Australia starts work on 'pathways' to residency and citizenship for Kiwis

By Kelvin McDonald
Photo / File

Kiwis living across 'the ditch' have received positive news this week with the Australian government announcing it intends creating "pathways" to residency and citizenship for them. 

"We don't want people to be temporary residents forever," Australian prime minister Anthony Albanese told media on Friday.

"What we'll do is work on pathways to citizenship with a timeline of Anzac Day 2023."

The initiative will provide Kiwis with greater security in Australia and end more than 20 years of inequality.

The changes "are about recognising the unique and enduring close ties between Australia and New Zealand," a spokesperson for Australian Home Affairs Minister Clare O'Neil told 1News.

As part of the process of change, the Australian government has closed new (subclass 189, skilled independent) visa applications by Kiwis for six months from 10 December.

"As flagged by Prime Minister Albanese in July, the Australian government is looking at how we can improve pathways to residency and citizenship for New Zealander(s) living in Australia.

"While this is underway, we will be streaming the existing applicants in the queue for the 189 visa and putting a pause on any further applications to avoid disappointment," O'Neil's spokesperson said.