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It will be easier for New Zealanders to become Australian citizens

A person walks through Sydney Airport, Australia (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, File)

A reform that will affect around 350,000 Australians has been announced, described as “historic” by local media.

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Saturday announced a reform to make it easier for New Zealanders living in the country to obtain Australian citizenship. We’re talking hundreds of thousands of people, who have called for similar reform since 2001, the year the Australian government made its rules on getting visas more restrictive.

There are also many people in Australia and New Zealand 600 thousand of about 26 million people. before 2001 New Zealanders arriving in Australia can easily obtain citizenship and access public services in the country. Restrictions were imposed in 2001 by the government of then Prime Minister John Howard: among other things, they introduced a special type of visa for New Zealanders, in which before obtaining citizenship one had to apply for a “permanent residence” permit, with a long period of time. An expensive trip and with various restrictions in accessing some public, health and welfare services.

The reform announced on Saturday was greeted with enthusiasm in New Zealand: newspapers are talking about it Historic fix, and has an “enormous effect”. According to New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Chris Hepkins, this is “the biggest improvement in the rights of New Zealanders living in Australia in a generation now”.

The reform states that from 1 July, New Zealanders who arrived in Australia after 2001 and have lived there for at least 4 years can apply for citizenship without having to first apply for permanent residence, and can therefore immediately enjoy all the services and rights provided by Nationality. It is believed that around 350,000 people will benefit from the effects of the reform. Albanese announced the reform the day before Chris Hipkins’ official visit to Australia.

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Earl Warner

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