Immigration Law Changes in Australia:

The perpetually closed Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa stream, which is exclusive to New Zealand, will cease accepting new applicants on July 1, 2023.

The New Zealand preference category for the Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa is no longer accepting applications at this time, per the authorities. The New Zealand application stream will cease accepting applications on July 1, 2023.

So, how exactly does this new immigration law play out?

Since this opportunity has closed, you are no longer able to submit a new application for a New Zealand route. This supports the recently streamlined procedure by which New Zealanders can acquire Australian citizenship. The Department of Home Affairs shall process applications we have already received.

Beginning on July 1, 2023, eligible New Zealand residents residing in Australia will have the opportunity to petition for Australian citizenship directly. A special visa will not be necessary for permanent residents.

What happens to pending applications?

You may rescind your application for the New Zealand stream if any the members of your immediate family possess a Special Category visa (subclass 444). Individuals who wish to avail themselves of the newly established direct route to Australian citizenship for nationals of New Zealand will be required to submit an application for conferral by July 1, 2023.


The citizenship application fee

Applying for citizenship incurs a lower expense compared to the process of applying for a second visa. The payment of the second visa application fee is required prior to the issuance of a New Zealand visa.

Those applying should consider:

  • Their specific circumstances
  • During the process of becoming citizens, applicants would stay as temporary residents.
  • The benefits of permanent residence
  • Application processing times for citizenship

For further information regarding visa sponsorship options for family members of New Zealand citizens acquiring Australian citizenship via the new direct route, please refer to the Department’s website. Parental and partner visas are two potential avenues for obtaining permanent residency in Australia.

Applications for New Zealand visas that are in the “stream” by December 10, 2022

On December 10, 2022, the government has announced that it will suspend the New Zealand application stream. The Department of Home Affairs will grant full processing to all applications received prior to December 10, 2022.

Applicants who submit their New Zealand Stream applications prior to December 10, 2022, will have the option to include their spouses and children.

Withdrawing your application

On December 10, 2022, the government has announced that it will suspend the New Zealand application stream. The Department of Home Affairs will grant full processing to all applications received prior to December 10, 2022.

Applicants who submit their New Zealand Stream applications prior to December 10, 2022, will have the option to include their spouses and children.

To learn more about cancelling your visa application, click here.

Refunds

A restitution of the visa application charge is not available to New Zealand citizens who have obtained a skilled independent (subclass 189) visa through the New Zealand stream. This encompasses their relatives who were born in New Zealand.

We trust that this information regarding modifications to Australian immigration law will assist you in strategizing your forthcoming applications.