Eligible New Zealand Citizens

The title 'Eligible New Zealand Citizen' is a definition and term used in Migration Law. It has a very specific meaning which at times can seem contradictory and confusing to most.


Bear with me as I try to explain what I mean!


Eligible New Zealand Citizens are:

  • The holders of the Special Category Visa, subclass TY444

  • Technically still temporary visa holders

  • Able to sponsor certain family members

  • Also known as a Protected Special Category Visa Holder

  • Entitled to apply directly for citizenship without the need to apply for a permanent visa first

  • Entitled to Centrelink payments

If Eligible New Zealand Citizens have children that are: 

  • Born in Australia, their children are Australian citizens at birth

  • Born in New Zealand or elsewhere, their children are ordinary Special Category Visa holders who are 'Non-protected'

Eligible New Zealand Citizens are NOT:

  • Permanent residents 

  • The reason Eligible New Zealand Citizens are not permanent residents is because they hold a temporary visa

  • So despite being treated like permanent residents they are not exactly the same as permanent residents because they do not hold a permanent visa

To be assessed as an Eligible New Zealand citizen one must be able to say 'Yes' to at least one of the criteria below:

  • Present in Australia on the 26th February 2001 as a New Zealand citizen

  • Present in Australia for a total of 365 days between 26th February 1999 and 26th February 2001

  • Arrived in Australia from the 27th February 2001 to 25th May 2001 and applied for or contacted Centrelink before the 26th February 2004. Most Kiwis would have received a 'Centrelink Letter' to confirm if this was the case. If a Kiwi no longer has this letter they may call International Services in Hobart to request another copy of this letter on 131 673.


If you are still grossly confused, don't worry, you're not alone!

Attached is a video I made to try to explain what it all means. Good luck!

Erina Morunga

MARN: 1797713


271 Flinders Street


SA 5000


17 Ormerod Street


SA 5271


Westfield Chermside

Level 2, 395 Hamilton Road


QLD 4032 


3/55 Pyrmont Bridge Road


NSW 2009





P.O. Box 910

Morphett Vale

SA 5162





Tel: +61 8 8322 3605

Mob: +61 433 485 556

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MARN: 1797713


Member of the Migration Institute of Australia: 17820


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As a registered migration agent, Māori living in Australia, and dual citizen of both New Zealand and Australia,

I acknowledge and pay my respects first and foremost, to the Traditional Owners both past and present, of this land.

© 2017 by Erina Morunga

Registered Migration Agent

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