A new pathway to Australian Citizenship for NZ Citizens

A new pathway to Australian Citizenship for NZ Citizens

A warm welcome to our April & May 2023 edition, an insight into the latest immigration news.

In this newsletter we will cover:
– A new pathway to Australian Citizenship for NZ Citizens.
– TSMIT threshold increase form $53,900 to $70,000.
– Expanded pathways to permanent residency for 482 TSS visa holders.
– A new visa for Pacific migrants.
– Changes to student visas.
– Changes to Working Holiday Maker visas.


Direct Pathway to Australian Citizenship for Eligible New Zealand Citizens

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, along with the Minister for Home Affairs and the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, announced a new direct pathway to Australian citizenship for eligible New Zealand citizens. This change is a response to the difficulties New Zealanders have faced since 2001 in attaining citizenship in Australia.

Effective July 1, 2023, all Special Category Visa holders will be able to apply directly for citizenship without becoming permanent residents first, as long as they meet a four-year residence and other eligibility requirements. This move brings the rights of New Zealanders living in Australia more in line with those of
Australians living in New Zealand.

According to Prime Minister Albanese, this change is a reflection of the deep friendship between Australia and New Zealand, and he looks forward to strengthening the relationship between the two countries.
To read more, visit: Direct Citizenship Pathway for NZ Citizens


Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold Raised to $70,000

The Australian government is raising the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) from $53,900 to $70,000, effective July 1, 2023. The TSMIT has been frozen since 2013, and according to the media release, around 90% of all full-time jobs in Australia are now paid more than the current TSMIT
undermining the skilled migration system in Australia.

The new $70,000 income threshold is where the TSMIT should have been, if it had been properly indexed over the previous 10 years. This is the first action taken by the Albanese Government in response to the

independent Review of the Migration System, which found that Australia’s migration system is broken.
For further information, visit:  Department of Home Affairs – Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold


Expanded Pathways to Permanent Residency for Temporary Skill Shortage Visa Holders

By the end of 2023, Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) short-stream visa holders will have a pathway to permanent residency within the existing capped permanent program. This will provide employers and migrants with more certainty and will help increase the skill level in the permanent skilled program.

This announcement is in line with the Albanese Government’s commitment to increasing the TSMIT and expanding pathways to permanent residence. Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Andrew Giles, stated that this measure is another step towards ending the ‘permanently
temporary’ limbo that formed a key part of the decade of mismanagement under the former Liberal government.

Further clarification was provided in a news update on 5th May 2023, confirming:
– Applicants need to continue to work in their nominated occupations and occupations will NOT be limited to only the Medium to Long Term Skilled Occupation List, i.e applicants on the short term stream will be eligible.

– Applicants will be eligible after 2 years of employment on their 482 visa, reduced from 3 years.
– All other nomination and visa requirements of the TRT stream of the ENS will need to be met.
– The limit on the number of short term stream TSS visa applications will be removed to facilitate the transition.

New Visa for Pacific Migrants

A new visa, called the Pacific Engagement Visa (PEV), has been introduced in Australia, providing 3,000 places for eligible migrants from Pacific countries and Timor Leste. The spots for the visa will be allocated by a ballot process each year, and those selected will be able to apply for permanent residence in Australia. Applications will be able to be lodged online from July.

The program aims to provide fair and transparent access to eligible individuals from Pacific Island countries and Timor-Leste to enter a ballot process and secure full-time job offers in Australia. Eligibility requirements include being between the ages of 18 and 45, holding a passport from a participating country, and having a formal full-time job offer in Australia.

Successful entrants and their immediate family members will be able to apply for the PEV.

The cost to enter the ballot is $25, and successful applicants will be supported in finding employment and preparing for life in Australia. The PEV program will complement the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility (PALM) scheme, which is a temporary migration program to meet workforce shortages in rural and regional Australia. PALM scheme participants on valid temporary visas will be eligible to
enter the PEV ballot.

Further information is available at: Pacific Engagement Visa – Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade

Changes to Student Visas

In an effort to address workforce shortages, student visa work restrictions were relaxed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and removed last January. This allowed primary and secondary student visa holders to work over the usual limit of 40 hours per fortnight. However, from 1 July 2023, student visa work
restrictions will be re-introduced and capped at an increased rate of 48 hours per

From the same date, some holders of subclass 485 Temporary Graduate visas will be able to stay in Australia for a longer period. The extension means a stay period of four years for Bachelor’s degree graduates (up from two years), five years for Master’s degree graduates (up from three), and six years for doctoral graduates (up from four).

Read more: Work Restrictions for Student Visa Holders – Department of Home Affairs

Ready to get started? Contact First Class Migration today to begin your visa application process with the support of experts who truly care about your future in Australia.