From 1 July 2023, eligible New Zealand citizens living in Australia who don’t have a visa for permanent residency can apply for Australian citizenship. This means that if you’ve been living in Australia for four years or more, including 12 months as a permanent resident, you will be able to apply directly for Australian citizenship. These changes apply to New Zealand citizens with a Special Category (subclass 444) visa (SCV) who arrived in Australia after 26 February 2001. Protected SCV holders are already eligible to apply directly for Australian citizenship. The new rules also apply to the children of New Zealanders with an SCV, if they were born in Australia on or after 1 July 2022. From 1 July 2023, these children can apply for evidence of citizenship. Additionally, the changes apply to New Zealand citizens who are overseas but held an SCV immediately before last leaving Australia. Essentially, from 1 July 2023: All New Zealand citizens holding an SCV will be considered permanent residents for citizenship purposes. New Zealand citizens granted an SCV before 1 July 2022 will have their period of permanent residence for citizenship purposes backdated to 1 July 2022. New Zealand citizens granted an SCV for the first time on or after 1 July 2022 will be considered permanent residents for citizenship purposes from the date of their SCV grant. Need help with your Visa? The Ayers Group is committed to understanding the latest legislation surrounding visas, migration and citizenship. Our experts in migration can advise you on eligibility for citizenship and assist you with the process. Give us a call today.