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HAWKE: Migration (Income Threshold and Exemptions for Subclass 189 Visa (New Zealand Stream)) Instrument (LIN 21/018) 2021

The instrument operates, for paragraph 189.233(1)(a) of Schedule 2 to the Migration Regulations, to specify under paragraph 189.233(2)(a) of Schedule 2 to the Migration Regulations, the minimum amount of taxable income for an income year that an applicant for a Subclass 189 (Skilled— Independent) visa in the New Zealand stream (Subclass 189 visa) must meet to satisfy the primary criteria for that visa.

The instrument also operates, for paragraph 189.233(1)(b) of Schedule 2 to the Migration Regulations, to specify under paragraph 189.233(2)(b) of Schedule 2 to the Migration Regulations the circumstances under which an applicant for a Subclass 189 visa is a member of a class of applicants exempt from the minimum amount of taxable income specified and the evidence required for the class.

The purpose of the instrument is to add a new class of applicants who are exempt from the minimum amount of taxable income requirements, which is a primary criterion for the grant of the Subclass 189 visa, and to add the evidence required for the new class of exempt applicants.

Under new item 4 of Schedule 1 to the instrument, an applicant is a member of a class of exempt applicants, if the applicant:

a. does not meet the income requirement for the 2019–20 income year because the applicant has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic; and

b. provides the evidence mentioned in item 4 of Schedule 1 to the Department to support the claim.

A further purpose of the instrument is to specify in section 6 the minimum amount of taxable income for the income year 2020–21 as $53 900.00. This is the same as the minimum amount of income specified in the instrument for each income year from 2013–14 to 2019–20.

The minimum amounts of income for each income year from 2011–12 to 2019–20 continue to be specified in the instrument and have not changed from the amounts specified in the previous instrument, LIN 20/170. As the instrument does not alter the minimum amount of taxable income and adds to the classes of exempt applicants, the instrument is not detrimental to applicants who have made an application, which has not been finally determined before the instrument commences.

The instrument provides an income exemption to New Zealand citizen applicants who might have otherwise met the income threshold requirements for the 2019–20 income year, but are now unable to do so due to loss of, or reduction in, employment and income caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This instrument ensures that New Zealand citizen temporary visa holders, who were on a pathway to permanent residence prior to 1 February 2020, continue to maintain eligibility to apply for a Subclass 189 visa.

Source: LIN21018.pdf and LIN21018-Explanatory-Statement.pdf

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