• New Zealand Nationals to be Eligible for New Permanent Residence Visa Category
  • April 20, 2016
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • On or after July 1, 2017, eligible New Zealand nationals currently in Australia holding a Special Category Visa will be eligible to apply for permanent residence under a new stream in the Skilled Independent visa category.

    Eligibility Criteria

    Qualifying factors include the following criteria:
    • Presence in Australia on or prior to February 19, 2016 as a Special Category Visa holder;
    • Residence in Australia for at least five years immediately prior to visa application;
    • Income for the last five years that meets or exceeds the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold, currently set at AUD 53,900 (limited exemptions apply); and
    • Meeting mandatory health, character and security checks.
    It is expected that approximately 60,000 - 70,000 New Zealand nationals currently in Australia under the Special Category Visa will be eligible for the new visa category.

    What This Means for Foreign Nationals

    Eligible New Zealand nationals should benefit from an additional pathway to permanent residence which, if granted, would also provide a route to citizenship. Interested applicants should contact their immigration professional to discuss application guidelines and income exemptions.