SC189 New Zealand Stream Temporarily Closed to New Applications

The New Zealand stream of the Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa is temporarily closed to new applications as of 10 December 2022 and will re-open on 1 July 2023.

The Australian government has put a temporary pause on these applications whilst they consider future migration and citizenship pathways for New Zealand citizens in Australia.

The Department of Home Affairs has advised that it will finalise the majority of applications that are currently with the Department processing as a matter of priority.

The Government acknowledges the close ties between Australia and New Zealand and the fact that most New Zealander’s living in Australia are long-term residents of Australia, who have been working here and contributing to Australia’s economy throughout and post the COVID-19 pandemic.

A legislative instrument has been released, amending the migration regulations to enable existing applications currently being processed by the Department to no longer be required to meet:

  • Australian residency requirement
  • The income threshold
  • The health criteria (given that all New Zealand citizens in Australia already have access to Medicare)

The above changes will enable the Department to finalise all on-hand applications as soon as possible.

It is likely that when this visa re-opens (or if a new specific visa for New Zealand citizens living in Australia is established) that the requirements will be very streamlined and enable many New Zealander’s living in Australia to apply for permanent residency.

Further information on the temporary pause can be found on the Departments website:

Ethos Migration Lawyers will continue to provide further updates as they become available.

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