Additional Pathway to Permanent Residence for New Zealand Citizens

On 19 February 2016, to acknowledge the special bilateral relationship between Australia and New Zealand, the Australian Government announced an additional pathway to Australian permanent residence, for many New Zealand citizens who have been living in Australia for at least five years and shown a commitment and continuous contribution to Australia.
On 1 July 2017, this additional pathway became a new stream within the Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa. The pathway is for New Zealand Special Category (subclass 444) visa (SCV) holders who were usually resident in Australia on or before 19 February 2016 and who, at the time of lodging an application, have resided in Australia for at least five years. These new arrangements will give many New Zealand citizens permanent residence status, if they meet certain criteria, including:

  • contributing to Australia, demonstrated through income tax returns which show taxable income at least equivalent to the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) for the qualifying period; and
  • meeting mandatory health, character and security checks.

New Zealand citizens who are granted this visa will be eligible to apply for Australian citizenship after a period of 12 months (in addition to the five years as an eligible New Zealand SCV holder).
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