The term ‘eligible New Zealand citizen’ (ENZC) has a specific meaning under Australia’s Migration Act and Migration Regulations
In Regulation 1.03 of the Migration Regulations 1994 an ‘eligible New Zealand Citizen’ is a New Zealand citizen who meets the criteria of a ‘Protected Special Category Visa (SCV), subclass TY444 holder’ within the meaning of Section 7 of the Social Security Act 1991.
An ENZC is someone who meets at least one or more of the following criteria:
- A NZ citizen who was present in Australia on 26 February 2001, held a subclass TY444 visa on that date and are still a New Zealand citizen
- A NZ citizen who was not present in Australia on 26 February 2001, but was present in Australia for 365 days (or more) between 26 February 1999 and 25 February 2001 (inclusive)
- Commenced (or recommenced) residing in Australia between 26 February 2001 and 25 May 2001 (inclusive) AND was assessed as a protected SCV holder AND was issued a Centrelink certificate that states you were living here at a particular time
Interesting and contradictory fun fact about ENZCs aka Protected SCV holders:
ENZCs are treated similar to Australian permanent residents in most aspects of Australian laws, except they still hold a temporary visas and are temporary residents as well!
Why is it important to know if a New Zealand citizen is an ENZC or not?
- ENZCs are able to apply directly for Australian citizenship, access social security payments, access the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and they are also able to sponsor certain family members for Australian permanent visas, provided prescribed criteria are met of course
- ENZCs do not need to apply for an Australian visa, although, in some cases it may be more beneficial to their family members if they apply for a permanent visa that allows them to include their family members
- However, it is very important to note that ENZC are NOT eligible to sponsor family members on the subclass 461 NZ Citizen Family Relationship visa.
- NZ citizens who hold a TY444 visa and are not ENZC must apply for and be granted an Australian permanent visa before they can become eligible to apply for Australian citizenship
- NZ citizens who hold a TY444 visa and are not ENZC cannot sponsor family members on Australian permanent visas such as a partner visa or child sponsor visa