Eligible New Zealand Citizens
Please note: Information provided on our website and social media is intended as a guide and general educational resource only. The only way to know what is best for each individual case is to book an assessment. Erina is a highly experienced and knowledgeable registered migration agent who specialises solely in the migration matters of New Zealand citizens who live in Australia.
The title ‘Eligible New Zealand Citizen‘ is a definition and term used in Migration Law. Many if not most New Zealand citizens are unaware of its legal meaning.
An Eligible New Zealand Citizen is more commonly known as a Protected Special Category Visa holder and they also hold a Special Category Visa, subclass TY444.
Eligible New Zealand Citizens is the legal term used in Migration & Citizenship Legislation (immigration matters) whilst Protected Special Category Visa holders is the legal term used in Social Security Legislation (generally Centrelink/Service Australia entitlements)
These terms are the most important labels for all fellow Kiwis to understand first and foremost, because it helps us to identity a persons’ rightful status.
Once our rightful status has been identified it then becomes much easier to understand whether a person can apply directly for citizenship or not.
People who are not ENZC must always apply for a permanent visa before they will ever be eligible to apply for Australian citizenship and full Centrelink entitlements. Note: Entitlements to various Centrelink payments are subject to a Newly arrived residents waiting period
New Zealand citizens may need to be granted a permanent resident visa before Centrelink can look at the time you’ve spent in Australia. This will happen if you arrive on a NewZealand passport with a Special Category visa.
Due to COVID-19 the newly arrived residents waiting period has removed until the 31st December 2020 for certain payments.
This information is current as of the 5 August, 2020.
Eligible New Zealand Citizens are:
- The holders of the Special Category Visa, subclass TY444, just like every other New Zealander
- Technically still temporary visa holders
- Able to sponsor certain family members
- Also known as a Protected Special Category Visa holders
- Eligible to apply directly for citizenship without the need to apply for a permanent visa first
- Eligible to apply for all Centrelink payments
Eligible New Zealand Citizens are NOT:
- Permanent residents (except for Citizenship and Taxation purposes)
- The reason Eligible New Zealand Citizens are not permanent residents is because they hold a temporary visa (TY444)
- So despite being treated similar to permanent residents they are not exactly the same as permanent residents because they do not hold a permanent visa
If Eligible New Zealand Citizens have children that are:
- Born in Australia, their children are Australian citizens at birth
- Born in New Zealand or elsewhere, their children are ordinary Special Category Visa holders who are ‘Non-protected’
To be assessed as an Eligible New Zealand citizen one must be able to say ‘Yes’ to at least one of the criteria below:
- Present in Australia on the 26th February 2001 as a New Zealand citizen
- Present in Australia for a total of 365 days between 26th February 1999 and 26th February 2001
- Arrived in Australia from the 27th February 2001 to 25th May 2001 and applied for or contacted Centrelink before the 26th February 2004. Most Kiwis would have received a ‘Centrelink Letter’ to confirm if this was the case. If a Kiwi no longer has this letter they may call International Services in Hobart to request another copy of this letter on 131 673.