On 1 July 2017, the Australia Government added a new pathway of Permanent Residence for New Zealand citizens. This now means that New Zealand citizens who hold the Special Category (subclass 444) visa (SCV) can apply for permanent residence if they were usually resident in Australia on or before 19 February 2016 and who, at the time of lodging an application, have resided in Australia for at least five years.
The option is within the Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa and requires the New Zealand citizen to:
- be a Special Category (subclass 444) visa holder
- have commenced living in Australia on or before 19 February 2016
- have been living in Australia continuously for five years
- have a taxable income at or above an income threshold ($53,900 plus superannuation) for each of the four completed income years prior to lodging an application (unless claiming an exemption)