On 1 July 2017 the Government introduced a new stream to the Subclass 189 visa program for New Zealanders to obtain permanent residency.
The stream is available to New Zealand Special Category visa holders (Subclass 444) who arrived in Australia after 26th February 2001 and were usually resident in Australia on or before 19th February 2016 and have resided in Australia for at least 5 years.
Whilst the majority of New Zealand Citizens are eligible to live and work in Australia on a Subclass 444 visa, 444 visa holders do not have the same benefits and rights as Australian Permanent Residents or Citizens.
Some of these benefits include full social security benefits and access to tertiary education under the same terms and conditions as Australian Permanent Residents and Citizens.
Also, a Subclass 444 visa is a temporary visa and can be cancelled if character issues arise.
Often New Zealanders do not consider the benefits to Australian permanent residency until an event occurs, such as children attending tertiary education.
To proceed with permanent residency under this stream applicants must evidence a taxable income at or above the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (currently $53900) for at least 4 years in the 5 years prior to applying and meet the health and character requirements for grant of the visa.
If you are a New Zealand citizen and you arrived in Australia before 19th February 2016, contact one of our consultants today to discuss your visa options in securing Australian permanent residency and your future in Australia.
Disclaimer: The information provided herein is of a general nature only and does not constitute immigration advice. For more detailed and case specific information or advice, please contact SCA Connect.