Before moving to Australia, New Zealanders should consider the differences in living there and how that might affect them.

New Zealanders don’t always have the same rights as Australians

New Zealand and Australia are close friends and allies. A unique arrangement allows freedom of movement between the two countries – the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement.

But it is important to remember that Australia is still a different country and New Zealanders do not necessarily have the same rights and privileges as Australian citizens or permanent residents.

Immigration status can affect rights

It's also important that New Zealanders choosing to live in Australia know their immigration status, for example, if they are an Australian permanent resident, citizen, or on a visa.

This can affect your rights. New Zealanders may not be able to get Australian social security payments if they run into financial hardship, even if they’ve paid tax in Australia. 

New Zealanders’ visas (and so their ability to live in Australia) can be cancelled if Australian authorities assess that they do not meet the relevant character requirements (external link).

New Zealanders planning to move to Australia should:

  • understand their immigration status
  • make sure they can support themselves financially 
  • have health insurance
  • comply with Australian law when there. 

New Zealanders in Australia can also consider applying for Australian permanent residency and/or citizenship.