New Zealand Citizens Obtaining Permanent Residence in Australia
New Zealand citizens can live and work in Australia so long as they remain New Zealand citizens. This circumstance often works well and for a long while, but it is not without its limitations. Essentially a New Zealand citizen that has arrived after the 26th of February 2001 is a temporary resident, and as a result of this status, some of these limitations can include:-
- Increase in tuition fees for children
- Limited access to Centrelink and other government benefits
- No voting rights
This can be complicated further if you have a spouse or partner who is neither an Australian or New Zealand citizen.
New Zealand citizens often want to become Australian citizens and feel that they have limited or no options to progress to become an Australian citizen. To become an Australian citizen, one must first become a Permanent Resident and meet the residential requirements for citizenship. For many New Zealand citizens who may have lived in Australia for many years, they may be able to meet the residence requirement for citizenship 12 months after becoming a permanent resident - if permanent residence is acquired through the 189 New Zealand Stream.
Over the recent years, many changes have been made or introduced, and in some cases, giving good concessions to New Zealand citizens to enable them to progress to become a permanent resident .
Additional Pathway to Permanent Residence - 189 Visa New Zealand Stream
From July 2017 New Zealand citizens who have been living and working in Australia and have met some specific criteria may be able to apply for the 189 Skilled visa - New Zealand Stream. Some of the key criteria that is required for a successful outcome is as follows:-
- That you hold a subclass 444 Special Category Visa. (this is visa usually granted to a New Zealand citizen upon entry into Australia)
- You have been resident in Australia for at least the last 5 years
- You were in Australia (as a resident) on or before the 19th of February 2016, when this new visa stream was announced.
- you have earned more than the "income threshold" for each of the 5 years (see below)
- you meet the usual health and character requirements
The requirement to meet the income threshold is as follows:
The above is demonstrated by providing the Notice of Assessment from the tax office for each respective tax return.
Please contact us for an in-office consultation for a review of your eligibility and assistance in making an application.
There are other (existing) pathways to obtain permanent residence. These may be useful if you have not been in Australia for the previous 5 years, or you do not meet the income threshold. Some of these pathways and concessions include:-
- Pathways for permanent employer sponsored visas where a New Zealand citizen has worked for that employer for at least 2 years.
- Concessions for New Zealand citizens who own their own businesses in Australia
- Concessions for New Zealand citizens who may have lived in Australia, or even visited for a short period of time (even as a child), prior to September 1994.
Some of these concessions extend to the New Zealand spouse or partner who may be in Australia on a 461 New Zealand relative visa.
Please feel free to Contact Us to discuss your circumstances and the way forward.