Immigration experts in Australia & NZ

Expedited citizenship pathway for New Zealanders who hold Australian Permanent Residency


The Australian Government has made significant changes to Australia’s migration policies, including great benefits for New Zealanders living in Australia that will benefit from priority processing of Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) visa applications and the drop of certain visa requirements that you can read in our recent article here.

Adding to these changes, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has announced that from 1 January 2023, New Zealand stream Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa holders who have previously held a Special Category (subclass 444) visa will have the commencement of their permanent residence period for Australian citizenship purposes backdated to 1 January 2022.


What are the benefits?

To meet the general residence requirement for Australian citizenship by conferral an applicant must be lawfully present in Australia for 4 years, including 12 months as a permanent resident, immediately before the date of application.

The backdating of permanent residence that has been announced means that, from 1 January 2023, New Zealanders that hold an Australian permanent residency are eligible to apply for Australian citizenship by conferral immediately following the visa grant, without needing to hold this visa for 12 months.


Does this change also apply to family members?

This benefit also applies to their New Zealand citizen family members who hold a Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa and also affects children born in Australia to certain Special Category (subclass 444) visa holders.

Children born in Australia between 1 January 2022 and 30 June 2023, before the grant of their parent’s New Zealand stream Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa, and where this visa was also granted between these dates, may retrospectively acquire Australian citizenship automatically by birth. Children who meet these circumstances can apply for evidence of citizenship.


For further information including your eligibility to apply to this visa pathway or to discuss the best option that suits your circumstance, please email to arrange an online consultation.

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