New Zealand Citizens in Australia

For New Zealand Citizens in Australia unless they have applied for a separate visa, they will be the holder of a Special Category Visa (SCV) Subclass 444.  While this visa allows the holder to remain in Australia, it is not a permanent residency class of visa.  The visa options available to New Zealanders does depend on how long and when they started residing in Australia as a New Zealand Citizen.  We have successfully assisted many Kiwis attain permanent residency and ultimately Australia citizenship, and outline the following brief rundown of the options available:

Eligible New Zealand Citizen

This is the most straightforward and in many cases the best option if available.  To be classed as an eligible New Zealand Citizen, you need to have been present in Australia as a NZ citizen as the holder of a subclass 444 visa on 26 February 2001.  If not in Australia exactly on the date 26 February 2001, one can still be an eligible NZ Citizen if they were present for at least 1 year in the 2 years immediately prior to this date.

Eligible New Zealand Citizens have a direct pathway to apply for Australian Citizenship and do not need to attain a permanent visa.

Resident Return Visa (RRV)

New Zealand Citizens in Australia prior to 1 September 1994 were at the time ‘exempt non-citizens’.  Effectively a Kiwi in Australia prior to this date would have been a permanent resident.  If this can be established, there are some additional elements to attain an RRV including demonstration of compelling reasons for absence and substantial ties of benefit to Australia.  An RRV is a permanent class of visa and once attained, the holder can work toward the period of permanent residency required for Citizenship.

Skilled Independent Subclass 189 (New Zealand Stream)

On 1 July 2017, the New Zealand Stream of subclass 189 Skilled Independent Visa was introduced.  To qualify for this visa applicants will need:

If successful the subclass 189 is a permanent class of visa.

Permanent Employer Sponsorship

If none of the above options are available, New Zealand Citizens in Australia can seek permanent residence through any of the remaining visa programs.  For Permanent Employer Sponsorship, New Zealanders have access to concessions on the criteria where they have worked in a skilled occupation for the same employer for at least 2 years and the employer is willing to proceed through nomination application.

There are other options which may be available depending on your circumstances.  As stated we have had great success assisting New Zealand Citizens in Australia to attain permanent residence and citizenship. Please contact us if you need consultation and assistance with your application.

If you believe you qualify for one of the above visas and want some further information and assistance, please contact us via our online enquiry form.


“We were so relieved to find someone who not only knew what they were doing but who also were genuinely interested in our plight to get a visa for my partner to be able to stay in Australia.”

– John & Melinda Ayiku Employer Nomination Scheme

“We have tried a number of migration agent companies in Australia within the last few years, and Glenn is a breath of fresh air. We’ve had problems with promises made by other agents before, but GW Migration are very open, honest and trustworthy. Glenn’s experience was clear to see right from the initial enquiry and there is no way we would every consider choosing a different agent ever again – Glenn and GW Migration come highly recommended from the team at Bean Media Group”

– Bean Media Group Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS)
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We highly recommend GW Migration to everybody. Glenn helped us in our application throughout the whole process; always being in touch ,suggesting us, providing guidelines, encouraging us and always being positive in a very professional manner. We are glad that we choose GW Migrations for us.And its affordable not like other money making agencies.We are very satisfied with the results. Thank You so much GW Migrations and team.

– Rajju Adhikari Partner - Spouse Visa

Thank you SO much Glen and Toni, we appreciate your hard work and support! Highly recommended.

- Katherine Fraser Partner - Spouse Visa

Glenn and his assistant Liz were very professional and helpful; they answered all of my questions quickly and provided great advice. Very happy with their services and would recommend them to anyone applying for any visa in Australia as the process can feel very overwhelming and intimidating.

- Jessica Engle Partner - Spouse Visa

My son and I were granted our Regional Sponsored Migration Visas last week and would like to take this opportunity to express our sincerest gratitude for all the guidance and hard work that Glenn put in to our not so straight forward case. Throughout the whole process which at many times can seem so perplexing and intimidating Glenn provided us with sound and concise advise and helped to keep the morale up. The amount of red tape and documentation necessary for this process can seem like a logistical nightmare at times but step by step he got us through it and to the finishing line in the end!

The fact that we were granted our visas will have life-long repercussions for both my son and I and therefore I recommend to anyone out there about to embark on this process to use a reputable and trustworthy immigration agency, such as GW Migration. We have been absolutely elated since hearing the news last week and could not have done it without them.

- Hayley van Tonder Skilled (work) Visas

My wife and i chose Glenn Wellburn because we felt he was honest and very professional in his work.Prior to coming to him we met with several migration officers who did not seem clear about our case nor did we feel we could trust our future to them.

I would recommend Glenn to anyone seeking professional advice on matters of migration to Australia. He is solid in his preparation of documentation and is caring in his approach.

Thanks again Glenn!

- Anjali and Greg Partner - Spouse Visa

After 2 years of trying to organize papers to apply for permanent residency myself, I came to see Glenn to see if he could help. After about 3 weeks, I received notification that my application for a Returned Residents Visa had been approved. They were professional in all that they did and because of their help, mine and my family’s future is now secure and looks a lot more promising.

- Jerome de Thierry Skilled (work) Visas

We can arrange an initial consultation to discuss the Australian Visa Application process in detail. Alternatively you can complete our Australian Visa online enquiry: