​​​​​Important news for NZ citizens

The New Zealand stream of the Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa has temporarily closed to new applications.

This means a new application cannot be made from 10 December 2022 until 1 July 2023. However, partners and children may be added to New Zealand stream applications that were lodged before 10 December 2022.

This is a temporary pause while the Government considers future migration and citizenship pathways for New Zealand citizens in Australia. During this period, the Department of Home Affairs will seek to finalise the majority of on-hand applications in the New Zealand stream, and has established a dedicated taskforce to prioritise the processing of this caseload.

The majority of New Zealand stream applicants have been waiting several years for their visa application to be finalised due to the limited number of places allocated to this group in recent years.

The following streamlining measures introduced acknowledge that this this group of New Zealand citizens are long-term residents of Australia, have been working here and contributing to Australia’s economic recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic. These include removing the requirement for New Zealand stream on-hand applicants to satisfy criteria relating to:

  • a period of residence in Australia;
  • the income threshold; and
  • health, given the access New Zealand citizens already in Australia have to Medicare.

Grant of New Zealand stream visas in the 2022-23 Program Year will allow visa holders to access the benefits of Australian permanent residence.

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