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A Fast Track to Australian Citizenship Announced for Kiwis

Written By Dion Hawkins
Thu, Feb 18, 2016
Dion Hawkins

A historic agreement has been reached between the Governments of Australia and New Zealand which will allow Kiwis that have been living and working in Australia for a minimum of 5 years to become Australian permanent residents.

To be eligible for the new pathway, NZ citizens will need to show evidence of having lived in Australia for the period after 26 February 2001, but before the date of the announcement, 19 February 2016.

It is expected that New Zealanders will also need to show that they have earnt at least the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) of $53,900 per annum during their time spent in Australia in order to qualify for the direct pathway.

The arrangement will become an eligible pathway from 1 July 2017. The new pathway will not grant automatic citizenship. Eligible NZ citizens will still need to meet the general criteria for applying for citizenship, such as residing in Australia for 4 years and showing evidence of being a permanent resident for a minimum of 1 year before making the application.

The agreement is thought to be largely politically motivated, and an effort to resolve tensions between the two governments, caused by a significant number of New Zealanders that have been deported from Australia on character grounds, even in instances where the NZ citizens have resided in Australia for a majority of their life.

This also follows in the wake of a recent trend, showing that in the first time in 25 years, the net movement of persons migrating from Australia to New Zealand is greater than in the other direction.

If you would like to know more about how these changes might effect you and your citizenship options, please contact a TSS migration agent on (03) 9421 1020.

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