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 a SCV (Special Category Visa) when they enter Australia.

As a 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 (

Can someone with New Zealand Permanent Residency work in Australia?

Unfortunately New Zealand permanent residency does not entitle you to a 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:
The Visa Wizard can help you find the Australian visa most likely to meet your specific circumstances.

Australian Visa 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 fee 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:

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 expats 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 been living in Australia for 12 months as a permanent resident.

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

Want to know something else about Moving to Australia?

Send us your question or comment below…


  1. Brit

    February 16, 2020 at 9:32 am

    Hey JJ!
    My partner and I are NZ citizens, wanting to move to Australia in 1-2 months.
    My partner was applying for jobs on seek. He’s an electrician, and was rejected for all because he doesn’t have a ‘white card’. Do you know how we can get this? And do I need one too?
    Thank you!

  2. Chelsea

    January 25, 2020 at 1:22 am

    Hi, we have just been offered a job on king island. I’ve been to Australia about 10 years ago but my boss booked it all and I just had to pack my suitcase.
    We are NZ citizens with a 5yo. Do we need to arrange visas at all? Or just passports?
    My husband pays child support and is up to date, will this affect moving? He also has 3 drink driving convictions from his silly younger days he never went to jail just a loss of licence and community work. Will this affect his moving?
    If you have any debt with banks like loans (still paying off) does this affect you moving?
    What about student loans? I have about $20k debt but it gets paid out of my wage. Will I get stopped for this?
    We would be selling everything and quitting our jobs and leaving with just our suitcases so I need to make sure we don’t get stopped at the airport and end up with nothing.
    Thanks for your help

    • JJ Smith

      February 5, 2020 at 1:24 am

      Hi Chelsea,
      Thank you for your comment.
      You have a lot of different factors that will effect you moving to Australia. Please find my advice below.
      Firstly, as NZ Citizen’s you will automatically get granted the digital SCV. You and your daughter do not need to do anything, just passports. However, to save any problems on the border, I recommend your husband complete the Consent to Disclosure of Information NZ Police form. As he did not spend anytime in prison, he should not have any problems. Read this post:
      Regarding child support, you will need to inform the IRD that you are moving to Australia and so your husband can continue paying your child support. It is important to give them your income details otherwise they will estimate your income to assess your child support payments and you could end up paying more. All you need to do is update your address, income and banking details in myIR, or give them a call on 0800 221 221 (
      Moving with bank loans won’t effect you moving. Only fines will get you stopped at the border.
      Regarding moving with a student loan, you will need to contact the IRD as if you’re going overseas for 6 months or more your NZ student loan won’t be interest free. You will not get stopped, but you should know how much more your loan is going to cost you. This post outlines all the info you need including repayment amounts and a student loan repayment calculator:
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

  3. Thilliar Varnakulasingham

    December 25, 2019 at 3:34 am

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    My son is a New Zealander, He has been working in Australia for more than ten years. His wife and two children are Australian citizens.
    Can my son automatically become a permanent resident or citizen?
    What is the procedure? How to apply? What form does he has to fill in.
    Yours sincerely,

  4. Anj

    October 30, 2019 at 8:13 am

    Hi JJ,

    Am a NZ Citizen, 99% will relocate to Australia. Do not have jobs lining up when we arrive. Do have little savings, hope can last until i find a job. Do not wish to rely on handout, however little help could help.
    Question is: as holder of SCV are we eligible for any form of payment from Centrelink? Or as i heard No unless you are at least an Australian PR? Is that correct?

    Thanks JJ

    • JJ Smith

      November 7, 2019 at 12:55 am

      Hi Anj,
      Thanks for your comment.
      I do recommend that you look for jobs before you arrive, but it isn’t easy to secure a job in Australia from NZ:
      New Zealanders living in Australia aren’t generally able to get the Newstart Allowance.
      Kiwi’s may be able to get the Newstart Allowance for 6 months, if they both:
      – hold a non-protected Special Category visa (SCV)
      – have lived continuously in Australia for at least 10 years immediately before claiming.
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

  5. Alan P

    September 9, 2019 at 12:23 am

    Hi JJ,
    Thanks for your website, it’s a great help!! I assume there are no rules against NZ citizens buying property in Australia?
    We are thinking of making a move from Auckland at some point in the next few years and wondered if there were any restrictions.

    • JJ Smith

      September 9, 2019 at 12:35 am

      Hi Alan,
      Thanks for your comment.
      Good news is there are no restriction on New Zealaners buying property in Australia. We are also eligible for the First Home Owners Grant (FHOG). Have a read of this post:
      Please feel free to email me back any further questions you have.
      Good luck with your move.

  6. Jeremy

    June 15, 2019 at 9:51 pm

    Hi there JJ,

    I am a New Zealand citizen and looking at moving to the Gold Coast which should be relatively easy. My girlfriend is from Lithuania and is currently living with me in NZ based on a NZ partnership visa. I have inquired about the 461 visa in Australia for her to be able to stay for 5 years but wondering if you know whether there is a long process to be granted approval or whether there is an easier option we can go for? We don’t think Lithuania has agreements with Australia to allow her to move and work. Only Study we think. Any information you know would be beneficial.

    Thanks Jeremy

  7. Raman

    June 6, 2019 at 9:57 pm

    Hi JJ,
    Thank you for all your hard work and research put into this website. It has answered a lot of my questions already but I still have more. I am wanting to move to Brisbane for health/ weather reasons. NZ allergies together with cold winter (which is long) have affected my health to depressing levels. Are there high allergies in Brisbane? I am a single mother of 13y old and 10y old boys. Other than parks and walks, are there extra activities (sports, music, dance) easily available for kids? For HR roles, will I need to take a step down to find work? (In case I have to step down and I don’t end up getting the same salary) Being a NZ citizen, is there single parent support available and after how long?
    Many thanks,

  8. Gisela

    May 31, 2019 at 9:24 am

    Hi there, if i am a NZ citizen and my husband is a PR of NZ if i take him with me to Australia would he be able to come with me under a spouse visa n be able to work there too or not? We are a small family so we would like to know all the facts before we decided to move by the end of the year.
    Thank you so much in advance!

    • JJ Smith

      June 6, 2019 at 10:37 pm

      Hi Gisela,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Unfortunately New Zealand permanent residency does not entitle you to a 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.
      You can find an immigration specialist on the Australian Government website, Migration Agents Registration Authority ( Search Auckland for advisers specialising in Australia.
      Good luck with your move.

  9. Tarsha

    April 11, 2019 at 11:26 pm

    Hi there first off I would like to say a big thank you for creating your website and Facebook page it has brought me some comfort as I am quite lost with this whole moving to Australia thing. So much so that I am not even sure if this is the right move to be making at my age (39). My partner and I are trying to make a better life for our child as we don’t seem to be taking too many steps forward for purchasing a home. My partner is a heavy fabricator in engineering so I am sure that he will find something in Brisbane okay however I have worked in the education sector for some time and don’t see too many jobs in tafe type jobs. My main fear is up lifting the family and failing in Aus especially when we are set up here. What do you do to get past this feeling if you had it? What advise would you have to move there. What do you think the best area would be in regards to employment opportunities. Would you recommend applying for rentals from NZ if you can produce the bond up front? Do you think Australia is all that you expected? Sorry for the long story just don’t know who to ask. Thank you for taking the time out to read my novel.

    • JJ Smith

      April 11, 2019 at 11:29 pm

      Hi Tarsha,
      Thank you for your message.
      This is something that most people feel when making such a move. There is no guarantee that it will work out. However, you can always move back if you don’t like it. I find most kiwi’s who move back do so because they miss their families.
      The quality of life is better in Australia. General living expenses are cheaper, as are the houses.
      As you have a family it can be worth one of you heading over, finding a job and then the rest of the family moving over.
      I would find short term accommodation while you are finding jobs and deciding where best suits you to live.
      Hope the above helps.
      Thanks, JJ

  10. Charlotte

    March 11, 2019 at 7:50 pm

    Hi there
    Looking to move to Australia as I have got so bored of the 9-5 job and routine… my boyfriend and I are really keen to move over around July/August… where would you suggest would be the best place in Australia to move too? We are from Christchurch.

    • JJ Smith

      March 11, 2019 at 9:56 pm

      Hi Charlotte,
      Thank you for your comment.
      Have you read this post: It breaks down the eight Australia states, there individual characteristics and climates. It should help you choose which city suits you and your boyfriend best.
      If it doesn’t please send me more info about you and your partner and I can point you in the right direction, e.g. age, hobbies, favourite things to do in your spear time.
      Good luck with your move.

  11. Cara Burgess

    November 7, 2018 at 8:46 am

    Hi There,

    Thanks for replying to my previous question. I do have another one though, do our NZ passports need to have 6 mths left on them when we enter Australia?
    Also can we enter without a job? Hubby is applying for jobs but we want to be there before January 2019 so the kids can start their new schools on the first day of term.

    Thanks in advance

    • JJ Smith

      November 13, 2018 at 10:04 pm

      Hi Cara,
      I can not find any info that addresses the period of time needed on your passport when moving to Australia. Australia requires that your passport must be valid only for the period of your intended travel in and out of Australia, which doesn’t answer your question. Therefore six months should definitely be sufficient.
      Yes you can move without a job. Just be aware that you will not get Government help. You can read the SCV exclusions here:
      Good luck with your move.

  12. txcoe

    September 21, 2018 at 2:01 am


    I have been convicted assault and cultivation of cannabis in the past 12 months. I am serving 40 hours community service and 9 months supervision.
    Do I need to apply for a visa to go to Australia or just tick the declaration box on the arrivals card?

    • JJ Smith

      October 28, 2018 at 11:31 pm

      Hi Txcoe,
      Thank you for your enquiry.
      I would definitely recommend going through the process of obtaining written confirmation from DIBP (Department of Immigration and Border Protection) before you travel to Australia. This will reduce a lot of stress and time when you enter Australia.
      You can find all the info you need here: This process takes approximately three weeks from the date the completed form is received by the Consulate.
      Good luck with your move.

  13. Jazlyn

    September 17, 2017 at 5:05 am

    What’s the ‘Trade Me’ equivalent for Australia? Is there a site where you can view property, jobs and bits and bobs at?

    • JJ Smith

      September 26, 2017 at 10:17 pm

      Hi Jazlyn,
      Thank you for your comment.
      The Australian equivalent of TradeMe is Gum Tree: They list everything including cars, jobs, real estate, and many more categories.
      Good luck with your move.

  14. Zane

    September 11, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    Hi, I had a drink driving conviction 16 years ago so was wanting to know what type of visa I need etc to live and work in Aussie. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • JJ Smith

      May 24, 2018 at 1:34 am

      Hi Zane,
      Thank you for your comment.
      If you have not had an jail time you will not need to apply for a Visa if you have a New Zealand passport. So feel free to buy your ticket and go. You will automatically get awarded a CSV on entry through Australian border control.
      Please let me know if you do not hold an NZ passport.

  15. Hayley Pfiszter

    June 6, 2017 at 12:55 am

    Hi, my husband has an Australian passport and spent the first 2 years of his life in Brisbane, the rest in NZ. My children and I have NZ passports. What does that entitle us to? Can we apply for citizenship under his passport? Just thinking for kids at uni, social, health etc.. We are going to moving there in 2 months time.
    Thanks Hayley

  16. Marcia

    June 3, 2017 at 12:33 am

    Hi can you please tell me what are the requirements ie: how many years must I have worked in oz before being entitled to a pension and do I have to be a pr or citizen to claim?
    Thank you in advance.

    • JJ Smith

      June 18, 2017 at 10:27 pm

      Thank you for your comment.
      From my research you do need to be an Australian Resident and have lived in Australia for 10 years.
      New Zealand citizens may also be eligible for age pension in Australia as long as they were in Australia on the date 26th February 2001, or were living in the country for at least one year in the two years before this qualifying date.
      I recommend you read the following page:
      You can talk to your bank regarding the Australian Pension because they can apply on your behalf.
      Good luck with your move.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.