Due to present immigration rules, the Australian Government estimates that approximately 60% of the 300,000 New Zealanders, who arrived in Australia after 26 February 2001, are ineligible to apply for an Australian
Permanent Residency Visa.
The warning below has been issued recently, to all New Zealand Passport holders considering migrating permanently to Australia, by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
"Under Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangements (TTTA) announced by the Australian and New Zealand Prime Ministers in 1973, Australian and New Zealander citizens who present no health or character concerns can visit, live and work in either country indefinitely and without restrictions - a benefit Australia has not conferred on any other nation. The Special Category Visa (SCV) under which New Zealanders can enter and remain indefinitely in Australia is, however, a temporary visa, and has been since its introduction on 1 September 1994. The SCV is intended to facilitate trans-Tasman travel and labour mobility and is not designed for permanent migration. There are numerous other visa types available for those who wish to migrate to Australia permanently.
TTTA is not a binding bilateral treaty but operates as a string of procedures in the immigration policies of both countries. It is linked to the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations (CER) Trade Agreement, however, through an endorsement in the preamble of the objective of freedom of travel within the free-trade area, for both labour market and social reasons.
On 26 February 2001, the New Zealand and Australian Governments agreed changes to social security arrangements between Australia and New Zealand. Under these arrangements, New Zealand citizens who arrived after this date with the intention of staying permanently must apply for permanent residence in order to gain full access to Australian social security benefits and citizenship. For all migrants, a two-year waiting period applies for most social security benefits from the date permanent residence is granted. New Zealanders who arrived after February 2001 under a SCV do, however, have access to a range of family assistance payments, Medicare, the pharmaceutical benefits scheme, some concession cards, job network services and public education. This is a wider range of entitlements than is available to citizens from any other country residing in Australia on a temporary visa.
On 11 June 2013 the Australian Government announced that New Zealanders who grow up in Australia will become eligible for the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) for tertiary education or vocational training from 1 January 2015. New Zealanders with Special Category Visas will be eligible for HELP if they first entered Australia as a dependent minor aged under 18 years at least 10 years before applying; have been resident in Australia for 80 per cent of the last 10 years; and have been resident in Australia for 18 months of the last two years at the time of application. For more information, visit the Study Assist website.
Australian citizens living in New Zealand have the same social security entitlements as New Zealand citizens, provided waiting periods (generally around two years) have expired. Australians have immediate access to publicly funded health and disability services, however, if they can demonstrate an intention to live in New Zealand for two or more years. Budgetary costs of some benefits are shared between the two Governments, in proportion to the time an individual spends in each country.
New Zealand citizens considering living in Australia either long-term or permanently are encouraged to apply for a permanent visa prior to moving to Australia, or as soon as they become eligible when in Australia. A range of visa options are available under the Family and Skills streams by following the links available on the Department of Immigration and Citizenship website. "
Further information on this matter can also be found at http://www.ozkiwi2001.org/