New Zealanders eligibility for Australian citizenship

Australian Passport

Important Information

The Government is planning to introduce citizenship changes into the Parliament by the end of 2017 requiring Permanent Residents to reside for four years. However, all proposed changes that pass in the Parliament will apply to citizenship applications received on or after 20 April 2017.

Protected Special Category Visa-holders are considered permanent residents whilst in Australia and therefore will not be impacted by the proposed changes.

Not all New Zealanders have a pathway to Australian citizenship.

To apply for Australian citizenship you must ensure you meet the eligibility criteria. For most applicants this means they have applied for and been granted a permanent visa.

Generally, for New Zealanders to be eligible to apply for citizenship they must:

  • hold a permanent visa, such as a Resident Return Visa and the new permanent visa, or
  • have been in Australia on 26 February 2001 on a Special Category visa (SCV), or
  • have spent a period(s) totalling 12 months in Australia on a SCV in the 2 years immediately before 26 February 2001, or
  • have a Certificate of Australian Residence if you moved to Australia between 27 February and 26 May 2001.

If you are unsure of the dates or length of time you’ve been in Australia you can request your travel records.

You can also look up your visa status to confirm your citizenship options.

Note: the Special Category Visa granted to New Zealanders since February 2001 is a temporary visa for migration purposes.

Children born in Australia, who did not acquire citizenship at birth, can apply for evidence of Australian citizenship if they have usually resided in Australia until age 10.


Applying for citizenship

RRV or the new visa option for New Zealanders?

Your options for citizenship

Check your visa status (VEVO)

Citizenship application information

Citizenship application fees

Centrelink Certificate of Status for NZ Citizens proving you were residing in Australia prior to 27 Feb 2001

Refer to the information under Australian Citizenship on the How to apply page of the Department of Home Affair’s website.

Have a question?

Phone the Department of Home Affairs on 13 18 81 or contact them via social media. Please do not provide your personal details on a public forum.


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The above “New Zealanders eligibility for Australian citizenship” information should not be relied on as an alternative to advice from the Department of Home Affairs, or a professional immigration services provider.

If you have any specific questions about an immigration matter, you should consult the Department of Home Affairs or a professional immigration services provider.

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