The New Zealand stream of the Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa (the New Zealand stream) has temporarily closed to new applications. This means a new application cannot be made from 10 December 2022 until 1 July 2023.
This initiative has been introduced as the new Albanese Government considers alternative pathways for New Zealand (‘NZ’) citizens to obtain Australian Permanent Residency and Citizenship.
There is a limited number of allocated places in each migration year available for Subclass 189 visa applicants in the NZ stream. This has inevitably resulted in severe processing delays, with many applicants waiting several years for a visa decision. The temporary pause on new applications will allow Department case officers to finalise the remaining applications currently on hand, and to prioritise skilled NZ workers on their journey to Australian Citizenship. This initiative is another example of Australia’s economic response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the severe labour shortages seen because of this.
With the goal of finalising on-hand subclass 189 visa applications for NZ citizens by mid 2023, access for these individuals to seek Australian Citizenship will also be fast-tracked. From 1 January 2023, changes to the citizenship eligibility for NZ subclass 189 visa holders will apply. Details about these concessions are yet to be released, but applicants who may be eligible are invited to review the Department’s website on 1 January 2023 for further information.
These changes are certainly welcomed amidst the huge backlog of visa applications on hand with the Department.
If you are a NZ citizen and have lodged a Subclass 189 Visa, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Migration Law team for advice or assistance.
If you have any questions about any type of visas please feel free to contact our migration lawyers.
Nevett Ford Lawyers MelbourneLawyers – Immigration Lawyer Melbourne & Australian Citizenship Lawyer
Telephone: +61 3 9614 7111
Visit our website: www.nevettford.com.au