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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Obviously more details to follow, but this is exciting news for between 60-100,000 Kiwis.

New Zealanders currently living in Australia will be eligible for Australian citizenship if working for at least five years and earning in excess of A$53000, pending usual health and security checks.

Kiwis will acquire permanent residency initially and then be eligible for citizenship one year down the line.

For myself I've been going down the onshore partner route with an eye to becoming a citizen, waiting in the application pile since June 2015. Hopefully I'll will be able to get a refund on that application fee before applying for the new option.
 

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More details on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website:

An additional pathway to permanent residence for ‘non-protected’ Special Category Visa (SCV) holders

I'm unable to share the link.
 

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An additional pathway to permanent residence for 'non-protected' Special Category Visa (SCV) holders

Options for permanent residen ce for 'non-protected' SCV holders

In acknowledgment of our special bilateral relationship, the Australian Government will provide an additional pathway to permanent residence, and therefore citizenship, for New Zealand Special Category visa (SCV) holders who arrived after 26 February 2001, who have lived in Australia for the last five years and shown a commitment and contribution to Australia.

This additional visa pathway will be available from 1 July 2017, for New Zealand citizens who arrived post 26 February 2001, but on or before, the date of the announcement, 19 February 2016.​
 
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The new pathway is a bit of a joke. Only about half of the non-protected SCV holders who were resident in Australia on Feb 19th 2016 will qualify to apply. There will still be 60-70,000 non-protected SCV holders who have no pathway to citizenship, as well as those NZ citizens who have arrived after Feb 19th 2016. The fact that non-protected SCV holders who have been living, working and paying taxes in this country for up to 15 years have to pay thousands of dollars to become permanent residents stinks. There are some lucky non-protected SCV holders who were in Australia at some time before Sept 1994 - these people should be eligible to apply for a Resident Return Visa (RRV), the fee for which is currently $360. I know of some NZ citizens who have been granted an RRV even though they only spent a matter of hours in Australia after clearing customs at some time pre-Sept 1994. Is there any chance you were in Australia at some time before Sept 1994?
 

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According to the information provided on the DIBP website, the primary applicant must meet the residence criteria and be able to demonstrate taxable income of at least $53,900 per year for each of the five years before they apply for PR via the proposed new pathway. A partner and/or dependent children added to the application do not need to meet the residence and income criteria, but there is an additional fee for each of them. Medicals and police checks are an extra cost.

Look up the information on the DIBP website - "An additional pathway to permanent residence for ‘non-protected’ Special Category Visa (SCV) holders."
 
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