Moving to Australia from New Zealand?

Get all information you need to make a successful and stress-free move across the ditch.

Below are a list of frequently asked questions we get regularly. If there is something you want to know please use the comment form at the bottom of the page.

Can New Zealand Citizens work in Australia?

Yes! New Zealand citizens are allowed to remain indefinitely in Australia to live, work or study, as long as they remain NZ citizens, subject to health or character considerations. NZ citizens get granted an SCV (Special Category Visa) when they enter Australia.

As an SCV is not a permanent visa, visa holders do not have the same rights and benefits as Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents. Read here about SCV Visa Exclusions (https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/visas/scv-visa-exclusions).

Can someone with New Zealand Permanent Residency work in Australia?

Unfortunately, New Zealand permanent residency does not entitle you to an SCV (Special Category Visa), which NZ citizens automatically get granted when they enter Australia. If you are a New Zealand permanent resident you will need to apply for a visa to be able to live and work in Australia.

Do New Zealand permanent residents need a visa for Australia?

Yes, New Zealanders with permanent residency need a visa to work, study and live in Australia. Most New Zealand citizens can visit, live and work in Australia without applying for a tourist or work visa.

Permanent residents in NZ need to apply for a visa. Use the visa wizard below to find out what visa you should apply for:

Australia Visa Wizard: http://www.immi.gov.au/visawizard/
The Visa Wizard can help you find the Australian visa most likely to meet your specific circumstances.

Australian Visa Application forms: http://www.immi.gov.au/allforms/application-forms/.

Can New Zealand citizens study in Australia?

Yes, New Zealand citizens can study in Australia at an Australian tertiary institution. New Zealanders are also eligible to pay domestic fees instead of international fees.

However, most New Zealand citizens will not be eligible for any kind of student loan to pay university fees, or be eligible for a student allowance to pay for living costs. You will need to get Australian citizenship to get a student loan.

You can use the Citizenship Wizard on the Australian Government website. It will give you information about what to do and how to apply for Australian citizenship:

Australia Citizenship Wizard: http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Citi/Appl/Citizenship-wizard

Can Kiwis live in Australia?

That depends… Under the SCV (Special Category Visa) New Zealanders are allowed to work and live in Australia indefinitely. They can live, work, study, purchase property and enjoy beautiful Australia.

However, there is no pathway to citizenship under the SCV – regardless of how long Kiwi ex-pats live in Australia or how much they earn. They would need to apply for citizenship like the rest of the world.

Can Australian citizens live and work in New Zealand?

Flip yeah! Australian citizens are able to live, work or study in New Zealand.

Australian citizens do not need a work visa to work in New Zealand. This is also the case if you are the holder of a current Australian permanent residence visa including a current Australian resident return visa.

When can I apply for citizenship in Australia?

To be eligible to apply for Australian citizenship you must be living in Australia on a valid Australian visa for four years and have not been absent from Australia for more than 1 year total, or have been living in Australia for 12 months as a permanent resident.

If you are a New Zealander you must have some Australian blood/ancestry to apply directly for citizenship. Otherwise, you are required to get an Australian permanent visa. This will allow you to access certain social security payments, obtain Australian citizenship or sponsor their family members for permanent residence.

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Still, got unanswered questions?

If you’ve read the above content and the answer to your question isn’t there, please write a comment below and I’ll research the answer for you. Please note, if the answer to your question is in the content above, I will not reply. Sorry, I just get too many questions these days and I can’t keep up.

Can I help you find something else?

If you need advice on moving to Australia from New Zealand, I’ve created a helpful little questionnaire to point you in the right direction. It takes less than 30 seconds, so give it a go!

93 Comments

  1. Kirsty

    April 21, 2024 at 11:33 am

    Hi
    We’re keen to do a year in Australia with our kids. Do you have anything specifically about temporary moves?
    Thank you!

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      May 1, 2024 at 6:31 pm

      Hi Kirsty,
      Thanks for your comment. Sorry for the delay in replying.
      All the info on the site is still applicable. You will still need to set up bank accounts, find accommodation, get paperwork ready for doctors and schools, transfer money, setup a Medicare account, a TFN if your planning on working and transfer your NZ licence once you’ve been in Australia for 3 months.
      Here is the link to my moving to Australia process post, which will point you in the right direction regarding the above: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/moving-to-australia-process/.
      When I moved to Australia, pregnant with my husband, we had planned to stay medium to long-term but ended up moving back after a year because we missed our family too much. So I had to go through all the processes of moving permanently and then again back to NZ. Therefore I understand your situation.
      We had a great year in Australia! It is a different experience to living in NZ. If your kids are of school age, it’s great because its very similar schooling.
      The only thing I wouldn’t recommend is moving your furniture or pets, as it is really expensive and to do it again in a year would be very costly.
      Hope the above helps.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.

      Reply
  2. George Peter Davis

    March 26, 2024 at 3:11 pm

    I am a NZ Perm Resident. Eligible for NZ citizenship in 2026.

    My partner is a NZ Citizen. We are currently living in NZ.

    My partner has a few better job opportunities in Australia. Is there a way we can both move over before I gain my NZ citizenship?

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      April 12, 2024 at 1:05 pm

      Hi George,
      Sorry for the delay in replying.
      Unfortunately, I am not an immigration specialist and cannot advise you on your individual circumstances.
      You won’t be able to move on an SCV until you are a NZ citizen, so you would need to find another visa that would suit you.
      I recommend you check out IMMagine: http://www.immigration.co.nz/. They offer a free preliminary evaluation to establish which Visa category may suit you and whether it’s worth your while ordering a comprehensive full assessment. Not many immigration companies do this. The next step is a full assessment where IMMagine will develop your detailed strategy, timeline and pricing structure in person or on Skype. Naturally, a small cost applies to this full and comprehensive assessment.
      Hope the above helps.

      Reply
  3. Piyusha

    August 23, 2023 at 9:01 pm

    Hi I am a NZ citizen for 20 years. My husband is thinking of making a move to Australia. But, I have a major phobia of snakes. Mainly from seeing videos and reading in news about snakes in Australia. I know if I live in Australia, I would be constantly paranoid about finding snakes in my house or anywhere literally every minute of the day, and I don’t think I’d be able to sleep at night. I really don’t want to leave NZ to be honest. Any thoughts on this? Thank you.

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      August 24, 2023 at 12:14 pm

      Hi Piyusha,
      Thank you for your message. I have received similar messages before.
      The reality is that snakes don’t like people and stay away from us as much as possible.
      My sister has a snake living in her house. She never sees it. She does see its skin when it sheds it but has never actually seen the snake. However, the snake eats rodents and spiders, so isn’t a bad animal to have around.
      They are also found in roof cavities hunting for rats and possums. Brown tree snakes are specialists at invading aviaries, often becoming trapped inside after they have eaten a bird. These snakes can also be found at night hunting for geckos around window sills in the home. Common tree snakes actively hunt frogs during the day and are often seen around the house and garden where frogs occur.
      If you keep a clean, tidy house, with no mice/rats, birds, or chickens, you should not have a problem and shouldn’t worry.
      You should read this post that covers how to snake-proof your house and yard: https://environment.des.qld.gov.au/wildlife/animals/living-with/snakes/frequent-questions.
      This is another great post: https://www.ritas-outback-guide.com/australian-snakes.html.
      And as it is a real phobia, then I would recommend buying and reading Living with Snakes in Australia: https://livingwithwildlife.com.au/product/living-with-snakes-in-australia-2/.
      I would recommend being careful when you are on bush walks, but otherwise, this is not something that should stop you from moving to Australia. Most snakes you will see in Australia are dead snakes, run over by cars.
      Educate yourself on snakes, which should really help calm your phobia.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
  4. Javad

    June 13, 2023 at 3:33 pm

    Hi JJ,
    We are NZ citizen and planning to move to Perth; My older son is in middle of year 13 here in New Zealand, he has totally 168 NCEA credits.
    Could you let us to know how we should enroll him in one of Perth high schools, and how he should proceed for university there?

    Thanks,
    Javad

    Reply
  5. Layla Justice

    June 11, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    Hi JJ, loving your website! We are looking into moving to Australia; I am a UK passport holder and my de-facto partner is a New Zealand passport holder/has indefinitely leave to remain in UK.
    Do you know if we are eligible to move permanently to Australia? I get a bit confused with the SCV legalities?
    Thanks so much! 🙂
    Layla

    Reply
  6. Ranjith De Silva

    May 16, 2023 at 10:36 pm

    Hi
    I am 68+ and my wife is 67+ old. Currently, we both receive NZ Superannuation. We do not work and receive no any other income too. We have our owned house in NZ and market value may be $1m. Our both daughters live in Aus. If we move to Melbourne-AUS, would our house in NZ be Asset tested? If so, would it be beyond the threads hold of the Asset value limit? Can we able to get the Age pension in Aus while keeping our house in NZ?
    Other option is, we have to sell the house in NZ, take the money to Aus and buy a house in NZ.
    Which option you recommend? Thanks!

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      May 18, 2023 at 10:26 am

      Hi Ranjith,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Please have a read of this post as it answers all your questions: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/australian-age-pension/.
      I entered your $1,000,000 as an investment into the age pension calculator and you will receive $534.50 per couple per fortnight, $13,897 per year. You will also have to pay tax on any rental you receive.
      If you were to sell your NZ property and buy a home in Australia your pension would increase to $1,604.00 per couple per fortnight, $41,704 per year, because they do not include the value of your home in your assets.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
      • Ranjith De Silva

        May 18, 2023 at 9:24 pm

        Hi JJ
        Thank you for your reply.
        You have given a useful information and it would help me to make a good decision.
        Regards.
        Ranjith De Silva

        Reply
  7. Prachi

    September 5, 2022 at 2:33 pm

    Hi. I am considering to relocate to Australia in the near future. Presently, I am on a work visa in New Zealand and my resident visa is in process- hopeful to receive it by the end of this year. As you must be aware that in NZ there are 2 resident visa- one is resident visa which is granted for 2 years and after that its permanent residence visa. So can I consider moving to Australia once I receive my resident visa or do I need to wait until Permanent residency? What kind of visa can I get in Australia if I want to move there once I get my resident visa in NZ. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      September 12, 2022 at 12:29 pm

      Hi Prachi,
      Thank you for your comment.
      However, I am not an immigration specialist and can only advise from the information I find online.
      I’m not sure what visa you should apply for, as you are not eligible for a Special Category visa (SCV) unless you are a New Zealand citizen.
      I recommend you check out IMMagine: http://www.immigration.co.nz/. They offer a free preliminary evaluation to establish which Visa category may suit you: http://www.immigration.co.nz/assessments/free-evaluation/.
      Sorry I could not be of more help.

      Reply
  8. Bhavana Reddy

    August 3, 2022 at 5:19 pm

    Hi,

    We are looking to move to Australia from Auckland. We have 2 kids and 1 kid has mild disability – Williams syndrome. She gets educational support and has hospital check ups in NZ. My understanding is that the Australian govt does not support kiwi kids with disability. Are there any other organizations which help support or can I pay for additional support at school? Is it also true that Australian govt does not grant PR or residency for disabled people? Are there cases where they have actually granted PR and citizenship to kiwi kids who are disabled? I do know they have some $ value assessment they do but curious if they actually grant the PR and citizenship.

    Your guidance on this would be extremely insightful and helpful in our decision making process.

    Thank you so much
    Bhavana

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      August 9, 2022 at 1:21 pm

      Hi Bhavana,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Unfortunately, this is one area that there is not a lot of information on the web about, other than that we are not eligible for disability support.
      I recommend that you contact Williams Syndrome Australia. It is a non-profit organization that strives to enrich the lives of individuals and families affected by Williams syndrome – http://www.williamssyndrome.org.au/.
      They should be able to answer your questions.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck.

      Reply
  9. James

    July 28, 2022 at 7:20 pm

    Hi,

    I am working at a company in NZ as a NZ permanent residency and the head office of the company is in Australia. In that case, when I want internally move to any branch in Australia, do I have to still apply for a visa? If so, what visa category do I need to apply for?

    One of my friends is moving to Australia with no need to apply for Australia Visa as NZ permanent residency, that is confirmed, because he is also internally moving to one of Australian branch. Can I please have any advice with this scenario?

    Thanks,

    Reply
  10. Danny

    July 18, 2022 at 1:49 am

    Hi JJ
    I am a nz citizen but my wife is a nz permanent resident. In that case, do you know if my wife needs a work visa to get a job or she will be treated as a kiwi?
    We also have two kids and not sure they will be under my guidance?

    Thank you in advance
    Danny

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      July 18, 2022 at 3:04 pm

      Hi Danny,
      Thanks for your comment.
      NZ PR’s are not eligible for the SCV, which is the visa New Zealand citizens move to Australia with.
      Unfortunately, I’m not an immigration specialist, so you would need to find one for advice. You can find more information in my Australia Visa post: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/australian-visa/.
      Good luck finding out what visa your wife and kids are eligible for.
      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help.

      Reply
  11. Andy

    July 15, 2022 at 6:32 pm

    Hi JJ. I can see that the 444 (SCV) entitled a NZ citizen to live, work, and study in Australia indefinitely. How about establishing a business? Look forward to any information you may have. Thanks.

    Reply
  12. Emmanuel

    July 3, 2022 at 3:52 pm

    Hi JJ,
    I just wanted to know if New Zealand citizens get a student loan to study Under Graduate courses in Australia.
    I also wanted to know what the equivalent to Kiwisaver is in Australia and can I transfer my Kiwisaver money into the Australian equivalent.
    Thanks.
    Emmanuel

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      July 8, 2022 at 2:26 pm

      Hi Emmanuel,
      Thank you for your email.
      In researching your question I learned something new, which is always exciting.
      NZ citizens living in Australia on an SCV are not eligible for an Australian student loan (Help loan) unless they have been living in Australia for 10 years.
      However, you may be eligible for a Commonwealth supported place (CSPs). This is a place at a university or higher education provider where the Australian government pays part of your fees. This part is a subsidy, not a loan, and you don’t have to pay it back. Most CSPs are for undergraduate study.
      You can read more on CSPs here: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/student-loans/.
      Regarding transferring your Kiwisaver, you are easily able to transfer your Kiwisaver into an Australian superannuation scheme. Read more here: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/australian-age-pension/#TransferringyourKiwisavertoAustralia.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply
  13. Annette Johnson

    June 22, 2022 at 9:07 am

    Hi JJ,
    My husband and I are wishing to relocate to NSW from Auckland in the next 6 months to a year.
    Husband turns 65 on Jan 20th 2023, so we will be receiving his superannuation. I have read the numerous websites and understand he would need to apply to Aust, however he immediately does not qualify as his age would need to be 67 (since rules changed) does that mean after 26 weeks we are basically cut off unless we return to NZ? Which we can do. But for how long would we need to return. I also understand that the Aus pension is asset and means tested. We intend to buy a house there. As our daughter and family live there we know this will ultimately be a good move for us, however receiving the pension is very important. Thank you for your help and all the info on your website.
    Annette Johnson

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      July 1, 2022 at 11:10 am

      Hi Annette,
      Thank you for your comment.
      I have this morning been alerted to the rules changing and now you have to be 66 and 6 months before you can get the Australia age pension. I’ve just updated my site.
      The only loophole I can think of is if you can still receive your NZ pension until you reach the Australia age pension age. I’m going to look into this but isn’t easy to get information.
      I recommend you talk to Work and Income and see what they say.
      I will email you if I find out either way and please let me know if you do.
      Regarding the income and asset tests, you can use SuperGuides age pension calculator to work out how much you will get: https://www.superguide.com.au/in-retirement/age-pension-calculator.
      Thanks

      Reply
      • Annette

        July 1, 2022 at 2:44 pm

        Hi JJ,
        I will be talking with work and income, but will leave this until Oct 20th, exactly 3 months from when my husband turns 65 (that’s when you can apply for the pension)
        Agree this info seems hard to get. I did have one ph call with International Services here in NZ and was told his pension would stop if we did not return before the 26 weeks deadline.
        She would not however tell me how long we would need to return to NZ before going back to Australia. Basically saying they would monitor how long we were staying in each country.
        IE basing it on a case by case. I found this confusing obviously there is no set rule??
        Appreciate your help and will also email you if we find out anything further.
        I’m sure we are not the only older couple trying to do this, in order to be with family.
        Thanks

        Reply
        • JJ Smith

          July 21, 2022 at 5:03 pm

          Hi again,
          Sorry for the delay in replying.
          If you do not apply within 26 weeks, your payments will stop from the day after you leave New Zealand, unless you return to New Zealand within 30 weeks.
          I can’t find anywhere about how long you need to spend in NZ before restarting the 26 period.
          If you return within 30 weeks you will only be paid for the first 26 weeks that you are away.
          If you don’t return to New Zealand within 30 weeks of your departure, you won’t be paid for any of the time you are away. Your NZ Super or Veteran’s Pension payments will stop from the day after you leave New Zealand and you will have to return any money paid to you from that date.
          Here is all the info regarding the Social security agreement with Australia, which outlines all the rules and legislation: https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/pensions/travelling-or-moving/social-security-agreements/australia.html.
          I’ve just emailed a financial adviser I know asking if it’s possible to continue receiving your NZ pension while living most of the time in Australia. Example: returning to NZ after 25 weeks, staying for a few weeks, and returning to Australia for another 25 weeks.
          I will let you know if I get a response.

          Reply
          • Annette

            July 21, 2022 at 5:15 pm

            Thanks Johanna,
            This is exactly what we are trying to get to the bottom of.

            Reply
            • JJ Smith

              July 25, 2022 at 12:41 pm

              Hi Annette,
              This is the response I got from the financial adviser:
              My understanding is that people are obliged to tell work and income how much time they’re spending away. There are, indeed, rules about being away more than 25 weeks but I think if someone’s pretty much residing in Australia and trying to game the system, they’ll be caught out and have to repay any benefits they weren’t entitled to.
              One of the problems with people being caught in Australia during the Covid-related travel bans was they ended up being away more than 25 weeks and lost some of their pension entitlement, as I understand it.
              So, in essence, work and income will look at where they normally “reside” and if it’s not New Zealand the pension will be pro rated.
              Have a look at this link which isn’t conclusive but certainly stresses the “tell us” rule: https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/pensions/travelling-or-moving/going-overseas-super/index.html.
              Hope the above helps.

              Reply
  14. Eva Karam

    May 30, 2022 at 9:43 am

    Thank you for all the amazing information, We are NZ pensioners with assets in NZ and receive a pension. We would like to move to Australia where our daughter is. Having read the convoluted and complicated .gov website we can see it’s not going to be easy. Is there a specialist website or person we can get an assessment from as to how to arrange assets etc in the best way.

    Reply
    • JJ Smith

      June 13, 2022 at 2:46 pm

      Hi Eva,
      Thank you for your comment and sorry for the delay in replying.
      I’ve been researching companies that may be able to help you but haven’t had a reply as yet.
      However, I did come across this Age Pension calculator on the SuperGuide website is straight forward and easy to use.
      Simply enter your details in the calculator (in the yellow blocks) and you will be given an estimate of the amount of Age Pension you may be eligible for. Reminder: do not include the value of your home in your assets.
      Age Pension calculator: https://www.superguide.com.au/in-retirement/age-pension-calculator.
      SuperGuide has a lot of helpful resources: https://www.superguide.com.au/.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      I will let you know if I hear back from a company that can help you.
      Good luck with your move.

      Reply

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