New Zealand Visitors: Do You Know About the New Skilled Independent Visa Stream?

If you are a New Zealander who is interested in obtaining Australian citizenship, then you’re in luck. There’s a new Skilled Independent visa stream that could help you do just that. A bilateral relationship between New Zealand and Australia was acknowledged on 19 February 2016, which led to the announcement of a new pathway to permanent residency.

Who is Eligible for the New Skilled Independent Visa?

The new Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189), will go into effect on 1 July 2017. It is intended for New Zealand Special Category (subclass 444) visa holders who were living in Australia prior to 19 February 2016. The applicant must have resided in the country for a minimum of five years. Other requirements also include:

  • Proven Contributions to Australia

The applicant must prove their contributions through income tax returns that show assessable income that is equal to the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT).

  • Mandatory Checks

The applicant must meet all mandatory character, national security, and health checks.

The applicant is also permitted to include their partner, child, or step-child as well as their partner’s child or step-child on their application. Each family member listed must also meet mandatory character, health, and security checks and can hold any type of visa.

How Do I Become an Australian Citizen?

So how does the new Skilled Independent visa stream help New Zealanders become Australian citizens? Those who are approved for the visa will be eligible to apply for citizenship after 12 months. The 12 month period is in addition to the required five years as a New Zealand SCV holder. Those who arrived before 26 February 2001 may already have permanent resident status.

Preparing for the New Skilled Independent Visa

The new visa will be added soon, which is why interested parties should begin preparing now. You should start by obtaining family relationship and identity documents for each person applying. That includes birth and marriage certificates as well as passports. You can also request a police certificate and get a Health Assessment Portal Identification Number (HAP ID). You will also need:

  • Notice of Assessments from the Australian Tax Office for the previous five years
  • Evidence of residence which could be a rental agreement or rates notice

Make sure you have everything ready before July by contacting a registered migration agent. Emergico can help you gather the necessary documents and learn more about the application process. Contact us today or visit our website to complete the free online visa eligibility assessment.

Leanne Stevens

CEO, Emergico // Registered Migration Agent (#1171279)