1News can confirm the Australian Government's signed off on significant changes to its controversial 501 policy.
The law in its current form sees New Zealanders deported back from Australia for serious crimes, even if they've lived away from Aotearoa for significant periods of time.
Last year newly elected Prime Minister Anthony Albanese confirmed the government would look to take a common sense approach to the issue.
Now, newly released advice that's reportedly due to take effect from March 3rd will mean the duration of stay in Australia is taken into account, along with the strength of an individual's ties to Australia.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Home Affairs said "the Government has communicated the need for a common sense approach with continued deportations to take place where appropriate, since first meeting with former Prime Minister Ardern in June 2022".
The updated rules represent the most significant shake up of the 501 policy, and will likely be welcomed by advocates for change.
"Under these changes the Department of Home Affairs must now consider the length of time someone has lived in the Australian community as one of the primary considerations when determining whether to cancel someone’s visa.
"Where individuals pose a risk to the community, the Australian Government will continue to cancel their visas and remove them."