Citizenship opportunity for Kiwis in Australia annouced

New Zealanders who have lived and worked in Australia for five years or more will get easier access to citizenship under a new deal.

This has been announced today by the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and New Zealand Leader John Key after a two-hour meeting in Sydney.

“What we are announcing today is a new pathway to citizenship for New Zealanders,” Mr Turnbull told reporters.

It is understood more than 300,000 Kiwis are living across the ditch on Special Category Visas (SCV), which even stops them from applying for jobs in the Australian Defence Force – including those who have called Australia home since they were babies.

But this deal however can only benefit those New Zealanders who were already living in Australia up to today. It may not apply to those Kiwis who would arrive in Australia in the future and apply for citizenship.

Key thanked Turnbull for the opportunity saying: “the steps taken today will help tens of thousands of Kiwis to one day become Australian citizens”.

“The second-class status of Kiwis across the ditch has been a thorn in the trans-Tasman relationship since an Australian Government clamp down in 2001 denying them access to welfare and many other entitlements”.

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