Special Category Visas for Kiwis

Special Category Visas for Kiwis

Arrival Dates in Australia

Arrived in Australia before 1994

Good news! If you arrived in Australia prior to 1 September 1994, then you were automatically given Permanent Residence in Australia.

This means that you can skip gaining a permanent resident visa and instead, apply directly for Australian citizenship.  Please skip to our applying for citizenship section.

Arrived Between 1994 and 2001 – Protected

Good news! If you arrived in Australia before 26 February 2001, then the following applies:

  • were in Australia on 26 February 2001 as SCV holders
  • were outside Australia on 26 February 2001, but were in Australia as an SCV holder for a total of 12 months in the two years prior to that date, and subsequently returned to Australia
  • have a certificate issued under the Social Security Act 1991 stating that they were residing in Australia on a particular date. These certificates are no longer issued. These are named Certificate of Residence.

This means that you can skip gaining a Permanent Resident Visa and apply directly for Australian Citizenship.  Please skip to our applying for citizenship section.

Arrived After 2001 – Not Protected

If you arrived in Australia after 26 February 2001, you would have a Special Category Visa which is a temporary visa not a permanent residence visa.


To gain citizenship – even if you’ve lived in Australia for years – you will need to apply and be granted a Permanent Resident Visa and then apply for Australian Citizenship.

The process of getting a Permanent Resident Visa is lengthy and costly, but remember it is worth it in the long run to become an Australian Citizen, plus you can still hold onto your citizenship in New Zealand.

Plus, it is also good to remember that we’re the only people group that move, live, work and study in Australia without a visa that we have already applied for.

  1. Michele 7 years ago

    Thanks heaps for this info! ROLL ON 1 JULY2017!

  2. Judith 6 years ago

    “…but are able to prove you resided in Australia for at least 12 months between February 1999 and February 2000…” Shouldn’t that be between 26 February 1999 and 25 February 2001 inclusive? New Zealand citizens who were in Australia on 26 February 2001 are protected SCV holders. What about those who settled in Australia during the period 27 February 2001 to 25 May 2001 inclusive and who were assessed as being protected SCV holders before 26 February 2004?

  3. Tracey Cappetti 5 years ago

    I came here in 1988 with my family on my mother’s passport me and my two siblings were on the passport I haven’t left the county and went to school here and worked since 1991 after finishing school I am married to an Australian for 23 years and now trouble starts I need a proda number to work the I’d required I struggled to present New Zealand passport medicare card and 18 plus card they are asking for me to verfifed my New Zealand passport I haven’t left the country I need to get a proda number asap can anyone point me in the right direction

  4. CSK Consulting 5 years ago

    Before applying the AUS citizenship, you should consider any possible effect on your AUS tax obligations.


  5. Donz 5 years ago

    I am in the midst of getting my background checked for employment – i have been asked to obtain a visa grant notice (im on special category visa subclass 444). How do i go about getting this? Is there an online application for this?

  6. Belinda Kaye 4 years ago

    I was living in Australia from 1995 to March 2002. I then lived back in NZ for about 15 years. I have heard that if you were in Australia on the 26th Feb 2001 you are on a protected SCV. Is this the case?

  7. Lola Voice 4 years ago

    I have been asked by my employer to fill in an Employer Visa Information form for the process of providing their f/t staff with the Job keeper assistance payment. I am a SUV ty444 and arrived here in Australia 2002. What is also required on this application are my Visa grant and expiry dates which I wouldn’t have a clue as to where to find them. Is there anyone out there that can point me in the right direction. I have until the 10th April to submit my details.

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