What is an Eligible NZ Citizen?

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


ENZC/Protected SCV holders:

  • are treated similar to Australian permanent residents in most instances
  • are still technically temporary residents under Section 32 of the Migration Act 1958
  • are able to sponsor certain family members e.g. partner, children, parents
  • are considered permanent residents for the purposes of lodging an Australian citizenship application
  • are eligible to apply for most social security payments
  • are entitled to NDIS support
  • children born in Australia on or after 27 February are Australian citizens at birth
  • are NOT able to sponsor members of their family unit for the subclass 461 NZ Citizen Family Relationship visa

Non-eligible/Non-protected SCV holders:

  • are not Australian permanent residents, even if they live in Australia permanently
  • are not able to sponsor family members on permanent visas
  • are not able to access most Social Security payments
  • are not entitled to NDIS support
  • must apply for an Australian permanent visa in order to be eligible for Australian citizenship
  • children born in Australia to non-protected SCV holders must ordinarily reside in Australia throughout the first 10 years of their life before they are automatically granted Australian citizenship on their 10th birthdays
  • are able to sponsor members of their family provided they meet the prescribed criteria for the subclass 461 NZ Citizen Family Relationship visa


Morunga Migration Pty Ltd is committed to providing quality immigration assistance and advice to our audiences and broader migrant communities both in and outside of Australia.

The information contained within this website is to provide advice of a general nature only and is not to be taken as individual advice for your personal circumstances. Immigration information is subject to change at any time. Before proceeding with an application we recommending seeking professional and personalised advice about your circumstances.

We cannot accept responsibility for any errors or omissions as Australian immigration law and regulations change regularly. It is always best to contact us for advice before making any decisions. Alternatively, up to date information can be checked on the official Australian Government website, the Department of Home Affairs.

First step is to book in either a free callback or Consultation/Assessment with us online

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