Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement
The Trans-Tasman
Trans-Tasman is an adjective used primarily in Australia and New Zealand, which signifies an interrelationship between both countries. Its name originates from the Tasman Sea which lies between the two countries...

 Travel Arrangement
is an informal agreement between Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 and New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

 to allow for the free movement of citizens of one nation to the other.

Treaty history

The arrangement was announced on 4 February 1973 and came into effect soon after. Although the exact nature of the arrangement has been varied from time to time, it still allows citizens of Australia or New Zealand to live in each other's nation indefinitely and take on most employment. New Zealand citizens
New Zealand nationality law
New Zealand citizenship was created on 1 January 1949 by the British Nationality and New Zealand Citizenship Act 1948...

 who are not also Australian citizens
Australian nationality law
Australian nationality law determines who is and who is not an Australian, and is based primarily on the principle of Jus soli. The status of Australian citizenship was created by the Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948 which received Royal Assent on 21 December 1948 and came into force on...

 may not work in Australia in areas involving national security or in the federal public service.

Prior to 1973, neither New Zealand nor Australia exercised systematic control over immigration from the main Commonwealth nations (principally the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

), and New Zealanders and Australians were thus free to move between each country under informal arrangements.

As a result of higher wages and greater economic market in Australia the vast majority of trans-Tasman migration is from New Zealand to Australia.

Unemployment issues

Originally, New Zealand citizens arriving in Australia were entitled to unemployment benefits
Social Security (Australia)
Social Security, in Australia, refers to a system of social welfare payments provided by Commonwealth Government of Australia. These payments are administered by a Government body named Centrelink...

 immediately on arrival in Australia. Similarly, Australian citizens were entitled to social security benefits in New Zealand. During the 1980s and 1990s, this became a hotly debated political issue. Starting in 1986, New Zealand citizens were required to be resident in Australia for six months before receiving benefits, and in 2000, New Zealand citizens were required to reside in Australia for two years before they can receive payments. This is also the case for Australian citizens residing in New Zealand. However, this has been restricted further in 26 February 2001 and a New Zealand citizen must apply for and be granted a formal Australian permanent visa to obtain certain social security benefits not covered by the bilateral Social Security Agreement in 2001.

Australian arrivals to New Zealand

  • "People who hold current Australian permanent residence visas or current Australian resident return visas may be granted residence permits on arrival in New Zealand, provided they have not been excluded under section 7 of the Immigration Act
    Immigration Act
    An Immigration Act is a law regulating immigration. A number of countries have had Immigration Acts including:*Canada**The Immigration Act, 1906**The Chinese Immigration Act of 1923**The Immigration Act, 1952**The Immigration Act, 1978...


Legislative amendments

In 2001, legislation was enacted in Australia, which divided New Zealanders living in Australia into two categories: those who were resident in Australia on 26 February 2001 (Protected Special Category Visas), and those who arrived in Australia after that date (Special Category Visa
Special Category Visa
A Special Category Visa is a type of Australian visa granted to most New Zealand citizens on arrival in Australia. New Zealand Citizens may then reside in Australia indefinitely under the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement.- History :...


Those who were resident before or on 26 February 2001 may claim unemployment benefits as they are protected Special Category Visa holders under the Social Security Act. New Zealanders who arrive in Australia after 26 February 2001 are not entitled to most social security payments, despite being able to live indefinitely in Australia.

They may qualify for benefits after applying to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship for a permanent visa and serving the two-year newly arrived resident waiting period.

While this still allowed the freedom to live and work indefinitely in Australia, it restricted access to certain privileges of holding a formal Australian permanent visa, such as access to certain social security payments and Australian citizenship.

External links

Related reading
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