Key Changes to 189 New Zealand Stream Subclass Visa in 2021

Migration Amendment – F2021L00668 – – Subclass 189 Visa Regulations 2021 amends Reg 189.232 (1) to replace 3 years of income over the past 4 years the applicant for the NZ stream Subclass 189 visa must receive less than the maximum amount of income, in the five years prior to the application. To read more about, Key Changes to 189 Subclass Visa in 2021, read on below.

Currently, if a New Zealander is eligible to apply under section 189 New Zealand stream, they must indicate the following:

  • hold a New Zealand Special Category visa (subclass 444)
  • they had lived in Australia for at least five years
  • started living here on or before 19 February 2016
  • has met a taxable or higher income limit for at least 4 years in the last five years before applying for a visa.

From 1 July 2021, however, the changes will take effect and provide greater flexibility in the New Zealand Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) visa requirements by reducing the number of years the applicant must meet the specified income limits.

An additional clause has been added to Reg 189.232 (1A) which stipulates that one of the income years must be a recent fiscal year prior to the application date.

The income limit for the past five years has been $ 53,900.

This instrument commences on 1 July 2021.

In addition, to further assist New Zealanders on their way to permanent residence, the Government is using measures to assist temporary visa holders who were on their way to permanent residence before COVID-19 to obtain eligibility for Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) New Zealand stream.

Steps provide:

  • Permission to get money if they can show that their 2019-20 tax revenue has been negatively affected by the COVID-19 epidemic.
  • The temporary allowance spent overseas due to the COVID-19 tourism restrictions will be considered as Australian accommodation for applicants who were on track to meet the ‘permanent’ visa requirements.

 Why should New Zealanders apply for permanent residence in Australia?

 In 2016-17, the Australian Government estimates that it will spend about $ 158.6 billion on social and welfare security, and $ 191.8 billion in 2019-20. This category of expenses includes various payments and services that include:

  • many subsidy payments such as pensions and grants (for example, Newstart)
  • family payments such as Family Tax Benefit
  • paid parental leave pay
  • payment of childcare fees assistance
  • support for aged care services
  • funding for disability services too
  • payments and services for veterans and dependents.

As a permanent resident, after the initial waiting period, you will have the greater access to social assistance when you apply for a Special Category Visa (SCV). There are also many grants and subsidies that can only be claimed by residents and citizens.

Citizenship can create many job opportunities; there are still a lot of roles in the permanent government sector that can only be filled by citizens and permanent residents.

Citizenship also means obtaining HELP loans and other support, unless met with the same strict criteria as SCV owners.

How can Migration Guru help you?

We will help you explore visa options and secure the application. Migration Guru has experience in immigration and visa application in Australia, and our immigration agents and attorneys have extensive knowledge of legal requirements, eligibility criteria, and supporting documentation required.

Simply dial 07 3036 3800 or email: and let us help you start with your way towards obtaining an Australian visa.


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