The Subclass 189 Skilled Independent Visa (New Zealand stream) is for New Zealand Special Category (Subclass 444) visa holders who have shown a commitment and contribution to Australia to apply for permanent residence.

New Zealand citizens who are granted this permanent visa will be eligible to apply for Australian citizenship after 12 months (in additional to holding a SCV for a period of five consecutive years.)

Who can apply for 189 visa (New Zealand Stream) and what are the requirements?
  • There is no age requirement for this stream
  • You must hold a Special Category Visa (Subclass 444)(SCV)
  • You must have been usually resident in Australia continuous period of 5 years immediately prior to application, and have commenced that period of usual residence on or before 19 February 2016
  • You must have a taxable income at or above an income threshold for each income year in the 4 years prior to lodging an application (unless claiming an exemption)
  • Meet health and character requirements
What is the income threshold?

The minimum amount of income is specified in Column 2 for each corresponding income in in Column 1 of the following table:

What are the income exemption?

If you want to claim an exemption from the income requirement, you must still submit your ATO Notices of Assessment.

  • Family Court/parenting plan exemption
    • You can claim an exemption from the income requirement if you can’t leave Australia because the Family Court of Australia has given you primary care of a child and you are not allowed to take the child out of the country.
  • Compensation claim exemption
    • You can claim an exemption to the income requirement if you:
      • are being compensated for an injury that prevents you earning the income threshold, and
      • the compensation (or your rehabilitation) would cease if you returned to New Zealand
  • Parental or carer’s leave waiver
    • You can claim an exemption to the income requirement if you:
      • are on approved parental or carer’s leave, and
      • earned no less than the income threshold immediately before you went on leave, and
      • have (or are going to) resume earning an income no less than the income threshold
What is the Subclass 189 (New Zealand Stream) visa processing time?

The current processing time is between 11 to 13 months.