Australian Citizenship Act has been amended by the legislative instrument, Australian Citizenship (Permanent Resident) Amendment Determination 2023 – LIN 23/024. This introduces significant changes in relation to the eligibility criteria for New Zealand (NZ) citizens who hold Subclass 444 Special Category Visas (SCV) to become Australian citizens. Under this amendment, NZ citizens will become eligible to apply for Australian citizenship from 1 July 2023
The amendment contains the retroacting of the normal 12-month permanent residency requirement to allow NZ citizens to meet the current eligibility criteria for Australian citizenship. In particular, NZ citizens are taken to have become permanent resident on:
- 1 July 2022 if SCV was granted before 1 July 2022
- Date of grant if SCV was granted after 1 July 2022
The changes will also apply to NZ citizens who:
- Are currently outside of Australia but have not been removed or deported from Australia; or
- Were holders of an SCV immediately before departing Australia; or
- Had SCVs granted on the basis of their status as an airline crew member or an airline positioning crew member.
Moreover, children born in Australia to parents holding SCVs during the relevant period will be deemed Australian citizens at birth.
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