Moving to Australia from New Zealand?

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

As a New Zealand citizen moving to Australia, you will usually automatically receive a Special Category Visa (SCV) when you pass through Australian border control.

This visa gives New Zealanders many of the same rights as Australian citizens. However, you should be aware of a number of exclusions from government assistance.

As a New Zealander, you have a unique opportunity if you’re considering moving to Australia. Australia and New Zealand have a Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement that allows their citizens to visit, study, live and work in either NZ or Australia for as long or little as they want. However, there are exclusions as below.

Read my Australia Visa post for more information on SCVs, entitlements, waiting periods for government support and more.

New Zealanders in Australia
(On non-protected Special Category Visas)

  • Are entitled to family payments, including Family Tax Benefits, Newborn Upfront Payment and Newborn Supplement, Child Care Subsidy and Parental Leave Pay, and medical care under Medicare.
  • But are excluded from Newstart Allowance (unemployment) benefits, Parenting Payment and Youth Allowance.
  • Kiwis living in Australia continuously for 10 years since February 2001 might be eligible for once-only Newstart and Youth Allowances for up to six months.
  • Are not entitled to Austudy and HELP student loans, whether on protected or non-protected SCVs.
  • Are excluded from the new Disability Insurance Scheme, including children of NZ parentage born in Australia.
  • Cannot receive Disability Support Pension for non-work-related disabilities developed while living in Australia.
  • Excluded from new payments for Australian residents injured by terrorist attacks abroad.
  • Have no automatic path to permanent residency or citizenship and are required to compete with other migrants on the basis of required skills.
  • Excluded from disability support services in Queensland, which is now amending anti-discrimination laws to allow the exclusion of New Zealanders.
  • Do not have access to public housing in Queensland, Western Australia and New South Wales, which also now refuses Kiwis emergency accommodation.
  • Have been excluded from student concessionary travel in Victoria, including primary and secondary school pupils and extending to all New Zealanders regardless of the date of arrival. This is now subject to an anti-discrimination case.

Australians in New Zealand

  • Australians can apply for all Winz payments, including disability assistance and allowances, domestic purposes benefits, accommodation supplements, childcare assistance, health-related benefits, sickness benefits, temporary additional support, unemployment benefits, and disaster relief recovery payments.
  • Unlike ex-pat Kiwi victims of floods and Cyclone Yasi (initially refused emergency payments but after pressure granted one-off assistance), Australians in Christchurch qualified for the same earthquake assistance as New Zealanders.
  • After two years, they are eligible for tertiary student allowances and can apply for student loans.
  • After three years, residents can apply for citizenship.

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  1. Deborah Wall

    July 4, 2024 at 8:31 pm

    I am seriously considering moving to Australia and I used to live there in 2009. I was working at that time – how do I find out what my tax number is?

    • JJ Smith

      July 22, 2024 at 5:31 pm

      Hi Deborah,
      Thanks for your comment. Sorry for the delay, I’ve been on holiday with my family.
      You can find it online in ATO online services via your myGov account:
      If you don’t have a myGov account, you can usually find your TFN on:
      – your income tax notice of assessment, if you have lodged a tax return
      – letters you have received from the ATO, such as a statement of account
      – a payment summary or income statement (provided by your employer)
      – your superannuation account statement.
      If you use a registered tax agent/accountant, you can ask them for your TFN. If you still can’t find your TFN after the above, phone the ATO on +61392688332 from NZ or 132861 when in Australia.
      You can read more in my Australian Tax post:
      Hope the above helps.


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