Previously, under proposed 1 July 2012 changes to the Permanent Employment Scheme (ENS/RSMS), Special Category (444) visas and 461 NZ family Residence visas (amongst others) were excluded from the Temporary Residence Transitional stream to ENS as this was restricted to 457 visa holders only.
The implication was that New Zealand citizens could only apply through the new Direct Entry stream and the qualification for this stream was a skill assessment + 3 years experience or apply for a 457 visa and work for a further two years before qulaifying for permanent residence.
In one of the many recent Legislative Instruments relating to the 1 July 2012 changes (set out in full in IMMI 12/060), three exemptions from the skill requirement for ENS/RSMS were announced, amongst them the following relevant to New Zealand citizens:
‘Class 3 also relates to the ENS Direct Entry stream and subclause 186.234(3) and the RSMS Direct Entry stream and paragraph 187.234(a) of the Regulations and is:
- Persons who are currently in Australia as the holder of a Subclass 444 or 461 visa and have been working with their nominating employer in their nominated occupation for at least two of the last three years immediately before making their application (excluding periods of unpaid leave).’
Note: This is particularly good news for New Zealanders in Australia but appears not to apply to New Zealanders applying through the Direct Stream from off-shore. This may be clarified after 1 July 2012.