It calls itself The Lucky Country and it’s got plenty to back up the name. Thousands of miles of golden beaches, great weather, cities bustling with diverse cultures, a high standard of living and incomes that, on average, exceed those in New Zealand by over 30%.

Love Thy Neighbour

Our closest neighbour has an undeniable attraction for New Zealanders. Last year more than 35,000 Kiwis moved to Australia permanently looking for a better life – given the number who never return, it’s not too much to suppose that many of them find it.

Estimates put the total number of New Zealanders living in the land of Oz at around half a million – that’s 12% of New Zealand’s entire population!

The New Zealand Advantage

Around the world hundreds of thousands of people dream of immigrating to Australia, but only a fraction of them will ever get anywhere near those sandy shores. Australia’s traditionally stringent immigration policies make it exceedingly difficult for average citizens of other countries to gain residency there.

Citizens of New Zealand, though, have it easy. So much so that through the 1990s New Zealand came to be known internationally as Australia’s backdoor.

The Special Category Visa

New Zealand citizens, in most cases, are able to live permanently and work in Australia by simply filling out an incoming passenger card and entering Australia on a New Zealand passport.

The way it works formally is that upon entry to Australia a visa called a Special Category Visa (SCV) is granted to all holders of New Zealand passports. This happens automatically – you don’t have to apply for it. Your passport is simply stamped and the SCV is electronically registered for you. It’s that easy.

In some circumstances, though, even if you hold a New Zealand passport you may not be eligible for a SCV. Generally you must:

  • Be a New Zealand citizen.
  • Be of good character and meet health requirements.
  • Not have been deported or excluded from any country.

New Zealanders in Australia should note that the SCV is a temporary visa and can be revoked if they commit a crime or otherwise do not remain of good character.

As the SCV is a temporary visa, a new one is issued each time you enter Australia (though it’s likely you’ll be completely unaware of the process).

Limitations of the SCV

Though the SCV allows New Zealand citizens to work in Australia and remain there indefinitely, it does not automatically give NZ citizens access to certain benefits and rights. These include:

  • Unemployment benefit.
  • Sickness benefit.
  • First-home owners subsidy.
  • The right to apply for Australian citizenship.
  • The right to sponsor family members who are applying for Australian permanent residency.

In order to obtain these benefits and rights you’ll need to actively apply for, and be granted, permanent residency in Australia. Once permanent residency has been granted there is a two year stand-down period before unemployment or sickness benefits can be claimed.

For more information on applying for permanent residency in Australia visit the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website.

Choosing a moving company

There is plenty of choices in New Zealand when it comes to find a reliable and affordable moving company. Big groups like Transworld International Removals are usually best because of their experience and resources, and because they are present in all the main New Zealand regions.

Moving to Australia – Visas for New Zealand Citizens, 4.0 out of 5 based on 2 ratings

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