An additional permanent residency pathway for New Zealand citizens

On 1 July 2017, a new permanent residency stream was made available within the Skilled Independent visa Subclass 189.   This visa stream is available to New Zealand citizens living in Australia as holders of a New Zealand Citizen Special Category visa Subclass 444. The general points test does not apply to this visa stream. Applicants are not required to submit an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect. Other visa criteria include:

  • Being usually resident in Australia for a continuous period of at least 5 years immediately before the date of visa application;
  • The period of being usually resident in Australia started on or before 19 February 2016;
  • Have a taxable income of at least AUD $53,900 for each financial year in the five years immediately before lodging the visa application, unless exempt;
  • Meet mandatory health and character checks.

Members of the family unit can be included in the application, including spouse / de facto partner and dependent children. All family members will need to have health checks carried out. Depending on age, police clearances will also be required for family members.

The cost of the visa is $3,670 for the main applicant, paid in 2 stages of $734 at the time of lodging the application and $2,936 prior to the visa being granted.

This is a permanent visa allowing you to stay in Australia indefinitely. You can enroll in Medicare, study and work. You can further sponsor other eligible relatives for permanent residence. You can apply for citizenship after 12 months once eligible.

Please note that there may be other permanent residency visa options better suited to you. We would love the opportunity to assess your visa options thoroughly in a scheduled meeting.

For more information about this visa, please don’t hesitate to contact us on or phone 07 5526 6869.