This amendment permanently closes the Subclass 189 (Skilled – Independent) visa in the New Zealand Stream to new primary applications. Partners and dependants of primary applicants may still join an undecided application.
From 1 July 2023, New Zealand citizens holding a Subclass 444 Special Category visa who arrived in Australia after 26 February 2001 and who have been living in Australia for four years or more will be eligible to apply directly for Australian citizenship by conferral. They will no longer need to hold a permanent visa, making the New Zealand stream of the Subclass 189 (Skilled – Independent) visa unnecessary.
Non-NZ citizens partners of SCV 444 holders who attain Australian citizenship will be able to continue on SC 461 visas until that current visa expires. If they wish to remain in Australia after that expiry, a partner visa or other relevant visa will be required.
This instrument comes into effect on 1 July 2023.
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