Kiwis fall foul of Australian welfare rules
New Zealanders planning on emigrating to Australia are being warned they should brush up on the rules concerning welfare rights. Murray McCully, NZ Foreign Affairs Minister, said it was important for Kiwis to know what they are entitled to, just in case things do not go to plan.
Since the global financial crisis the number of New Zealanders moving across the Tasman in search of jobs and higher wages has increased by around 40 per cent. Many of those moving to Australia are migrants coming from elsewhere and using New Zealand as a way of avoiding Australia’s strict migration rules.
Although New Zealand citizens are permitted to apply for a 444 visa that allows them to live in Australia indefinitely the visa means they are not allowed to apply for benefits that permanent residents and citizens of Australia are entitled to.
Anglicare is calling on the government to lift the ban on benefits claiming it is unfair for New Zealand immigrants to work and pay taxes in Australia but not have access to the benefits other people enjoy.
Spokeswoman for Anglicare Southern Queensland said many Kiwi migrants were living in overcrowded conditions and trying to survive on Family Tax Benefit payments.
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