Both Australia and New Zealand are closely linked together in their history. Both were British colonies, neighbors in the South Pacific region, and they both have distinct indigenous cultures present in their territories. So for New Zealand citizens looking for another country to live in, Australia is usually the first thing that pops into our minds. That was, after all, what happened to me.
Do you want to be a Kiwi in Australia? Here are some things you may want to know:
Residency vs. Citizenship
Some people would argue that residency and citizenship are the same things, but they are not. Permanent residents are those people granted permission to live in a certain country for an indefinite amount of time. Residents, however, do not have certain rights and privileges like voting and receiving the country’s passport. Citizens, on the other hand, are either born or naturalized and enjoy a whole lot of benefits in the country of which they are a citizen.
Expat Kiwis and other New Zealanders in Australia actually can live in Sydney and other Australian areas just by being New Zealand citizens. Having a New Zealand passport electronically assigns you a Special Category Visa (SCV), which entitles you the right to live in Australia for as long as you want. This, however, does not apply to NZ permanent residents.
Passports, Visas, and Other Documentary Requirements
For one, Kiwis need a valid passport for them to be able to fly to Australia. That is already a given. It is a protocol that passports are not to expire six months or below by the travel date. Current New Zealand citizens aged 16 and older can have their passports renewed online.
As for the visa, there are several kinds of visas applicable for those planning to live and work in Australia. The SCV was already mentioned above. But if you want to enjoy unemployment and sickness benefits in the future or you want to sponsor family members so they can move to Australia as well, they may have to apply for a permanent residency visa as I did.
For those that have had criminal convictions in the past, they need to obtain special permission from the Australian High Commission to enter the Land Down Under.
Finances And Other Payments
The first thing that you have to remember when it comes to moving somewhere else is that you will not be able to leave the country if you have unpaid fines.
Getting a mortgage in Australia is almost the same as how it is in New Zealand. Financial institutions in Australia have the power to check your financial standing with banks and credit establishments before they approve or deny an application so you may want to ensure that you have a decent financial record before you decide to leave NZ.
If you are planning to become one of the many New Zealanders in Australia, I hope that the article above will be able to help you in your quest to live and work in our big neighbor.
Bobinoz. (11/29/2013). “New Zealanders in Australia: What’s the Problem?” Retrieved from http://www.bobinoz.com/blog/13793/new-zealanders-in-australia-whats-the-problem/
Moving to Australia FAQ. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://movetoaustralia.net/frequently-asked-questions/
Moving to Australia. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.govt.nz/browse/leaving-nz/move-and-live-in-australia/moving-to-australia/