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Permanent Residency for New Zealander in Australia

 Requirements | Processing Time | Cost | FAQ | Duration | Citizenship | Criminal Convictions

Update for New Zealand Citizens – Subclass 189 New Zealand Stream

The following changes to the New Zealand stream of the Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) visa came into effect on Saturday 10 December 2022. The stream has been temporarily closed to new applications and the regulations have been amended to enable the streamlined processing of the on-hand caseload. The temporary closure means an application cannot be made from 10 December 2022 until 1 July 2023. 

This is a temporary pause on new applications while the Government considers future migration and citizenship pathways for New Zealand citizens in Australia. During this period, the Department of Home Affairs will seek to finalise the majority of on-hand applications in the New Zealand stream and has established a dedicated taskforce to prioritise the processing of this caseload.

The majority of New Zealand stream 189 visa applicants have been waiting several years for their visa application to be finalised due to the limited number of places allocated to this group in recent years.

For further information see:


Subclass 189 New Zealand Stream

The Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189) NZ Stream allows New Zealand citizens with a New Zealand Special Category (subclass 444) visa live and work in Australia permanently.

Not all New Zealanders are eligible to apply for Permanent Residency, including students, retirees, carers of children and some people unable to work due to an injury.


In order to qualify for a Subclass 189 visa, you would need to:

Is there an age restriction for New Zealand citizens applying for a Subclass 189 New Zealand Stream visa?

No there is not.  Unlike other citizens apply for permanent residency through General Skilled or Employer Sponsored, there is no age restriction for New Zealand citizens applying for the Subclass 189 New Zealand stream visa.

Permanent Residency processing time for New Zealander in Australia

It can take 14 to 15 months to receive your permanent residency.

Government Fees

The visa costs AUD 4,115 for the main applicant.

There is also a charge for each family member who applies for the visa with you.

The visa application charges are paid in two instalments. The first instalment is 20% of the total visa application charge payable at the time of lodgement. The second instalment is the remaining 80% of the visa application charge. These charges must be paid before we grant you your visa.

Do I Apply in Australia or Overseas? Can I include Family Members on my visa application?

You must apply onshore and you can include dependent family members such as spouse/partner and dependent children.

What happens after I submit my 189 Visa application?

Once your 189 visa application is allocated to a case officer, they may undertake id checks and assess your claimed information such as employment, character and health before making a decision on your visa application.

Please be aware that a case officer may refuse your visa application without requesting further information or documents. Therefore, it is crucial you provide all relevant documents at the time of lodgement of your application.

Duration and Conditions

Once you receive your Permanent Residency through the 189 Visa, you are entitled to:

Becoming an Australian Citizen

After a certain time, you might be eligible for Australian citizenship.

Criminal Convictions or charges

If you are among those who had criminal convictions or charges, we recommend you to read our article ‘ How can criminal convictions affect your Australian visa application?’ before you apply for your Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189) NZ Stream.

Would you like to know more about your prospects for a visa?

Eligibility is the most important step in determining whether a person may meet the legal criteria for a visa application and one consultation could save you money.

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