New Zealand High Commission Canberra, Australia

Living in Australia

This section of the website provides information for New Zealanders living in Australia. Click on headings and links for more information:

Immigration status

It is crucial that New Zealanders choosing to live in Australia are aware of their immigration status and entitlements.

Most New Zealand citizens who enter Australia on a New Zealand passport do so under the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement. New Zealand citizens who enter Australia under this arrangement do not have to apply for a visa before travelling. They are granted a Special Category visa (subclass 444) (SCV) on arrival in Australia, subject to meeting certain health and character requirements. The SCV allows New Zealand citizens to remain indefinitely in Australia, but it is a temporary visa.

Those New Zealanders arriving after 26 February 2001 are not entitled to the full range of Centrelink Social Security payments including unemployment and sickness benefits

Click here for information on New Zealand citizens claiming payments in Australia.

Health entitlements

New Zealanders residing permanently or long-term in Australia may be eligible for some medical benefits under Medicare and free emergency treatment. We strongly recommend that New Zealanders obtain suitable medical insurance before travelling to Australia.

Click here for information on eligibility for Medicare.

Social security entitlements

Under specific circumstances, New Zealand citizens can be eligible for certain social security entitlements, such as veterans’ pensions and disability pensions. It is important that individuals seek the correct information to suit their circumstances by contacting the relevant organisations.

Paying tax in Australia

New Zealanders working in Australia need to get a Tax File number (TFN) and pay Australian tax.

Recognition of qualifications

Certain New Zealand qualifications are recognised in Australia

Purchasing property

New Zealand citizens are able to purchase urban property in Australia. Those who wish to buy rural or commercial property should contact the Foreign Investment Review Board for information.

Child welfare issues

The New Zealand and Australian Government cooperate on a number of child welfare issues, such as protection orders and child support payments. It is important for those affected to be informed of these processes while living in Australia.

Driving in Australia

In general, a New Zealand drivers license is valid in Australia for three months. It is important for New Zealand drivers to be aware of Australian State driving rules before driving in Australia.

Missing persons

Should you wish to report a New Zealand citizen as missing in Australia, your first point of contact is the local police.

Opening a bank account in Australia

New Zealand citizens are able to hold bank accounts in Australia, provided they are able to provide the appropriate identity documentation.

Student loans

Leaving New Zealand may affect your student loan. It is important that New Zealanders are aware of their liabilities before leaving New Zealand.

Of interest

United Nations Handbook 2015-16

United Nations Handbook

The UN Handbook is a comprehensive guide to the UN system and how it works.  Read more

Prime Minister's media release |

New Zealand wins Security Council seat

New Zealand has secured a place on the UN Security Council for 2015-16. Read the Prime Minister's media release

Registering your overseas travel made easier

Registering your overseas travel made easier

New Zealanders travelling or living overseas, registering your travel online now made easier. Read more

Living in Australia

Information for New Zealanders about their immigration status, health entitlements, tax, qualifications and more.

Remembering World War I
100 Years On

Be part of the first World War Centenary. Read more

The Christchurch Earthquake Appeal

News about how the donations are contributing to the rebuild, ways to donate and more.