on a permanent visa depends on when the applicant first arrived in Australia on a New Zealand passport:
- Before Sep. 1, 1994: NZ passport holders may be eligible for a Resident Return visa (RRV). This will depend on the circumstances, in particular:
- if they were residing in Australia before this date, and
- the length of time of their residence.
- On or after Sep. 1, 1994: NZ passport holders must apply for and meet the criteria for an alternative permanent visa.
The process to become an Australian citizen depends on when the applicant first arrived in Australia on a New Zealand passport and their residency status:
- On or before Feb. 26, 2001: Check if they are an eligible New Zealand citizen.
- After Feb. 26, 2001: The applicant must first become a permanent resident. Then they can apply for citizenship.
Before applying, individuals should check their eligibility. These changes only apply to citizenship applications submitted on or after July 1, 2023.
Erickson Immigration Group will continue to share updates as more news is available. If you have questions about anything we’re reporting or case-specific questions, please contact your employer or EIG attorney.