New legislation will be introduced to change the age limit of the skilled migration visas and to allow New Zealand citizens to apply for permanent residency. These changes will come into effect on 1 July 2017.
Age Limit Lowered to 45 years
The age limit will be lowered from the current age of 50 to 45 years. There will be transitional arrangements and the new age does not apply to applications made:
- in response to an invitation by the Minister given before 1 July 2017, and
- the visa application is lodged on or after 1 July 2017, or,
- the applicant claims to be a member of the family unit of the primary applicant and is making a combined application with the primary applicant.
PR for NZ Citizens
There will be a new permanent visa stream under the skilled migration program for specified New Zealand citizens.
The main features of the ‘New Zealand stream’ are:
- The primary applicant must hold a Subclass 444 Special Category visa. Secondary applicants must hold a substantive visa or Bridging Visas A, B or C.
- The applicant must have been usually resident in Australia, on or before 16 February 2016, for a continuous period for at least five years immediately before the date of application.
- The visa application charges will be paid in two installments.
The applicant’s taxable income for four of the five most recently completed income tax years, is required to be no less than the minimum amount specified below:
- 2012/13 – $51,000
- 2013/14 – $53,900
- 2014/15 – $53,900
- 2015/16 – $53,900
- 2016/17 – $53,900