Question of the Week

Playing telephone tennis with the Department – a New Zealand citizen applying for Australian citizenship

Category: Citizenships

Question asked

I've been playing telephone tennis with the Department and getting nowhere. Really don't know how to proceed or even if I can.

My partner and I were originally sponsored to come to Australia by the ADF. The morning we left NZ we got a call from the Australian consulate to say that I had to get written proof from the high school I left in 1979, that I speak english well enough to get the required visa. I was given an hour to do this or take my name off the application and my partner could then have his visa which he needed to swear allegiance as he had to do so before we left NZ. Since being here I have earned a university degree which I paid cash up front for. But now cannot get full time work as employers only seem to want casual. I meet all of the criteria for the 189 visa except the earnings threashold. I am at a loss as to what to do next.

Please can you give me any advice on this. Thank you.

PS would it make any difference if my partner and I were married.

Answer provided by Migration Agent

Dear A.,


Thank you for discussing your visa situation with me earlier today. Summary: You and your husband were sponsored by Australian Defence Force in 2003. Both of you were New Zealand Citizen. However, before leaving New Zealand, the consulate requested an unattainable request from you to provide your school certificate from 1979. Nonetheless you came to Australia on a subclass 444 visa from New Zealand. Your husband is now an Australian Citizen however you are still on a subclass 444 visa. Roughly 2 to 3 years ago, you applied for Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) New Zealand stream. However, your visa was refused because you did not meet 5-yearincome threshold of that visa.

You now wish to explore your visa options to become a Permanent Resident which will lead to Australian Citizenship. Our Advice: As discussed earlier today, generally for specifically New Zealand citizens to become Australian Permanent Resident, there are two different pathways.
1. If you came to Australia before 2001; OR
2. If you came to Australia before 2016, have been living in Australia for at least 5 and have had at least a full-time job in the last 5 years with a salary of $53,500 or above (subclass 189 –New Zealand Citizenstream)

Unfortunately, you do not meet either of the above criteria given your situation. You will therefore have to apply for a visa without receiving any concessions for being a New Zealand Citizen.

You can consider subclass 189 visa –points tested stream however as discussed earlier, you will need to achieve 65 points or above to be eligible for this visa. I have enclosed a points calculator in this letter (last page) for you understand whether you will be eligible to apply for that pathway or not. You may also consider for subclass 190 – skilled nominated visa. Again, this is a points-based visa stream as well, however in this visa, you will receive a letter of invitation from state you wish to apply for (eg; NSW, WA, QLD etc).

Your only other option is for you to apply for a partner visa application because your partner is an Australian Citizen. However, as noted the cost of applying for partner visa application is $7,715. This does not include any legal fees. I hope the above clarifies your current situation.

If you need further services from myself or a registered migration agent, please contact Amy at - and don’t forget to mention your Question ID so that I can keep providing immigration services to you.

Your Migration Agent

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