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Under various arrangements since the 1920s, there has been a free flow of people between Australia and New Zealand. Historically, migration flows across the Tasman have been large in both directions, but since the 1960s more New Zealanders than Australians have chosen to cross the Tasman to live. In 2013-14, the number of New Zealand permanent settlers who came to Australia was 27,274. As at December 2015, there were an estimated 634,560 New Zealand citizens present in Australia (although many of these would have been short-term visitors, and not resident in Australia).

Under the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement introduced in 1973, Australian and New Zealand citizens are able to enter each other’s country to visit, live and work indefinitely, without the need to apply for prior authority. New Zealand is the only country in the world that has such an arrangement with Australia. There are no caps on the numbers of New Zealanders who may enter under the arrangement, and the only limitations on entry relate to health and character requirements.

This quick guide outlines the visa requirements and conditions for New Zealanders living in Australia, and provides an overview of the services to which they are entitled as well as restrictions on entitlement to services. It also briefly compares this with the services to which Australians living in New Zealand are entitled. Finally, it summarises some of the arguments that have been made for expanding New Zealanders’ access to services, and outlines a new pathway to citizenship for New Zealanders which has been recently announced.

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