New Zealand Permanent Residence Visa
UPDATE As of the 1st Jan 2023, the government announced that this pathway was being placed on hold (see New Direct Pathway to Australian Citizenship as of 1st July 2023).
UPDATE This visa opened in 2017. As of the 1st July 2021, the government announced that they were reducing the number of years that the applicant must meet the income threshold to 3 of the 5 preceding years.
The pathway for New Zealand Special Category visa holders who were usually resident in Australia as of 19 February 2016. This visa is based on providing Australian Permanent Residence to New Zealanders who have made a commitment and contribution to living within Australia.
This visa has a range of selection criteria including:
- the main applicant must be a New Zealand citizen, holding a Special Category (subclass 444) visa (eligible family members can be included within the application)
- must have been usually resident within Australia on 19 February 2016
- must have lived and worked in Australia for 5+ years immediately before the date of application;
- must have have earned a taxable income of at least the equivalent of TSMIT (currently $53,900) each year (NB: reduced to 3 years as of 1st July 2021) during the 5 year period
- must have shown commitment and contribution to Australia
- meet mandatory health, character and security checks
- other selection criteria may apply
- Eligible dependent Family (Spouse/Partner, dependent children) even if not NZ Citizens can be included within the application
Pathway to Australian CitizenshipThe government has stated that is has the intention of permitting NZ citizens who apply under this pathway to apply for Permanent Residence after a period of 12 months on this visa. If implemented this would provide a quicker pathway to Australian citizenship than the other visa options where the government is aiming to increase the time required to 4 years.
Income ExemptionsThe DIBP have stated limited exemptions to the income test requirement will be considered under some specified circumstances. This may include some circumstances relating to parental care and injury.
The government estimated approximately 60,000 – 70,000 of the 140,000 post 2001 SCV holders who have been in Australia for at least five years are expected to be eligible to apply for this visa option.
The Visa Application charge for this visa will be:.
- Main applicant $3,755
- Secondary applicants aged 18 and over $1,875
- Secondary applicants aged less than 18 $940
Update: in 2018 the Dept of Immigration released figures for number of valid applications received for this visa:.
During the 2017-18 Migration year a total of 11,614 visa applications were submitted under this new stream, and 4,820 visas were granted to New Zealanders and their families.
- July 2017: visa applicants = 1,532
- August 2017: visa applicants = 1,782
- September 2017: visa applicants = 1,275
- October 2017: visa applicants = 1,046
Depending upon your circumstances, as a New Zealand Citizen or visa holder there may be other options open to you not covered on this page. For an overview of the wider range of visa options Visas for New Zealanders