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  Australia Permanent Residency for New Zealand Citizens

New Zealand citizens who have resided and acquired an employment experience in Australia for a minimum period of 5 years will be able to apply for Australia permanent residency from 1st July, 2017. This new pathway program will be a section of the Skilled Independent Subclass 189 visa.

Australia Permanent Residency Requirements for New Pathway

The new Australia Permanent Residency pathway is only applicable on New Zealand citizens who are residing in Australia on or prior 19 February 2016. Applicant will be required to prove that he/she was a usually resident (usually resident of Australia eats, sleeps, has a home there and holds an intention of making Australia their own home) at the time of application. Being in Australia under a small visit, holiday or business trip will not be counted. Although in case the applicant was not in Australia on 19 February 2016 for temporarily basis but was a usually resident prior that, he/ she may be eligible to apply under new Australia Permanent Residency pathway.

Applicant will be required to state that he/she was a usually resident in Australia on or prior 19 February 2016 for a time period of minimum 5 years continuously before applying for this visa.

During these 5 years, small visits outside Australia for holidays will be accepted, providing that the applicant have an intention of residing in Australia only and the applicant spend his/her maximum time in Australia. In case the applicant get employed or purchase a permanent home outside Australia, it can create a hindrance in stating the continuous period of usual residence in Australia.

Applicant would require holding a Special Category Visa (SCV Subclass 444 – granted to New Zealand citizens on arrival to Australia) during the 5 years period.

Financial Income Requirement

Applicant will be required to submit ATO Notices of Assessment stating that he/she have an annual taxable income which is equivalent to TSMIT (Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold) during the 5 years time period.

TSMIT = $53,900 since 1 July 2013

Age Requirement

There is no age limitation under the New Zealand stream of 189 visa subclass.

Family Members addition

Spouses and dependent children can be added in the visa application, even if they are not New Zealand citizens. In case the applicant is applying onshore, he/she must hold a substantive visa or Bridging A, B or C visa.

Health & Character Requirement

All family members added in the visa application must qualify health and character requirements.

Waivable health criterion 4007: In case the applicant’s health condition includes a significant amount or utilization of insufficient medical/community services, he/she can be eligible to apply for Australia permanent residency provided that the amount is not inappropriately excessive.

Kindly note that only those family members who are added in the visa application will be required to qualify health and character criteria.

Application Cost

The visa application fees are in line with the latest costing of Skilled Independent Subclass 189 visa. However, in this case applicant has to pay 20% of the cost at the time of visa lodgment. The remaining balance will be paid when the applicant have qualified all the criteria and is about to get the visa grant.

Visa application cost to be paid are mentioned below:

Applicant Type

At Lodgment Prior to Grant


Main Applicant

$720 $2,880 $3,600
Dependents 18 or Over $360 $1,440


Dependents under 18

$180 $720



There is no charge for English Language for applicants having less than Functional English level.


New Zealand citizens who were residing in Australia on or prior 19 February 2016, the Australia permanent residency pathway is highly profitable because of the following reasons:

  • English language examination, skills assessment, point test assessment, or employer sponsorship are not required.
  • No age limitation
  • Moderate financial income and exemptions offered on parenting/carer leave
  • Health waiver offered for the applicants and their family with bad health conditions
  • Major part of the visa application cost will be paid only after the applicant have qualified all the criteria and is about to get the visa grant.

Eligible Citizens of New Zealand must apply under the Australia permanent residency pathway as it provides the applicant an easy access to permanent resident status of Australia.

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