Exciting News for New Zealand Subclass 444 Visa Holders
On 22 April 2023, the Australian Government introduced a direct pathway to Australian citizenship for New Zealand citizens living in Australia. We are thrilled to share this incredible opportunity with you.
From 1 July 2023, New Zealand citizens who have been residing in Australia for four years or more will be eligible to apply directly for Australian citizenship. The best part? You will no longer need to go through the process of applying for and obtaining a permanent visa beforehand. These changes specifically apply to New Zealand citizens holding a Special Category (subclass 444) visa (SCV) who arrived in Australia after 26 February 2001. If you are a protected SCV holder, you are already eligible to apply directly for Australian citizenship.
How Does It Work?
For New Zealand citizens who are long-term residents in Australia, your period of permanent residence will be backdated for citizenship purposes. This means that you will be able to meet the 12-month permanent residence requirement under the general residence rule, putting you on the fast track to Australian citizenship.
Key Changes to Note:
All New Zealand citizens holding an SCV will be considered permanent residents for citizenship purposes.
If you were granted an SCV before 1 July 2022, your period of permanent residence will be backdated to 1 July 2022.
If you were granted an SCV for the first time on or after 1 July 2022, you will be considered a permanent resident for citizenship purposes from the date of your SCV grant.
Who Does This Apply To?
These provisions will apply to New Zealand citizens residing in Australia, as well as those who are currently overseas but held an SCV immediately before their departure.
Important Details to Keep in Mind:
These changes will not apply to citizenship applications submitted before 1 July 2023. If you submit your application before this date and do not meet the eligibility requirements, your application will be refused, and you will not be entitled to a refund.
Stay updated with the latest information by regularly visiting our website. Remember to check your eligibility on the day you apply to ensure you meet all the requirements.
Implications for Children:
The backdating of permanent residence for SCV holders will also impact children born to SCV holders. From 1 July 2023, any child born in Australia on or after 1 July 2022 to an SCV holder may automatically acquire Australian citizenship at birth. If your child meets these circumstances, they can apply for evidence of citizenship.
Our Commitment to You:
These changes are a result of the Prime Minister's commitment in July 2022 to provide viable pathways to Australian citizenship for New Zealand citizens living in Australia. It signifies the close ties between our two nations and recognizes the positive contributions New Zealand citizens make to Australia.
Take the Next Step:
If you are a New Zealand citizen holding a subclass 444 visa, and you have been living in Australia for four years or more, congratulations! You are now eligible to apply directly for Australian citizenship. Our team of experienced migration agents is ready to guide you through the process, answer your questions, and help you achieve your dream of becoming an Australian citizen.
The total fee per citizenship application is estimated to be approximately $1590, which includes the Australian Government fee of $490 plus fees to engage MigrationBuro to assist you with your citizenship application of $1100. To learn more about these changes and begin your journey to Australian citizenship, please contact us today.
Note: This information is provided as a general guide should not be taken as specific migration advice. We recommend visiting our website regularly for the most up-to-date information