Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) New Zealand Stream (CLOSED)
This visa pathway closed permanently when the new direct pathway to Australian citizenship opened up.
BREAKING NEWS – 22 APRIL 2023
New Zealand citizens who have been living in Australia for 4 years will have a direct pathway to Australian citizenship without needing to apply for a permanent visa.
We are yet to learn the finer details but for now this is the most incredible news we’ve received in over 22 years!
NEWS FLASH 10 DECEMBER 2022
Subclass 189 is set to have major changes occur as of 1 July 2023. (Last updated: 10 December 2022)
- a period of residence in Australia;
- the income threshold;
- health, given the access New Zealand citizens already in Australia have to Medicare.
Questions and Answers
Why can’t I apply for a New Zealand stream visa on or after 10 December 2022?
What happens to my New Zealand stream visa application that I made before 10 December 2022?
Can I add my partner and/or my child to my New Zealand stream application after 10 December 2022?
I started an application for a New Zealand stream visa in ImmiAccount before 10 December 2022, can I submit it on or after 10 December 2022?
I lodged an application for a New Zealand stream visa before 10 December 2022, do I need to provide any further information?
What are the period of residence, income threshold and health requirements that have been streamlined and are no longer required to be satisfied by on-hand New Zealand stream visa applicants?
Why have these requirements been removed?
Does removal of the health criterion post a threat to the Australian community and place undue cost on the public health system?
Old criteria: No longer applicable
Under the old criteria, New Zealand citizens must be usually resident in Australia for a continuous period of a least 5 years before the date of application and that continuous period of usual residence in Australia started on or before 19 February 2016.
Note: New Zealand citizens whose residency began in Australia after 19 February 2016 are not eligible and able to apply for this pathway.
As of 1 July 2021 the AMENDED criteria is available to New Zealand citizens who:
- Earned a taxable income must be a minimum of $53,900 for 3 out of the last 5 years
As of 31 May 2021 and 13 November 2021 new INCOME EXEMPTIONS FOR 2019-2020 & 2020-2021 financial years are available to New Zealand citizens who:
- Can demonstrate that their 2019-20 or 2020-2021 taxable income was adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Note: Only one income exemption due to COVID-19 can be used for either 2019-2020 or 2020-2021, not both.
- would have likely met the minimum amount of the income requirement for the 2019–20 or 2020-2021 income year/s if not for the effect of the COVID‑19 pandemic on the Australian economy, and
- could not meet the minimum amount of the income requirement for the 2019–20 or 2020-2021 income year/s because of the effect of the COVID‑19 pandemic on the Australian economy.
Allowance for time spent offshore due to COVID-19 travel restrictions to be counted as residence in Australia for applicants who were on a pathway to meeting the ‘usually resident’ requirement for the visa.
To apply for this visa, New Zealanders must meet these criteria:
- Usually resident in Australia for a continuous period of at least 5 years immediately before applying, and
- The continuous period of usual residence has to be on or before February 19th, 2016.
- Then applicant must be a Special Category Visa, subclass TY444 holder.
- There is no age limit or occupation restrictions for this specific pathway.
- There is a possibility of requesting a health waiver in cases where the health examination was failed.
- Certain family members may be included, including children under 23yrs old who are still dependent or over 23yrs old if they are deemed as dependents in prescribed circumstances.
Further general criteria includes:
- Five of your most recent Notice of Assessments (2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017
- Earned a minimum of $53,900 taxable income per year for the most recent year, AND 2 other years within the last 5 years e.g. 2021 – $53,900+, 2019 – $53,900+, 2017 – $53,900+
- Meet medical health requirements (or be granted a health waiver)
- Meet public interest criteria including good character
- Exemptions may apply in limited circumstances ie Maternity Leave, Work Cover, Family Court orders, Carer’s Leave
New Zealand citizens are able to pay the visa application charge in two split payments known as ‘First & Second Instalments’.
First instalment also known as a base visa application charge is:
- Main applicant: $825
- Additional applicant for an applicant who is at least 18yrs old: $410
- Additional applicant for an applicant who is under 18yrs old: $205
Second instalment of the visa application charge (payable before the grant of the visa) is:
- Main applicant: $3,290
- Additional applicant for an applicant who is at least 18yrs old: $1,645
- Additional applicant for an applicant who is under 18yrs old: $825
The 1st Instalment must be paid at the time the application is lodged. The 2nd Instalment is payable prior to the grant of the visa.