VIC Immigration Law - Should I Revoke My New Zealand Citizenship?

Australia's #1 for Law
Join 150,000 Australians every month. Ask a question, respond to a question and better understand the law today!
FREE - Join Now


15 November 2015
Under the current immigration law - due to having been born in Australia to parents of New Zealand citizenship, is a person who holds dual citizenship (Australia and New Zealand) at risk of having their Australian citizenship revoked based on character grounds? If so, would it be wise for that person to renounce their New Zealand citizenship to avoid possible deportation?

My understanding is that due to having held dual citizenship, such a person would not be left stateless by having their Australian citizenship revoked (much like a visa for a non-citizen), and therefore, such a deportation would not be seen as illegal. I have lived in Australia my whole life; having only holidayed in New Zealand for a maximum of approximately 35 days at a time, but considering the fact that these laws have recently been used to detain and deport New Zealand citizens (non-citizens of Australia) living in Australia who may not have necessarily committed an offence, I am understandably quite alarmed and am left feeling unsure as to whether this could also be applied to someone who holds dual citizenship. The law's ambiguity has left me feeling both concerned and fearful of possible revocation of my Australian citizenship, detainment, and subsequent deportation.

Any help is much appreciated, and would greatly put my mind at ease.


Well-Known Member
11 October 2015
Hi BR-1990,

My understanding is that once you are an Australian Citizen you cannot be deported back to New Zealand based on character grounds.
This can happen only to New Zealand's who are in Australia on the Special Category Visa and are not yet granted citizenship.

To lose your Australian Citizenship is very rare as it has to be a serious case such as a threat to national security.

My suggestion would be to maintain both citizenships, as after you renounce your New Zealand Citizenship it may create difficulties to visit the country again. Here is further information at a link to NZ Department of Internal Affairs: Give up your New Zealand citizenship -

If you wish for further clarification or reassurance you may wish to make an inquiry to the Australian Department of Immigration or seek advice from an immigration lawyer - see Get Connected with the Right Lawyer for You


15 November 2015
Hi Therese,

Thank you for your response - it is very much appreciated, as are the links you have provided!

I may just do that (inquire to the Department of Immigration or speak to an immigration lawyer).

Tim W

LawTap Verified
28 April 2014
...If so, would it be wise for that person to renounce their New Zealand citizenship to avoid possible deportation?...
No, it would be wise not to commit those offences at all.

Let's get down to some basics.
  • Could you be an Australian citizen by birth?
    If you were born here, while your NZ national parent(s) was/were lawfully in Australia
    (such as Permanent Residents or as holders of Special Category Visas),
    then you might even be an Australian citizen by birth.

  • If you are a citizen by birth, then you may not even be the class of citizen who can lose their Australian citizenship following conviction.
    What actually happens is that your visa is cancelled on character grounds if you are convicted of certain offences.
    Cancellation of a visa (nor indeed, revocation of citizenship) is not a penalty the court can itself impose.

  • Find out for sure about your citizenship status, and get some paperwork to support it.
    Have a look at this.