Kiwis living in Australia
As soon as you arrive in Australia to live there are things you'll need to sort out, like your tax, healthcare and driver licence.
As soon as you arrive
You need to get a Tax File Number (TFN) as soon as you get to Australia so you can receive an income.
You'll qualify for enrolment in the Medicare program which will give you access to Australian healthcare, including cheaper doctor’s visits and medicines.
Your NZ licence is valid for 3 months after arriving in Australia. Each Australian state has its own driving and licencing laws, so the process will depend on where you're going to be living.
As a New Zealander you can enrol your kids in primary and high schools. You and your family can study at Australian universities or polytechnics.
In 2017 you'll pay the same fees as an Australian student, but you might not be able to get a student loan or allowance unless you become a permanent resident.
Fees will rise in 2018
From 1 January 2018, you'll pay higher fees if you're an NZ citizen or Australian permanent resident. You'll also be able to get an Australian student loan.
Check to see if you can get a student allowance — special rules around residency may apply.
Find out what financial help you can get when you’re studying.
Recognition of NZ qualifications
Some qualifications (such as university or polytechnic degrees or certificates) or registered occupations (such as plumbers, electricians) are recognised without having to sit further tests or exams.
Get your higher education qualifications assessed — this can can take up to 3 months and you'll have to pay a fee.
Check your trade skills to see if they’re recognised.
Find out what the next steps are for getting an assessment of your skills and qualifications.
Living in Australia permanently
Having permanent residency in Australia means you can:
- apply for unemployment or sickness benefits. These benefits can't be received until 2 years after applying for permanent residence
- sponsor family members who want to apply for permanent residency
- become an Australian citizen.
If you were living in Australia before 26 February 2001, you might already be a permanent resident.
If you arrived after that you’ll need to apply. You may be able to apply under a new pathway if you are a New Zealand special category visa holder and were living in Australia on or before 19 February 2016. The new pathway is available from 1 July 2017.
When things go wrong
NZ government offices in Australia have no money to help you if you get into financial problems. Work and Income can’t pay emergency benefits to people outside NZ.
You can get help in an emergency — eg you're arrested, taken to hospital or lose your passport.
You can get advice about who can help with getting benefits and financial help.