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Generally, citizens of New Zealand can travel to Australia to visit or to live and work without applying for a visa (tourist or work visa). However, a New Zealand permanent resident will need to apply for a visa if they want to visit or move to Australia.

However, if, as an NZ Permanent Resident, you would like to completely relocate to Australia, you will need to apply for permanent residency. Failure to apply for permanent residency will mean you won’t be able to access certain perks of living in Australia.

Moving to Australia from New Zealand: What You Need to Know

To move to Australia from New Zealand without any hiccups, there are some important things you need to be aware of.

To start with, you will require a valid New Zealand passport. If your New Zealand passport has expired, you can have it conveniently renewed online. Children under the age of 16, including babies, need to have a passport of their own.

There are various visa types you can apply for if you intend on relocating to Australia from New Zealand. Please bear in mind that Australian visa rules regarding New Zealanders were modified on 26th February, 2001, so, you need to familiarise yourself with the new rules to avoid any visa application complications.

Individuals with untreated TB or a criminal conviction need to apply to the Australia High Commission for permission to enter Australia.

New Zealand permanent residents do not qualify for a Special Category Visa. Permanent residents who want to relocate to Australia to live and work will need to apply for an appropriate visa.

Ensure you have all the necessary documents and anything else important before travelling to Australia, or else, you may find yourself paying even more to go back home. Once in Australia, you may not be able to leave until you have settled any and all unpaid fines you may have accrued on the way.

If receiving work and income benefits, it’s required to inform the appropriate bodies of your travel plans before leaving New Zealand. If not, you could lose your benefits the day after you leave.

Those paying child support will need to contact IRD before leaving the country.

If receiving Veteran’s Pension or NZ Super, you can travel anywhere overseas with all or some of your gross payment. However, you need to apply for this before leaving the country.  

You may also be required to file a tax return (IR3). This should cover the time period of your travel. You may also be required to file a tax return later to cover any income earned while overseas or from a New Zealand source while you were overseas.

New Zealand Permanent Resident Wanting to Move to Australia

If moving as a New Zealand citizen to Australia, permanent residency status will not be automatically granted to you. Instead, you will be provided a special category visa that allows you to live in Australia for as long as you desire, as well as work and study.

If you want permanent residency and all the perks that come with it, you will need to apply for it. If living in Australia prior to 26th of February 2001, it’s possible that you are already a permanent resident. But, if you landed in Australia after that date, you will likely need to apply for permanent residency. As a New Zealand special category visa holder, you can apply under a new pathway if you were in Australia before 19th of February 2016.

Why New Zealand Permanent Residents Would Apply for Permanent Residency in Australia

There are many perks that come with being granted permanent residency in Australia instead of a regular visa. For instance, without permanent residency, you will not be able to:

  • Sponsor members of your family who’d like to apply for permanent residency.
  • Apply for sickness or unemployment benefits. You can only start receiving these benefits after 2 years of being an Australian permanent resident.
  • Attain Australian citizenship.

Without Australian citizenship, you won’t be able to:

  • Vote
  • Work for long time in the Australian public sector.
  • Join the Australian military.

Australian Permanent Residency for New Zealand Citizens

Whether or not you arrived in Australia before 26th of February 2001 will greatly determine if you, as a New Zealand citizen, are eligible for Australian citizenship.

The majority of New Zealand citizens, upon entry into Australia, are automatically granted SCV (Special Category Visa). This is a temporary visa that allows its holder to live and work in Australia. If you held an SCV and were in Australia as of 26th February 2001, you could be automatically eligible for Australian citizenship.

This is because the Australian government announced that New Zealand citizens that come into the country after 26th of February 2001 will henceforth be required to submit an application for a permanent visa. Without this, New Zealanders will not be able to get an Australian permanent visa, or be able to access specific social security payments, sponsor their family members for permanent residence, or attain citizenship in Australia.

A New Zealander that has Australian permanent residence likely has a current permanent visa. This permits the individual to live in the country indefinitely. Various types of Australian visas exist that can grant a New Zealander permanent residency for citizenship purposes.

Bear in mind that the Special Category visa (SCV) can allow you, as a New Zealander, to enter Australia and stay, as well as work. But it is nonetheless no more than a temporary visa.

Australia Citizenship Changes that Affect New Zealand Permanent Residents

Eligible New Zealanders can still access a special pathway to citizenship to live and work in Australia. However, there have been Australian citizenship changes which affect New Zealanders as of February 2016.

The changes mean that, as of February 2016, New Zealanders applying for Australian citizenship will need to have held a minimum of four years’ permanent residency. This is unlike the previous provision which required only one year of permanent residency.

These rules apply strictly to New Zealanders who arrived in Australia after February 2016, not on or before.

Henceforth, the specific rules for New Zealanders applying for Australian citizenship are:

  • You must be a permanent resident, or
  • You must have been present in Australia on a SCV as of 26th of February, 2001. If out of the country on 26th of February, you can still qualify if you had spent a total of 12 months in Australia on an SCV two years prior 26th of February, 2001. Or
  • You must possess a Centrelink certificate that was issued before 26th February 2004. The certificate must state that you resided in Australia at a particular date.

Two categories of eligibility exist:

  • Form 1300t Australian citizenship – This offers general eligibility to applicants that are 18 years and above but under 60.
  • Form 1290 Australian citizenship – This covers applicants who are under 18 years of age, or 60 years and above, or special circumstance applicants.

NZ Permanent Residence and Work in Australia

If you are a New Zealand permanent resident who’d like to live and work in Australia, you need to consider the following to have a smooth transition.

Getting an Australian Bank Account

There are lots of major banks that make opening an Australian bank account easy via their online services. Remember that you will need to present valid ID at a branch of the bank in Australia before you can make any withdrawals.

By opening an Australian bank account online before leaving New Zealand, you can avoid having to carry traveller’s cheques or excess physical cash. This also enables you to convert your New Zealand currency to Australian dollars with ease.

If you choose to open your bank account in Australia, you will usually need to present valid proof of identity at the Australian bank of your choice. All paper documents presented must show the exact same name of the applicant in the exact same format.

Health Care in Australia

As a New Zealander residing in Australia, you will be entitled to subsidised health care. This is available under New Zealand and Australia’s reciprocal health care agreement. Medicare will begin to cover you from the moment you enter Australia for the following:

  • Prescription medicines at a lower price
  • Necessary medical care in a public hospital as a public patient

Studying in Australia

As a New Zealander living in Australia, you will not need a student visa to study at Australian tertiary institutions. You will also have access to:

  • Subsidised primary and secondary school education
  • Instead of paying international student fees for tertiary education, you will be eligible to pay domestic student fees
  • But you may not be eligible for study allowances or Australian student loans

Working in Australia

As a Kiwi, you can get a job in Australia and start working soon as you arrive. You can even apply for and get a job before you arrive. You can find out more about needed and recognised qualifications in Australia before making a decision.

Paying Tax

If you are going to live in Australia, you need to know the following about their tax system:

  • Unlike New Zealand’s Inland Revenue Department (IRD) number, the Australians have a Tax File Number (TFN) which will be provided by the ATO (Australia Taxation Office). You need to get a TFN if you intend on living and working in Australia.
  • After you arrive in Australia, you can apply for a TFN online.
  • You can discover more about the latest individual income tax rates here.
  • To verify if you are liable to pay tax in New Zealand or Australia, check with the IRD.

Buying Real Estate in Australia - A Guide for NZ Permanent Residents

As a New Zealand permanent resident, you can easily purchase real estate in Australia. The rules for New Zealand permanent residents looking to buy Australian property are more relaxed than for residents of other countries.

The rules that apply to Australian citizens will be the same that apply to you. As a permanent resident, you can choose between purchasing an existing property or a new dwelling. You can also acquire more than one property as your place of residence or for investment purposes.

You can also access mortgage loans in Australia. Mortgage lending policies that apply to permanent residents are same as those for Australian citizens. You can take a loan that is equal to 95% of the property’s value.    

New Zealand permanent residents can also take advantage of FHOG (First Home Owners Grant) and similar benefits. Also, if you are a New Zealand permanent resident, you can borrow more funds than other nationalities. Depending on location of the property, you may also be exempt from paying Foreign Citizen Stamp Duty.

Moving to Australia Checklist

To ensure a smooth transition from New Zealand to Australia, use the following checklist to verify that all you need is in place.

  • Make sure your passports, visas and other travel documents are in order.
  • Contact the Post Office for redirection of mail.
  • Get in touch with your doctor, dentist, and schools for your records to be sent to you
  • Talk to your bank and credit card company about transferring your funds or closing your account.
  • Notify the Department of Inland Revenue (IRD), local council, your solicitors, the electoral registrar, friends or family, and the police department (if you have a firearms licence) of your move.
  • Ensure to cut off the telephone, water services, gas and electricity, and all other services you will no longer be around for.
  • Transfer prescriptions and ensure you have sufficient prescription medications on hand.
  • If needed, take pets to the vet for immunisation.
  • Inoculations for yourself and family.
  • Confirm your removal date and other aspects of your move with Ausmove.

It’s best not to travel without a little cash in your pocket, just in case. Also, be sure to inform your bank of your relocation and apply for an Australian bank account in advance.

It pays to apply for a Medicare card before arriving in Australia as hospital bills can be quite expensive down under. Also apply for a Tax file number (TFN) as you may not be able to get paid in Australia without one.

Finding a Removals Company to Help with Your Move to Australia

Having the right removal company working with you during your move from New Zealand to Australia can make the entire process easier and less stressful. To find the perfect moving company, be sure to ask the following questions:

  • How will the cost of the move be calculated? This is to get an accurate idea of how much the move will cost you.
  • Will the removal company carry out an in-house survey? Without this, you and the mover will not be able to get an accurate idea of what to expect during the move. The survey will help with effective planning of logistics and more.
  • Is the international removal company certified? A removal company that is not accredited and licenced to carry out their business may not be able to deliver services according to industry standards. Ensure you are getting the best service possible by verifying the removal company’s qualifications. The Australian International Movers Association (AIMA) and Australian Furniture Removers Association (AFRA) are bodies your mover should be a part of, as this is a solid indicator of the company’s reliability
  • Do you offer a door-to-door service? Door-to-door service means your possessions will be carried by the movers from your home in New Zealand to your Australian destination’s doorstep. Ausmove delivers this service as well as Door to Port service and Port to Door service, depending on your preference.
  • Who will handle my things overseas? We have employees who will monitor the entire process of the shipment of your property from your New Zealand address to your final Australia destination.
  • Who will pack my things? You may prefer to pack your things yourself. But if you don’t, the moving company should be able to help. At Ausmove, we can help carefully package and box your fragile and other items securely for a safe trip from Point A to Point B. With our years of expertise in all kinds of moves, rest assured your possessions are in safe, competent hands with our experts.
  • Will my possessions be insured? As a reputable removal company, we offer comprehensive insurance to cover your move and possessions. This is to protect your possessions while in transit and are covered for loss or damage.
  • Will the removal company help with customs? To minimise the stress of customs procedures that come with international moves, your removal company should be willing and able to take care of customs matters and ensure your luggage reaches you safely at your destination.

Be sure to check the credentials of the moving company before signing up for their services. You can also check out online reviews to see how effectively the company has helped others move to Australia in the past.

Why Choose Ausmove?

At Ausmove, we are specialists in safely and efficiently transporting personal effects and household goods to any point in Australia from New Zealand. No matter where it is you are headed to in Australia, we can meet you there with your possessions safe and intact. We take care of all shipping matters, including customs and quarantine procedures.

Over the years, our highly-trained team has helped many individuals and families move to Australia from New Zealand with ease. We have been doing this for more than two decades and are recognised as one of the most reliable movers you can work with, regardless of the size or complexity of your move.

We can advise or help relocate furniture, your car, and even your household pets. Stress-free, efficient moving and shipping services from door to door are what we stand for!

Contact us any time for a free quote via our online form.

FAQs

Do I need a visa as an NZ permanent resident moving to Australia?

Generally, citizens of New Zealand can travel to Australia for visits or to live and work without applying for a visa. However, a New Zealand permanent resident will need to apply for a visa if they want to visit Australia or move there. New Zealand permanent residents do not qualify for a Special Category Visa.

Can an NZ permanent resident buy a house in Australia?

As a New Zealand permanent resident, you can easily purchase and acquire real estate in Australia. The rules that apply to Australian citizens will be the same that apply to you. As a permanent resident, you can choose to purchase an existing property or a new dwelling.

What if I want to become an Australian citizen?

Eligible New Zealanders can still access a special pathway to citizenship to live and work in Australia. But there have been Australian citizenship changes which affect New Zealanders as of February 2016.

The changes state that, as of February 2016, New Zealanders applying for Australian citizenship will need to have held a minimum of four years’ permanent residency. This is unlike the previous provision which required only one year of permanent residency.

To gain Australian citizenship you must:

  • be a permanent resident, or
  • have been present in Australia on a SCV as of 26th of February 2001. If out of the country on 26th of February, you can still qualify if you spent a total of 12 months in Australia on an SCV two years prior 26th of February 2001. Or
  • possess a Centrelink certificate that was issued before 26th February 2004. The certificate must state that you resided in Australia at a particular date.

What are the most important things to know about the Australian social security system?

Those claiming Australian pension, especially those applying under the New Zealand Agreement, are required to satisfy other requirements. Example of these requirements include an income and assets test. An income test will be applied and this will be followed by an asset test. Whichever test produces a lower rate will be used.

How does moving between Australia and New Zealand affect my pension?

If receiving Veteran’s Pension or NZ Super, you can travel anywhere overseas with all or some of your gross payment. But you need to apply for this before leaving New Zealand.  

Will I pay tax to Australia or to New Zealand?

To verify if you are liable to pay tax in New Zealand or Australia, check with New Zealand’s Inland Revenue Department (IRD).

Get in touch with Ausmove today to begin your relocation to Australia in the easiest and most stress-free way possible.

Our Fixed Price Guarantee:

Our Fixed Price Guarantee:

Unlike many other movers, we will provide you with a fixed quote based on your specific list of items.

Should you wish to add or remove any items, we will adjust our fixed quote accordingly. Hence, no nasty surprises at the end of the move process.

Our Service Promise:

Our Service Promise:

  • We will listen to your individual needs and requirements.
  • We will provide a prompt, competitive quote with in one working day.
  • We will provide you with the highest level of service.
Free In-Home Consultation:

Free In-Home Consultation:

If you are moving the majority of your household items, one of our experienced moving consultants will visit your home to establish your specific packing requirements and any unique moving needs.

Let Ausmove make your move to Australia easy and stress-free.

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