Reduced Financial Criteria for New Zealand Stream (subclass 189) Applicants

On the 23 July 2020 the Australian government has noted in their ‘Federal Government Fiscal Update’ that the criteria surrounding the ‘financial requirements’ for New Zealand citizens seeking to apply for permanent residency via the Skilled (Independent) (subclass 189) – New Zealand Stream visa will be amended to reduce the income eligibility requirement for this cohort of applicants.

This change is anticipated to promote the uptake of the pathway by eligible New Zealand citizens in Australia wanting to apply for Australian Permanent Residency.

The Australian government has announced that eligibility for this stream will be extended to Special Category (subclass 444) visa holders who have a taxable income at or above the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (known as the ‘TSMIT’) for at least three of the last five income years, including the most recent financial year.

This will be a change from the current criteria that requires applicants to have a taxable income at or above the TSMIT for each of the four completed financial years prior to lodging an application.

The Department of Home Affairs has not indicated a start date for these amendments however legislation will need to be drafted and published in the form of a legislative instrument.

Ethos Migration Lawyers will provide further information as it becomes available.

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