As a New Zealand citizen your eligibility for Australian citizenship depends on whether you arrived in Australia before or after 26 February 2001.
On arrival in Australia, most New Zealanders are automatically granted a Special Category Visa (SCV). This visa allows the holder to remain and work in Australian indefinitely. Up to 26 February 2001 the holders of SCVs were eligible to apply for citizenship.
On 26 February 2001, the Australian Government announced that New Zealand citizens are required to apply for and be granted permanent residence in Australia if they wish to access certain social security payments, obtain Australian citizenship or sponsor their family members for permanent residence.
What is permanent residence?
Having permanent residence means you have a current visa that permits you to live in Australia indefinitely. There are many different type of visas that provide permanent residency for citizenship purposes. You can use the Visa Wizard to find a visa of this type.
If you are a permanent resident or hold a SCV, and your children were born here, they may already be Australian citizens.
You do not need to apply for citizenship for your children if they were:
- born in Australia on or after 27 February 2001 and you held an Australian permanent resident visa or were present in Australia on 26 February 2001 as the holder of a Special Category visa, or
- born in Australia between 1 September 1994 and 26 February 2001 and you held a permanent visa or a Special Category visa, or
- born in Australia between 26 January 1949 and 19 August 1986 unless you or your spouse were entitled to diplomatic privileges, or
- born in Australia and reached 10 years of age having lived in Australia most of their life.
To obtain official notification of the Australian citizenship status of yourself or your children, you apply for proof of your citizenship.
Children under 16 years of age may be included in the citizenship application of their responsible parent.
Your Australian citizenship options
To apply for Australian citizenship you must:
- be a permanent resident, or
- have been in Australia on 26 February 2001 on a SCV, or if absent on that day have spent a period/periods totalling 12 months in Australia on an SCV in the two years immediately before 26 February 2001, or
- have a Centrelink certificate issued prior to 26 February 2004 stating that you were residing in Australia at a particular date.
There are two categories of eligibility:
- Form 1300t Australian citizenship - General eligibility for applicants aged 18 years and over and under 60 years of age.
- Form 1290 Australian citizenship – Other situations for applicants aged under 18 years, applicants aged 60 years or over, or applicants in special circumstances.
Find out how to apply for Australian citizenship and apply online.
You can also apply on a paper application form.