Effective 1 July 2017

The Skilled Independent 189 Visa is making a little change from 1 July 2017. It’s mostly just the addition of a the ‘New Zealand stream’ for New Zealand citizens who are already resident in Australia. The Skilled Independent 189 Visa that we know now, will henceforth be the ‘points tested stream’ under the Skilled Independent 189 visa.


Skilled Independent 189 Visa:

  • Points tested stream (current 189 visa) and
  • New Zealand stream (new)

The points tested stream 189 visa remains largely unchanged except for a lowering of the age limit from 50 years to 45 years. As the applicant cannot have turned 45 at the time of application, this will affect all EOIs that have not received invitations to apply from 1 July 2017. Those who have received an application before 1 July 2017 but lodge their application on or after 1 July 2017 will not be affected by the new reduced age limit.

Read: How SkillSelect works in issuing invitations for EOIs


The criteria under the New Zealand stream are as follows:

  • Main applicant is at least 18 years of age
  • Main applicant is a New Zealand citizen and is holding a subclass 444 (special category) visa
  • Applicant usually resident in Australia from a continuous period of at least 5 years immediately before the date of application
  • Continuous period of usual residence in Australia started on or before 19 February 2016
  • Applicant must provide copies of notices of assessment and any notices of amended assessments of the applicant’s income tax liability in relation to the 4 most recently completed income years before the date of application. The tax file number (TFN) may be removed from the notices
  • Applicant must meet a minimum taxable income. There will be a class of applicants exempt from meeting this requirement (information not released yet)
  • Meet health and character requirements
  • Secondary applicants must be on a substantive visa or a bridging visa A, B or C

In the News..

SBS News: Highly skilled foreign workers reject Aussie jobs after 457 changes

Australian Financial Review: Time for Petter Dutton to clear up the 457 mess of uncertainty

SBS News: How the 457 reform overlooks the cheapest of foreign workers