Regional Migration Australia is experiencing an increase in the number of New Zealand Citizens looking to obtain their Australian permanent residency and Citizenship. According to the July 2020 Economic and Fiscal Update (see link below), there’s some good news ahead, with indications the government is expected to introduce changes to the Subclass 189 Skilled Independent – New Zealand Stream visa.
It is anticipated that there will be a reduction in the income eligibility requirement (currently $53,900) and extended eligibility to SC 444 Special Category visa holders who meet the income threshold for at least three of the last five income years (currently 4 out of 5). More information regarding this announcement will be provided by the government in the future.
Currently, to be eligible for the SC 189 New Zealand Stream visa, the applicant must:
- Hold a Special Category (subclass 444) visa
- Have resided in Australia for at least the last 5 years
- Have started living in Australia on or before 19 February 2016
- Have the taxable income (see below table) at or above the income threshold for each of the four completed income years prior to lodging an application.
Income threshold for income years:
2015 – 2016 $53,900
2016 – 2017 $53,900
2017 – 2018 $53,900
2018 – 2019 $53,900
A waiver of the income requirement may apply for periods of: