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Update for Income Threshold and Exemption for Visa 189 New Zealand Stream

Update for Income Threshold and Exemption for Visa 189 New Zealand Stream

Update for Income Threshold and Exemption for Visa 189 New Zealand Stream

On 13 May 2021, Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs, Alex Hawke, announced the Income Threshold and Exemption for Visa 189 New Zealand (NZ) Stream. The updated income threshold and the exemption will commence on 31 May 2021.

Additionally, Mr Hawke also listed the evidence that you must compile to claim the exemption.

What are the updated income threshold and the exemption for visa 189 NZ stream?

Infographic Threshold Income and Exemption for 189 visa NZ Stream

Previous Threshold Income and Exemption for Visa 189 NZ stream

In the 2019-2020 income year, the Department put AUD 53,900 as the minimum amount of taxable income that visa 189 NZ stream must meet to satisfy the primary criteria. The amount is the same as the minimum amount of income specified for each income year from 2013-14 to 2019-20.

Meanwhile, previously the Department only specified three categories of exemption for visa 189 NZ stream. Those three categories are:

  • Family court/parenting plan exemption
    • This exemption applies if you cannot leave Australia because the Family Court of Australia has given you primary care of a child, and you are not allowed to leave Australia with the child.
  • Compensation claim exemption
    • This exemption applies if you have been being compensated for an injury that prevents earning the income threshold and the compensation will cease if you return to New Zealand.
  • Parental or carer’s leave waiver
    • This exemption applies if you are on approved parental or carer’s leave and earned no less than the income threshold immediately before you went on leave and you have resumed or will resume earning the income that is no less than the income threshold.

Read more: COVID-19 Concession for Family and General Skilled Migration Visa 2021

Updated Threshold Income and Exemption for Visa 189 NZ stream

Looking at the current situation, the Department decided to add one more exemption criterion for the visa 189 NZ stream. Hence, the Department now has four exemption categories for visa 189 NZ stream. Those categories are:

  • Family court/parenting plan exemption
    • This exemption applies if you cannot leave Australia because the Family Court of Australia has given you primary care of a child, and you are not allowed to leave Australia with the child.
  • Compensation claim exemption
    • This exemption applies if you have been being compensated for an injury that prevents earning the income threshold and the compensation will cease if you return to New Zealand.
  • Parental or carer’s leave waiver
    • This exemption applies if you are on approved parental or carer’s leave and earned no less than the income threshold immediately before you went on leave and you have resumed or will resume earning the income that is no less than the income threshold.
  • Applicants who affected by the COVID-19 pandemic
    • This exemption applies if you could not meet the income requirement for the 2019-20 income year because you have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Otherwise, for the Threshold Income for 2020-21 income year proposed to be the same as the previous minimum amount of taxable income, which is AUD 53,900.

Read more: COVID-19 MARCH 2021 UPDATE: Skilled Migration Visas and First Entry to Australia

How do I claim the exemption?

If one of the exemption categories above applied to you, you may claim for the visa 189 exemption. You would need to provide evidence to support your claim. The proof of each category is shown in the table below:

Item Exemption categories Evidence
1 Column 2 Value Any of the following documents can support your claim:

  • A parenting order;
  • A registered parenting plan;
  • A written parenting plan;
  •  A consent order.
2 Compensation claim exemption Any of the following documents can support your claim:

  • A statutory declaration by the applicant setting out the applicant’s personal circumstances;
  • A statutory declaration by the applicant’s employer stating a return-to-work date and the applicant’s income amount;
  • A medical certificate for the applicant;
  • Official compensation documentation relating to the applicant;
  • Official rehabilitation documentation relating to the applicant
3 Parental or carer’s leave waiver Any of the following documents can support your claim:

  • A statutory declaration by the applicant setting out the applicant’s personal circumstances;
  • A statutory declaration by the applicant’s employer stating a return-to-work date and the applicant’s income amount;
  • A birth certificate for the applicant’s child;
  • A medical certificate for carer responsibilities;
  • Notice of approved parental leave
4 Applicants who affected by the COVID-19 pandemic Any of the following documents can support your claim:

  • A signed letter written on company letterhead by the applicant’s current or former employer stating the applicant’s salary before 1 February 2020; or
  • The applicant’s payslips, salary advice or employment contracts (stating the applicant’s salary) for a period in the 2019-20 income year to demonstrate that the applicant was likely to meet the income threshold in the 2019-20 income year;
  • A statutory declaration by the applicant’s employer acknowledging the applicant’s 2019-20 taxable income has reduced due to the following circumstances:
    • Reduced availability of shifts/hours;
    • The applicant contracting COVID-19 or having caring responsibilities for a person who contracted COVID-19;
    • Medically directed orders to self-isolation;
    • Caring responsibilities of COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns (e.g., schools, childcare centres).
  • If the applicant’s employment was terminated, then a statutory declaration by the applicant’s former employer stating that the circumstances of the applicant’s dismissal were related to the COVID-19 pandemic effects on the business;
  • Documentation proving that the applicant had access to the JobKeeper Wage Subsidy for a period in 2019-20 income year including either:
    • Employee nomination form; other statements or documents provided by the ATO demonstrating that the applicant had access to the JobKeeper Wage Subsidy; or
    • Alternative statements provided by the ATO at the applicant’s request.
  • Services Australia-Centrelink letters showing the applicant claimed and received the JobSeeker payments for a period in 2019-20 income year.
Item Exemption categories Evidence
1 Family court/parenting exemption Any of the following documents can support your claim:

  • A parenting order;
  • A registered parenting plan;
  • A written parenting plan;
  • A consent order.
2 Compensation claim exemption Any of the following documents can support your claim:

  • A statutory declaration by the applicant setting out the applicant’s personal circumstances;
  • A statutory declaration by the applicant’s employer stating a return-to-work date and the applicant’s income amount;
  • A medical certificate for the applicant;
  • Official compensation documentation relating to the applicant;
  • Official rehabilitation documentation relating to the applicant.
3 Parental or carer’s leave waiver Any of the following documents can support your claim:

  • A statutory declaration by the applicant setting out the applicant’s personal circumstances;
  • A statutory declaration by the applicant’s employer stating a return-to-work date and the applicant’s income amount;
  • A birth certificate for the applicant’s child;
  • A medical certificate for carer responsibilities;
  • Notice of approved parental leave.
4 Applicants who affected by the COVID-19 pandemic Any of the following documents can support your claim:

  • A signed letter written on company letterhead by the applicant’s current or former employer stating the applicant’s salary before 1 February 2020; or
  • The applicant’s payslips, salary advice or employment contracts (stating the applicant’s salary) for a period in the 2019-20 income year to demonstrate that the applicant was likely to meet the income threshold in the 2019-20 income year;
  • A statutory declaration by the applicant’s employer acknowledging the applicant’s 2019-20 taxable income has reduced due to the following circumstances:
    • Reduced availability of shifts/hours;
    • The applicant contracting COVID-19 or having caring responsibilities for a person who contracted COVID-19;
    • Medically directed orders to self-isolation;
    • Caring responsibilities of COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns (e.g., schools, childcare centres).
  • If the applicant’s employment was terminated, then a statutory declaration by the applicant’s former employer stating that the circumstances of the applicant’s dismissal were related to the COVID-19 pandemic effects on the business;
  • Documentation proving that the applicant had access to the JobKeeper Wage Subsidy for a period in 2019-20 income year including either:
    • Employee nomination form; other statements or documents provided by the ATO demonstrating that the applicant had access to the JobKeeper Wage Subsidy; or
    • Alternative statements provided by the ATO at the applicant’s request.
  • Services Australia-Centrelink letters showing the applicant claimed and received the JobSeeker payments for a period in 2019-20 income year.

 

Who the update applies to?

The updated income threshold and the exemption applies to Visa 189 NZ stream applications made on or after the commencement of the update or made but not finally determined before the commencement of the update.

If you have applied for the visa but are still waiting for the outcome, the income threshold and exemption will apply to your application.

Read more: Opportunities For A Visa To Work In Australia In 2021

What does it mean to you?

Some of you might find it difficult to reach the threshold income due to COVID-19 Pandemic. Thanks to the updated exemption, you may be eligible to claim an exemption if one of the situations above applies to you. It means a better chance is coming for you to apply for a visa 189 NZ stream.

Be noted that you must provide the evidenc