If you’ve been settled in Australia for over four years, you may be eligible to apply for Australian citizenship now or in the very near future.
The first thing you need to do is find out when you can apply.
It used to be the case that you needed to be an Australian permanent resident before applying for citizenship, but a new fast-track pathway was recently announced.
New Zealanders who have been living in Australia for over four years can apply directly for citizenship from 1 July 2023. Permanent residency is no longer required first.
If you settled in Australia before 26 February 2001, you may already be eligible for Australian citizenship. If this is the case, you don’t need to wait until 1 July 2023 to apply.
Salary thresholds and date of arrival limitations which used to be in place no longer apply.
You may be eligible for Australian citizenship if:
- You’ve lived in Australia for four years or more on 1 July 2023
- You haven’t spent more than a year outside of Australia during the four years
- You haven’t spent more than 90 days outside of Australia in the year prior to lodging your citizenship application
- You pass the character test
A citizenship application has a number of steps, including application, testing and ceremony.
You are required to be onshore for all stages. If you depart Australia after lodging your citizenship application and do not appear to be committed to returning to live permanently in Australia, your citizenship application will be at risk.
Australian Citizenship has a range of benefits including:
- Unlimited travel in and out of Australia, once you hold an Australian passport
- Dual citizenship – keep your Kiwi passport too
- Voting rights
- Eligibility for a range of government jobs
- Deferral of university costs
- Overseas consular assistance from the Australian Government
- No more visas to think about
How does dual citizenship work?
- You won’t need to give up your New Zealand passport. Being a dual citizen, you’ll have the best of both worlds and can travel with either passport.
- Generally, when leaving and entering Australia, you should use your Aussie passport (less queuing too). If you’re travelling back home, you can take both with you and enter New Zealand using your Kiwi passport.
Citizenship application fee
Application fees depend on your age and circumstances.
The fee for adults is $490 ($300 if you are aged 60 or over). Children under 16 can apply free of charge at the same time as their parents.
If you’re using a Registered Migration Agent to manage your application, there will be a separate fee to pay for their professional management of your case.
Using a Registered Migration Agent is optional, but many people find that it takes the stress out of the process.
If you’re unsure whether you qualify, our friends at True Blue Migration Services can provide a free eligibility check, so that’s a great place to start.
Becoming an Australian citizen is the final step on your visa journey and one that’s definitely worth taking.
Split payment options available and may vary depending on the type of visa being applied for.
Disclaimer: The information displayed on these pages is intended to provide a general overview of some Australian visa types. It is not a substitute for tailored, professional advice relating to your own personal circumstances. There are dozens of Australian visa subclasses; we refer to only a narrow selection here. Migration policies and regulations change frequently. We are not responsible for any errors or omissions relating to the generic information supplied here. You should always seek up-to-date advice from a Registered Migration Agent or refer to the Department of Home Affairs website prior to lodging an application. For more information visit www.truebluemigration.com