Australia offers direct access to citizenship for New Zealanders – 04/22/2023 08:31

Australia offers direct access to citizenship for New Zealanders – 04/22/2023 08:31

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia announced on Saturday that New Zealanders living in the country will be granted citizenship directly, in a reversal of controversial visa rules, on the eve of a visit by New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hepkins.

Chris Hipkins, who is due to travel to Brisbane, the Queensland state capital, on Sunday, welcomed the announcement, saying it was “the biggest improvement in the rights of New Zealanders living in Australia for a generation”.

The mesure, which entrera en vigueur en juillet, signifie les les citoyens néo-Zelandais vivant in Australie depuis au moins quatre ans pourront demander the citoyenneté sans devoir d’abord devenir of permanent residents, a declaré le Premier ministre australien, Anthony Albanese, dans statement.

“We know that many New Zealanders live here on a Special Class visa as they raise their families, work and build their lives in Australia, so I am proud to present the benefits that citizenship brings,” said Anthony Albanian.

New Zealand has long advocated for changes since visa rules changed in 2001, making it more difficult for New Zealanders living in Australia to obtain Australian citizenship.

The Australian government has maintained that this reform should bring the rights of New Zealanders living in Australia in line with the rights of expatriate Australians living in New Zealand.

The reform also means that children born in Australia since July to New Zealand parents who grew up in Australia will automatically receive Australian citizenship.

About 670,000 New Zealanders live in Australia, while 70,000 Australians live in New Zealand.

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(Reporting on Sam McKeith, French version by Matthieu Protard)

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