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Australia Opens Doors For New Kiwi Citizens

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20 February 2016 is set to become a monumental date in the history of New Zealand migration to Australia.
New Zealand citizens currently enjoy the benefit of the Special Category Visa, which entitles them to come to and live and work in Australia indefinitely. It is believed that there are more than 300, 000 New Zealand citizens currently in Australia.  While most of them came to Australia during their adult life a large number of our Kiwi neighbours have called Australia home since their birth as they are children born in Australia to New Zealand parents who made the move across the Tasman.
A two-hour long meeting between Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key on 20 February 2016 resulted in a decision to allow 60,000 to 100,000 New Zealand Citizens currently living in Australia to apply for Australian citizenship.
The announced immigration changes will apply to Kiwis already in Australia who have been in Australia for a minimum of 5 years and earning in excess of A$53,000.  The plan is to allow those who are eligible for this transition to apply for a permanent visa and subsequently after living in Australia for a minimum of 1 year on the permanent visa apply for Australian citizenship.
This move was welcomed by many because although Kiwis enjoyed the benefits of the Special Category Visa, under existing rules there was no pathway to Australian citizenship regardless of the circumstances.  The ability to acquire Australian Citizenship will assist Kiwis living in Australia to gain additional rights which were so far not available to them on the Special Category Visa.
For more information on immigration rights of New Zealand Citizens click here and ask an expert.
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Guest Monday, 22 January 2018
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