As a New Zealander you have a unique opportunity if you’re considering moving to Australia. These two countries have established a more than friendly exchange program that allows their citizenry to freely move between New Zealand and Australia.
Here at Moving to Australia we have tried to answer your most pressing questions regarding Australian visas and applying for an Australian Visa. For more information on Australian Visa’s please visit the Australian Government – Department of Immigration and Citizenship website (http://www.immi.gov.au).
Visas are legal documents issued by one country that allow those from another country to reside in the issuing country. In the case of Australian visas you can go all the way back as the 1920’s to discover that there has been a special relationship between the citizens of New Zealand and Australia. It was then that people were able to freely move between New Zealand and Australia.
Then in 1973 the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement was entered into. This allowed Australian and New Zealand citizens to enter each other’s country to visit, live and work, without the need to apply for authority to enter the other country.
What is interesting about this movement is that moving between the two countries is dependent upon the current state of jobs and the economy in each country. It is common to find an increase in the number of New Zealanders migrating to Australia when the New Zealand economy is more troubled than the Australian economy.
Of particular importance to any New Zealander considering a move to Australia are the amendments made by to the Migration Act 195. These changes were made in 1994 and resulted in a number of changes to migration legislation.
The big change was the legal requirement that all non-citizens lawfully in Australia must have a visa.
Upon entering Australia you present your New Zealand passport for immigration clearance. Once done you are considered to have applied for a visa and, subject to health or character considerations, will automatically receive a Special Category Visa (SCV). The SCV is recorded electronically.
Their New Zealand passports are stamped, showing the date of arrival in Australia. This is the only evidence provided or necessary to show they are holders of an SCV.
When you enter Australia as a New Zealander you will automatically be granted a Special Category Visa (SCV). This Visa will allow you to live and work in Australia for as long as you like.
By the way, there is no mention of this at border control. It all happens electronically.
Note that New Zealand permanent residents are not entitled to the Special Category Visa. You will need to apply for a Visa to live and work in Australia. Read on to find out how.
Of course there are some restrictions on the SCV for New Zealanders moving to Australia, but only two.
Unfortunately the SCV does have a few exclusion that will affect you and your families entitlements while living in Australia and a couple of these are quite big e.g. not all benefits, no student loans, no disability support.
As a New Zealander holding and SCV it is not necessary to apply for or be granted permanent residence in Australia. The SCV allows a New Zealand citizen to remain and work in Australia lawfully as long as that person remains a New Zealand citizen.
You also need to be aware of some additional rules. In particular you, as a New Zealand citizen, must apply for and be granted Australian permanent residency if you wish to access certain social security benefits, e.g. the pension, obtain Australian citizenship or sponsor their family members for permanent residence.
Generally speaking the visa requirements you need to meet are very easily obtained. But to be certain Moving to Australia recommends that you consult with one of our immigration experts.
Please feel free to ask us any questions you might have regarding living in Australia and Australian Visas using the below comments form.
Specialist immigration companies save you time, money and stress when applying for a visa. They are able to offer you professional advice and assistance when applying for any of the below visa’s or even deciding what visa is right for you, if any.
You can find an immigration specialist on the Australian Government website, Migration Agents Registration Authority (https://www.mara.gov.au/). Search Auckland for advisers specialising in Australia.
There are a lot of ways to get Australian Visa and Citizenship information and help on the internet. A few of the links are below:
If you have any further questions or comments, please post them at the bottom of the page and we will get back to you asap with an answer.