In most cases New Zealand (NZ) citizens are able to travel to and settle in Australia without the need of applying for a visa beforehand. Upon arrival NZ citizens will be assessed and granted the special category subclass 444 visa (SCV).
The SCV 444 visa has no work or study limitations. It also does not require the holder to provide evidence of medical insurance. Most importantly it does not have an expiry date. In many respects it is almost like a permanent residency visa.
Yet many of our clients are actively making arrangements to apply and obtain permanent residency or citizenship status in Australia. This is usually because of the different treatments of Australian and New Zealand Citizens including below.
• Ability to obtain Fee Help for Education in Australia;
• Voting Rights; and
• Certain Job Opportunities.
Australian citizenship has a residence requirement, which means applicants would need to (in most cases) first become permanent residents for specified periods. Under the ever-changing Australian Visa system how do NZ citizens fair these days? The good news is, there are a number of pathways which NZ citizens would be given priority for.
189 New Zealand Citizen Pathway
This pathway has been available since July 2016 and have provided a streamlined pathway for skilled residents in Australia to obtain their permanent residency and citizenship.
What’s Unique about this pathway is that applicants won’t need to pay for the full application fee before their visa is about to be granted.
The number of places for the visas per year are limited and the regulations are as usual subject to change. Therefore, if you are eligible it’s a good idea to apply asap.
Employer Sponsored Visa Pathway
This pathway for permanent residency provides exceptions for NZ citizens and sometimes their family in terms of age, English and skills requirement. The employer sponsored visa pathway had seen many changes this year, but the pathways seemed to remain for NZ citizens. If the 189 visa could not be an option because you have not lived in Australia for at least five years then the 186 or 187 visa might still be applicable.
Talk to us about your options. It’s all about planning and working out a customised pathway for you and your family.