The Australian Government recently announced that as of July 1, 2017, New Zealand citizens will be able to take advantage of a new Australia immigration pathway to permanent residence and ultimately citizenship in Australia, provided they meet certain criteria. The Australian Government has created this in conjunction with the special bilateral relationship that Australia has with New Zealand. Below, we will enlighten you on this pathway.
Eligible applicants for the new pathway will need to meet the following criteria:
The implementation of the pathway falls on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. It will be available through the General Skill Migration (GSM) under the Skilled Independent category of the country’s annual Migration Programme. The pathway will enable SCV holders who meet all the required criteria to apply for a permanent residency in Australia and eventually Australian citizenship as well.
Certain vulnerable citizens of New Zealand will be exempt from the income test. The Minister of Social Services and the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection will decide on each application for exemption on an individual basis. The exempted applicants will still need to meet the mandatory residence requirement.
We feel that most New Zealanders who receive approval of permanent residency through this new pathway will apply for Australian citizenship one year later if they adhere to the requirement of the allowable overseas absence. This means the applicants for citizenship should be absent from the country no longer than 12 months within a four-year period. In addition, they must not be absent longer than 90 days in the 12 months prior to applying for Australian citizenship. Of course, all applicants also will need to qualify under the standard requirements for eligibility for citizenship.
The above is a brief synopsis of the new Australia immigration pathway for New Zealand citizens to gain permanent residence in Australia. For further information, consult with James Tan Immigration Consultants as we are the experts on the topic of immigration to Australia.