New Zealand Citizens

There are now pathways for New Zealand citizens to obtain Australian Permanent Residency.
Although New Zealand citizens can come to Australia and remain here indefinitely with full work rights as holders of a Special Category Subclass 444 visas, there are several reasons for pursuing permanent residency.

Visa Pathways for NZ Citizens

Skilled Independent (subclass 189) NZ Stream - Permanent

New Zealand Family Relationship (Subclass 461) Visa - Temporary

Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) Visa


To be eligible for this visa, the NZ citizen must hold a Special Category (subclass 444) visa and have been resident in Australia for a continuous period of five years immediately prior to application. The applicant must also have commenced their residence in Australia prior to 20 February 2016.

The applicant must also have met the minimum income threshold for at least 3 completed financial years in the 5 years immediately before you apply (one of these years must be your most recently completed financial year).

Unlike other GSM visas, there is no requirement for the applicant’s occupation to be recorded on the relevant occupation lists, satisfy English language requirements or to pass the points test.

Whilst all applicants must meet the strict health and character requirements, there is also no age requirement for the primary applicant. There is no capping or occupation ceiling for 189 NZ stream, it should stay as part of migration program for years.

The visa application fee is the same as for another subclass 189 applicants. However, Kiwis applying under the new pathway will only have to pay 20% of the application fees of lodgement, with the remainder payable before visa grant.

There are other pathways for Kiwis who were resident in Australia prior to 02 September 1994 and those present in Australia on 26 February 2001.


Why pursue permanent residency?

New Zealand citizens are generally not eligible for any social benefits from Centrelink such as welfare payments, unemployment or sickness benefits, or disaster relief

New Zealand citizens can’t get student loans to study in Australia (there are some limited exemptions)

New Zealand citizens can’t vote in Australia

New Zealand citizens can’t take the jobs where a person must be an Australian Citizen or permanent resident

New Zealand citizens can’t take a job in an Australian Defence Forces or within the Australian Government

Kids of NZ citizens can’t represent Australia in international sporting competitions

If a family member is not a New Zealand citizen, then they must apply for their temporary New Zealand dependent visa

Obtaining permanent residency provides security for the future.

New Zealand Family Relationship (subclass 461) Visa


This visa allows someone who is not a New Zealand citizen to live in Australia with their family member who is a New Zealand citizen and who holds either a Special Category (subclass 444) visa and is living in Australia or is eligible to hold a Special Category visa (subclass 444) and is accompanying you to Australia.

You must be related to the New Zealand citizen as either their partner, their (or their partner's) dependent child, the dependent child of their (or their partner's) dependent child or a dependent relative.

If you need assistance with your NZ Family Relationship Visa application or if you are interested in applying for a NZ Family Relationship Visa, our experienced registered migration agents can provide you with advice and guide you through the visa process


Work with us to ensure that your application is approved quickly!

If you decide to make an application for a NZ Skilled Visa using a Western Migration Registered Migration Agent to prepare and lodge the application on your behalf, we will make the whole process:

Simpler: Quite simply, we know what works and what doesn’t, so we will give you clear instructions as to what documents you need to provide. We will prepare your process your application properly and provide all the correct documents to the Department of Immigration.

More efficient: We will use our expertise to maximize your chances of a positive outcome and minimize processing delays, because we lodge decision ready applications.

Stress-free: We manage the entire process for you from start to finish! We will monitor your application until the Department of Home Affairs approves it and keep you informed of any developments and about any changes in legislation that may affect the outcome of your case.