Skilled – Independent Visa (Subclass 189) New Zealand Stream

Subclass 189: Skilled Independent Visa

New Zealand Stream

Subclass 189 Skilled Independent visa in the New Zealand stream is a permanent visa which allows New Zealand citizen arrived Australia after 26 February 2001 and on/before 19 February 2016 to live in Australia as a permanent resident and apply for Australian citizenship if eligible.

New Zealand citizen who made first arrival in Australia after 26 February 2001 on Subclass 444 Special Category Visa (SCV) are considered ‘non-protected SCV holder’ and will first need to become an Australian permanent resident before eligible to become an Australian citizen.

Non-protected SCV holder have restricted access to social security benefits and is ineligible for the following Centrelink income support payments:
  • Age Pension
  • Austudy
  • Carer Payment
  • Disability Support Pension
  • Farm Household Allowance
  • JobSeeker Payment
  • Parenting Payment
  • Partner Allowance
  • Sickness Allowance
  • Special Benefit
  • Widow Allowance
  • Youth Allowance
However, non-protected SCV holder still eligible for child-related social security and family assistance payment, concession cards and Medicare. For comprehensive list of social security payments that non-protected SCV holder are entitled to, kindly visit Services Australia website.

This Subclass 189 permanent visa enable New Zealand citizen to live in Australia as a permanent resident with unrestricted access to social security benefits provided applicable waiting periods & other eligibility criteria are met.

Stay Period

Indefinitely with 5-year travel facility after which you may need to apply for Subclass 155 or 157 Resident Return visa to extend your travel facility.

Apply from...

Primary applicant must be a Subclass 444 Special Category visa holder and must be in Australia, but not in immigration clearance to apply for this visa. However, the primary applicant can be in or outside Australia to be granted this visa.

Secondary applicant may be in or outside Australia, but not in immigration clearance, to apply and to be granted this visa.

Secondary applicant in Australia when applying for this visa must hold:
  • a substantive visa; or
  • a Subclass 010 Bridging A visa; or
  • a Subclass 020 Bridging B visa; or
  • a Subclass 030 Bridging C visa
with no condition(s) attached to the visa that prevent the secondary applicant from applying this visa in Australia.
To make a valid application for Subclass 189 visa in the New Zealand stream and/or be granted this visa, the following sets of criteria must be met:
Arrived Australia on/before 19 February 2016
To be eligible for this permanent visa, primary applicant who is a New Zealand citizen must have started their residency in Australia on or before 19 February 2016.
Lived in Australia for 5 Consecutive Years
Primary applicant must have been usually resident in Australia for a continuous period of at least 5 years immediately before the date of the visa application.

The continuous period of usual residence in Australia must have started on or before 19 February 2016.
Income Requirement for the Last 4 Financial Years
Primary applicant’s taxable income as shown on ther Notice of Assessment, issued by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), for each of the 4 completed financial years immediately before applying for this visa must be at, or above, the minimum income threshold for corresponding income year as listed below:
Income PeriodMinimum Taxable Income on ATO Notice of Assessment
1 July 2014 – 30 June 2015AUD 53,900
1 July 2015 – 30 June 2016AUD 53,900
1 July 2016 – 30 June 2017AUD 53,900
1 July 2017 – 30 June 2018AUD 53,900
1 July 2018 – 30 June 2019AUD 53,900
1 July 2019 – 30 June 2020TBA
This legislative instrument details updated income requirement.

Income exemptions apply to the following circumstances:
  • Applicant with parenting order that restricts the applicant from removing a child from Australia
  • Primary applicant was unable to meet the income requirement for any period during the 5 years immediately before the date of the application because the primary applicant were prevented from leaving Australia to return to New Zealand because the Family Court of Australia or the Federal Circuit Court of Australia assigned primary care of a child to the applicant and placed restrictions on the applicant from removing the child from Australia.

  • Applicant with injury compensation claim
  • Primary applicant was unable to meet the income requirement for any period during the 5 years immediately before the date of the application because the primary applicant was receiving compensation for an injury which prevented the applicant from earning at, or above the income threshold; and would have their ongoing rehabilitation or compensation discontinued if the applicant returned to New Zealand.

  • Applicant was on parental or carer’s leave
  • Primary applicant was unable to meet the income requirement for any period during the 5 years immediately before the date of the application because the applicant was on an approved period of parental (including maternity & paternity) or carer’s leave from the applicant’s usual employment; and
  • immediately before the period of parental or carer’s leave, met the minimum income requirement for the corresponding income year; and
  • has resumed, or is expected to resume within a reasonable period, earning an income that will meet the minimum income requirement for the corresponding income year.
The following persons can apply for this Subclass 189 visa in the New Zealand stream:
  • New Zealand citizen who holds a Subclass 444 Special Category visa and met the eligibility criteria outlined in "Eligibility Criteria" tab on this page (hereinafter referred to as "the Primary Applicant");
  • the member of family unit of the Primary Applicant, e.g.: spouse/de facto partner and children who are still dependent on the Primary Applicant or the spouse/de facto partner of Primary Applicant (hereinafter referred to as "the Secondary Applicant")
Secondary applicant in Australia when applying for this visa must hold:
  • a substantive visa; or
  • a Subclass 010 Bridging A visa; or
  • a Subclass 020 Bridging B visa; or
  • a Subclass 030 Bridging C visa

with no condition(s) attached to the visa that prevent the secondary applicant from applying this visa in Australia.
The following condition(s) might be attached to this visa:

Condition 8515 - Must not marry or enter into a de facto relationship before entering Australia

If this visa is granted when the secondary applicant is outside Australia, the holder of this visa must not marry or enter into a de facto relationship before entering Australia.

This condition usually applies to secondary applicant(s) who are not married or in a de facto relationship and are still dependent on the primary visa applicant prior to visa grant. For example, child of primary visa applicant who is also a secondary applicant for this visa must not married or enter into a de facto relationship prior to entering Australia for the first time.

Breaching this visa condition will render the said visa with the condition 8515 subject to cancellation.

If you are ready to commence your life in Australia, book a consultation with Ausdirect Migration today.

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