Skilled Independent (subclass 189) (New Zealand) stream

Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) (New Zealand) stream is for New Zealand Special Category (subclass 444) visa holders who have shown a commitment and contribution to Australia to apply for permanent residence.

New Zealand citizens who are granted this permanent visa will be eligible to apply for Australian citizenship after 12 months (in addition to holding a Special Category visa for a period of five consecutive years).

If you are not a New Zealand citizen you may be eligible to apply for the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) (Points-tested) stream .

    • You must:
  • hold a Special Category (subclass 444) visa.
  • have been usually resident in Australia continuously for five years
  • have started residency in Australia on or before 19 February 2016
  • have a taxable income at or above an income threshold for each of the four completed income years prior to lodging an application (unless claiming an exemption)

Length of stay

Permanently

Cost

AUD4,045, for the main applicant. The visa application charge is paid in two instalments (20% at time of lodgement and 80% as a second instalment before we can grant the visa.)

Age

There is no age requirement for this stream

Visa Status

You must hold a Special Category Visa (subclass 444).

Your family members may hold any visa

Residence

You must have been usually resident in Australia for a continuous period of five years immediately prior to application, and have commenced that period of usual residence on or before 19 February 2016

Income

You must have a taxable income at or above an income threshold for each income year in the four years prior to lodging an application (unless claiming an exemption).

Health

You must meet our health requirement. Health examinations can be arranged before or after lodging your visa application.

Character

You must be of good character.

Debts

You must have repaid, or have arranged to repay, any outstanding debts to the Australian government.

What you can do

This is a permanent visa. It lets you:

  • stay in Australia indefinitely
  • work and study in Australia
  • enrol in Medicare, Australia’s scheme for health-related care and expenses
  • sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence
  • travel to and from Australia for five years
  • apply for Australian citizenship, if eligible.

Location

You must be in Australia when you apply for the visa.

How long the visa lasts

This is a permanent visa – it lasts indefinitely.

The visa starts on the date it is granted.

Family

You can include your partner and your or your partner’s child or step-child in your application.

Family members who are granted the visa have the same rights and can do the same things as you.

More information about adding family members

Your obligations

You and your family members must comply with Australian laws and your visa conditions.

You can find your visa conditions in VEVO.

Travel

You can travel in and out of Australia as many times as you want for five years from the date the visa is granted.