New Zealand citizens have a pathway to permanent residence under the General Skilled Migration Program provided they have held a sc444 Special Category Visa, been resident in Australia for the 5 years immediately prior to application and have been earning at or above the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT). Some new exemptions commenced on 12 December 2018 in relation to the income requirements for such applicants. NZ citizens may still be eligible for a sc186 visa even though their income was below the TSMIT if one of the following applies:
they are prevented from leaving Australia to return to NZ because the Family Court or Federal Circuit Court assigned them the primary care of a child of the applicant and placed restrictions exist on the removal of the child from Australia;
they are receiving compensation for an injury that prevented them from meeting the minimum amount and their ongoing rehabilitation or compensation would be discontinued if they returned to NZ; or
they were on approved parental or carer's leave from their usual employment which had an annual income that was no less than the minimum amount, and is expected to resume earning an income no less than the minimum amount, within a reasonable period.
For further advice on your eligibility please contact us.