Information for New Zealanders living in Australia

What is a Resident Return Visa (RRV)?

01 May 2017
(Photo: Department of Home Affairs website)
(Photo: Department of Home Affairs website)

Direct citizenship pathway

22 April 2023

Following a review of New Zealanders rights in Australia the Albanese Labor Government announced that non-protected Special Category Visa-holders who have resided in Australia for at least the past four years can apply directly for citizenship from the 1 July 2023 without needing to apply for a permanent visa.

Applying for am RRV would only be beneficial if you are a recent arrival and require access to the NDIS. Or you spent at least four years residing in Australia prior to 26 February 2001, and require Centrelink support.

A Resident Return Visa (RRV) enables a former permanent resident to reinstate their permanent visa and become an Australian citizen.

Prior to 1 September 1994 New Zealand citizens were automatically granted permanent residency upon entering Australia. Even if they came for a holiday, were a child travelling on a parent's passport or didn't require a passport.

New Zealanders must be residing in Australia in order to apply for RRV. Their partner and dependent children cannot be included on the application. If eligible for RRV they can submit their own application.

RRV travel capacity

Because New Zealanders haven't resided in Australia as a Permanent Resident for at least two of the last five years, they are initially granted a 12 month travel capacity.

If you are travelling overseas after the 12-month anniversary date has passed you will need to reapply for an RRV. If necessary, you can renew online before re-entering Australia.


Twelve months after being granted an RRV they can apply for citizenship, provided they have resided in Australia for at least four years immediately prior to applying.

New Zealanders arriving in Australia after 26 February 2001 are a granted a Special Category Visa (SCV), this is a temporary visa under the Migration Act. Some SCV New Zealanders may be eligible for Australian citizenship.


Applying for a Resident Return Visa

Resident Return Visa Travel Capacity

Requesting your travel records


The above “What is a Resident Return Visa?” information should not be relied on as an alternative to advice from the Department of Home Affairs, or a professional immigration services provider.

If you have any specific questions about an immigration matter, you should consult the Department of Home Affairs or a professional immigration services provider.