australian citizenship

NZ Subclass 189 Permanent Residency applications are temporarily on hold, but new and improved options could be on the way.

The Australian Government has placed a temporary hold on applications for the Skilled Independent (subclass 189) New Zealand stream PR visa.

Applications closed on 10 December 2022 are set to re-open on 1 July 2023.

The announcement was made just hours before applications were put on hold.

 New Visa Options ‘to reflect important contribution made by Kiwis’

In a statement released last week, the Australian Department of Home Affairs acknowledged the close ties shared by our two nations and the valuable contribution made by long-term Kiwi residents who have been working in Australia and helping the country’s post-pandemic economic recovery.

It said visa and citizenship pathways should reflect the “very positive contribution New Zealanders make in Australia”.

Applications are closed whilst the Government considers what these future visa and citizenship options might look like.

The good news is, when the 189 New Zealand stream visa relaunches, it’s likely that more people will be eligible for it.

Subclass 189 New Zealand Stream Background

The visa was first introduced in 2018 as a PR pathway for subclass 444 visa holders living in Australia. PR is a stepping stone to citizenship.

There are lots of advantages associated with Australian PR – which are not open to special category visa holders – and the visa has proved popular with the Kiwi community. However, due to income, residency and health criteria, not everyone who wanted the subclass 189 visa was eligible to apply.

Some of the key benefits of Australian PR include immediate access to the National Disability Insurance scheme and automatic Australian citizenship at birth if your children are born in Australia.

Current Applications

 Applications currently in the pipeline will be finalised quickly, with a special taskforce having been established for this purpose.

Existing subclass 189 New Zealand stream visa holders will continue to have the option of adding partners and children to their visas.

Other Visas Not Impacted

This announcement relates only to the 189 New Zealand stream visas; all other visas relevant to New Zealanders living in Australia are open and being processed as normal. This includes partner visas for Kiwis in Australiafamily visasresident return visas and Australian citizenship.

Our friends at True Blue Migration Services continue to provide free visa assessments to members of the NZRelo community.

We will provide updates on the 189 visa as more information becomes available. Please refer to the Department of Home Affairs’ official statement and FAQs for further details.

australian citizenship

The information displayed on these pages is intended to provide a general overview of some Australian visa types. It is not a substitute for tailored, professional advice relating to your own personal circumstances.

There are dozens of Australian visa subclasses; we refer to only a narrow selection here.

Migration policies and regulations change frequently. We are not responsible for any errors or omissions relating to the generic information supplied here.
You should always seek up-to-date advice from a Registered Migration Agent or refer to the Department of Home Affairs website prior to lodging an application. For more information visit