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  • Jenny Murphy MARN 0852535

Direct Australian Citizenship for NZ Citizens


The Australian Government has recently unveiled new changes to citizenship eligibility for New Zealand citizens. These amendments, which are set to come into effect on 1 July 2023, will primarily impact New Zealand citizens holding a Special Category (subclass 444) visa (SCV) who arrived in Australia after 26 February 2001. It is important to note that protected SCV holders will still be able to apply directly for Australian citizenship.


Although the legislation has not been officially released, the Department of Home Affairs has provided some insight into the upcoming changes, which will be implemented from 1 July 2023:

  1. All New Zealand citizens holding an SCV will be regarded as permanent residents for citizenship purposes.

  2. Those who were granted an SCV before 1 July 2022 will have their period of permanent residence for citizenship purposes backdated to 1 July 2022.

  3. New Zealand citizens receiving an SCV for the first time on or after 1 July 2022 will be considered permanent residents for citizenship purposes from the date their SCV is granted.

For individuals seeking assistance with their citizenship application, it is recommended to consult with an experienced Registered Migration Agent. These professionals can provide valuable guidance and support throughout the process, ensuring a smoother transition to Australian citizenship for eligible New Zealand citizens.


Disclaimer: The information provided herein is of a general nature only and does not constitute immigration advice. For more detailed and case-specific information or advice, please contact SCA Connect.


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