189 new zealand

The 189 Path to Residency for New Zealanders

Are you a NZ citizen wanting to stay in Australia as a permanent resident?

The Subclass 189 (Skilled Independent) visa has a stream that allows for New Zealand citizens to become Australian permanent residents. This will allow you to stay in Australia indefinitely, work and study, enrol in Medicare, sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence and apply for Australian citizenship.

The visa has been made available since 1 July 2017 to New Zealand citizens who arrived in Australia between 26 February 2001 and 19 February 2016 and at the same time are holders of Special Category Visa subclass 444. If you arrived before 26 February 2001, you may have already been considered a permanent resident for the purpose of applying for Australian citizenship.

Your partner, children or step-children and your partner’s children and step-children can be included in your application.

Australian Residence Requirement

You will need to demonstrate that you have been continously living in Australia for the past five years immediately prior to application. Short visits outside the country are acceptable, however you will need to show that these were not significant, and that your intention was to reside in Australia.

Income Requirement

You will also need to confirm you received a taxable income of no less than $53,900 (the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT)) for each of those years. There are exemptions to this requirement if you are:

  • prevented by an Australian authority to leave Australia;
  • receiving compensation for an injury that prevents earning the income threshold;
  • on an approved period of parental or carer’s leave.

Other Requirements

You will be required to meet health, character and security checks.

The waivable health criterion 4007 applies to these applications. An existing health condition that will require significant cost or the use of scarce medical / community services in Australia can be grounds for refusal of the application. This is not unsurmountable, and if you can demonstrate ability to cover your own medical costs (e.g. via health insurance or significant assets), the criterion can be set aside.

This visa does not have an age limit, and there is no English requirement.

Application Fees

Application fees charged by the DIBP for this visa are as follows:

ApplicantUpon LodgementBefore GrantTotal
Main applicant$734$2,936$3,670
Dependents Aged 18+$367$1,468$1,835
Dependents Aged 18-$184$736$920

There are about 77,000 New Zealand nationals who may be eligible under this new pathway as Australian government figures suggest.

Australian Citizenship

To become an Australian citizenship, New Zealand citizens will need to first become permanent residents. The 189 visa may be the easiest way to begin your journey towards Australian citizenship.

Book a consultation with us to find out if you are eligible for this visa. The opportunity may not remain available forever.

About us

PocketLegal is available to assist with all aspects of the Australian immigration process from beginning to end. If you need help with visa applications, sponsoring staff members, AAT Appeals, Federal Circuit Court hearings, or any other migration related issue then contact our friendly team via the form on this page or by calling 1300 921 114.

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