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Over 175,000 New Zealanders who arrived in Australia after February 2001 are in immigration limbo. Now the only way a Kiwi can get citizenship is by first being a permanent resident, with a Permanent Resident Visa. New Zealanders are not required to hold a permanent resident visa to live in Australia permanently so upon arrival they receive a Special Category Visa which grants them the right to stay permanently, work, send the kids to school etc. But after awhile if the kiwi wants to vote or be eligible for any kind of pension or other benefit they need to become citizens. When they apply for citizenship the first question on the form is Date of Permanent Residency... but that means when did you acquire a Permanent Residency Visa which they haven't because there is no need for one and thus the Catch 22... they are not eligible. Even children of New Zealanders that are born in Australia are not automatically citizens.

Kiwis in this predicament are offered the option to apply for Permanent Residency like anyone from any other country which means meeting the requirements under the points system. The points system requires applicants to achieve 110 points on a scale that awards points for education, profession, age and finances. Anyone over 45 is almost immediately eliminated; those without university education in a desired profession (IT or doctor) will not achieve enough points to qualify.

The bottom line is the average kiwi family that moves across the ditch and settles, whether they are self employed or working for a company doesn't meet the points criteria for a Permanent Residency Visa. They pay the same taxes, they might employ others, but they are not entitled to the same rights as other permanent residents.

New Zealand Citizens living in Australia are experiencing discrimination in areas such as employment, education, training, student loans, social security, social services, and access to Australian citizenship as a result of the amendments to the Social Security Act.

As a result of these changes, many people who live, work, pay taxes, and raise families in Australia are now never able to enjoy equal rights simply because they come from New Zealand. In short, the 2001 amendments have made an underclass out of New Zealanders. We are asking for a fair go by being recognised as residents under the Social Security Act and as permanent residents under the Australian Citizenship and Migration acts
 
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