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Are you a New Zealand citizen living in Australia?

On Saturday 10 December 2022 the New Zealand stream of the Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa was temporarily closed to new applications. Unfortunately, the Department of Home Affairs did not provide any advance warning that this was doing to occur.

This means that an application for this visa cannot be made from 10 December 2022 until 1 July 2023.

While this is extremely disappointing for people who were planning to submit an application, legislative changes have been made so that applications already lodged will receive stream-lined processing. This is excellent news for those who have a lodged application as the processing time for this visa was several years. A dedicated group within the Department of Home Affairs (DoHA) will now be focused on the finalisation of these applications as a priority.

The streamlining measures recognise that this this cohort of New Zealand citizens have lived in Australia for many years, have been working here and been contributing to Australia’s economy. These measures mean that applications lodged with DoHA prior to 10 December 2022 will no longer be required to satisfy the following criteria:

  • a period of residence in Australia
  • the income threshold
  • This is interesting and extremely beneficial as while New Zealand citizens can access Medicare, they are unable to access the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

During the period 10 December 2022 to 1 July 2023, DoHA will be assessing future migration and citizenship pathways for New Zealand citizens. FC Lawyers will continue to provide updates as new information is available.

If you have any questions regarding the above if you’re a New Zealand citizen or would like to discuss your immigration options, please contact our team today. We have assisted many New Zealand citizens immigrate to Australia.