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    HomeWorldNew Zealanders Easingly Obtain Australian Citizenship as Rules are Relaxed

    New Zealanders Easingly Obtain Australian Citizenship as Rules are Relaxed

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    Australia has made it easier for New Zealanders to become citizens. From July 1, New Zealanders who arrived in Australia after 2001 and have lived there for at least four years can apply directly for citizenship. This affects around 380,000 people. Australia had previously imposed a special category visa for New Zealanders in 2001, which limited their access to health and welfare and required them to gain permanent residency before applying for citizenship. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said that he was proud to offer the benefits that citizenship provides, while New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins said that it marked the biggest improvement in the rights of New Zealand citizens living in Australia “in a generation.”

    Relations between the two countries had been soured by Australia’s 2001 visa restrictions, as well as by Australia’s introduction in 2014 of the mandatory deportation of foreign nationals who received jail sentences of 12 months or more. The cross-Tasman rivalry is perhaps fiercest in sports and is epitomised by the “underarm bowling incident” of 1981 when Australia’s last bowl in a one-day cricket match was thrown underarm along the ground, a legal but unsporting move that ensured New Zealand could not get the six runs they needed to tie the game.

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