Friday, 12 November 2021
Media release

Extending support for the New Zealand pathway to permanent residence

The Australian Government will extend measures to further support New Zealand citizens adversely impacted by COVID-19 who are on a pathway to permanent residence.

From 13 November 2021, New Zealand citizens applying for the New Zealand stream of the Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa will be able to claim an exemption from either the 2019-20 or the 2020-21 income year.

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, Alex Hawke said these extended measures would assist eligible New Zealand citizens to meet the requirements of the New Zealand pathway.

“The Australian Government recognises the impacts of the COVID-19 economic crisis and that they continue to be felt by New Zealand citizens in Australia,” Minister Hawke said.

“Earlier this year the Government exempted applicants affected by COVID-19 from meeting the income threshold requirement for 2019-20 income year. We are committed to continuing that support for the 2020-21 income year.”

“The extension of these measures reinforces our strong relationship with New Zealand.”

To claim an exemption, New Zealand applicants will need to demonstrate that their taxable income was adversely affected by the COVID-19 economic crisis.

This change is in addition to a measure introduced earlier this year which assists New Zealand citizens to count time spent offshore due to COVID-19 travel restrictions as residence in Australia for the purpose of meeting the ‘usually resident’ requirement for the visa.

Further information on the New Zealand stream is available on the Department of Home Affairs website.