What Is Covered In This Guide?

COVID-19 Update 2 October 2020: A travel bubble is due to be opened from 16th October 2020 that will allow New Zealanders from non-hotspots to travel to New South Wales and the Northern Territory without needing to quarantine. More information to follow. For now, Australia’s borders are currently closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members can still travel into Australia. This includes New Zealand citizens who are usually Australian residents. Note that flights are limited and you may need to pay for your own quarantine.

Non-citizens can apply for an exemption to enter, for example, if you have critical skills.

You can find more information and the latest updates by visiting Australian Home Affairs or the Australian Department of Health.

We put a lot of effort into researching our move to Australia, and we want to share it with you to make your move as painless as possible. Here's a breakdown of what is covered in this guide:

  1. Frequently asked questions
    A good way to start might be to check out our list of frequently asked questions (FAQ). This page will hopefully help point you in the right directions to find the answers you are looking for. Also, check out our discussion forum for help if you don't find what you're looking for elsewhere on this site.
  2. Visa requirements
    Most New Zealand citizens can live and work in Australia indefinitely - without having to apply for a visa. You do still get a visa, but it is automatic and known as an SCV (Special Category Visa). You cannot receive many of the social welfare payments, access student loans or do ongoing work for the Australian Government unless you apply for permanent residency. Read this section to understand the differences between living in Australia under this temporary, unprotected SCV versus the rights you would have as a permanent resident.
  3. Becoming an Australian citizen
    Considering applying to become an Australian citizen? You'll need to become a permanent resident first. The paths to permanent residency and citizenship available to you will depend on when you moved to Australia. Read this section to find out more, including information about the new subclass 189 (NZ) visa available from July 1, 2017.
  4. Moving your money to Australia
    Naturally you want to get the best deal on converting your New Zealand dollars into Australian dollars. We share our experiences in setting up an Australian bank account before leaving New Zealand, and how to get the most Australian dollars for your NZ dollars.
  5. Health care in Australia
    Find out how to ensure you are covered for both emergencies and less serious health care under the Australian public health care system.
  6. Shipping your stuff to Australia
    Should you sell your stuff or ship some of it to Australia? This might be one of the most uncertain parts of your big move. Not having done this before, it was for us. Learn from our experiences to make it easier for you.
  7. Getting an Australian driver's license
    It’s usually easy for New Zealanders to get an Australian driver’s licence. The process varies from state to state, but in most places it involves filling out a form, making an appointment to get a new photo, take an eyesight test and proving your identity.
  8. Finding a job
    As a NZ citizen, you can look for work in Australia right away - no work visa is required. In this section, we look at tax and other aspects of starting work in Australia.
  9. Finding somewhere to live
    Renting a house in one of the major Australian cities is often very competitive - so that's why you will want to read about our experience of finding a new place to live in Australia.
  10. Buying a home in Australia
    Looking to buy a house instead of renting when you get to Australia? Get a head start by reading our buying a home tips.
  11. Taking your pets with you to Australia
    Taking your cat or dog with you to Australia? Coming from NZ, there is typically no quarantine period. We've got some great advice in this section to help you bring your pets with you.