Direct Pathway to Australian Citizenship for New Zealand Citizens

The Australian Government has announced today that from 1 July 2023 that New Zealand citizens who have been living in Australia for at least 4 years can apply directly for Australian citizenship. This means that New Zealand citizens just need to hold the Special Category Visa (subclass 444 visa that is automatically granted to New Zealand passport holder on arrival to Australia). It will no longer be a requirement for a New Zealand citizen to first become a permanent resident to apply for Australian citizenship.

Any applicant for citizenship must meet the residence requirement which requires them to have not been absent from Australia for more than 12 months within the 4 years prior to application, and not absent from Australia for more than than 90 days in the 12 months prior to application.

The residence requirement will also apply to New Zealand citizens who hold a Special Category Visa.

The changes will also apply for New Zealand citizens who are currently overseas and have been in Australia within the last 4 years as a Special Category Visa holder, provided that they meet the residence requirement.

The Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese made a commitment in July 2022 to ensure that viable pathways to Australian citizenship were created for New Zealand citizens living in Australia. The Australian Government have now delivered on that promise.

About the author

Nick Hansen

Nick has been a Registered Migration Agent since 2016 when he founded Hansen Migration. Since then he has helped many migrants obtain permanent residency in Australia and Australian citizenship.

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