Comparison of Australia and New Zealand for Settlement Migration.

Comparison of Immigration Options: Australia vs. New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand stand as prominent destinations for individuals contemplating immigration to a new country. While both nations offer exceptional opportunities for immigrants, we have conducted a comprehensive comparison to assist you in selecting the most suitable path for your new life.

Immigration Programs Overview:

In this section, we will juxtapose two renowned immigration programs: Australia’s Skilled Independent program (subclass 189) and New Zealand’s Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa. Both initiatives target high-caliber applicants with skilled work experience, emphasizing factors such as education, English language proficiency, and more.

Neither program necessitates a job offer or family sponsorship to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). However, eligibility for New Zealand’s Skilled Visa typically entails securing job offer points.

These programs are tailored for highly qualified skilled workers from any country, irrespective of family or employer sponsorship.

Both visa programs confer permanent resident status, providing indefinite stay in the respective countries with a pathway to citizenship. Moreover, they operate on a points-based system to determine eligibility and select applicants.


A notable discrepancy between the Australian 189 visa and the New Zealand Skilled Migrant Category pertains to skills assessment. While the 189 visa mandates a positive skills assessment from a recognized authority, New Zealand requires qualification recognition through specific avenues.

Additionally, the occupation lists vary between the two programs. Australia imposes an age limit of 45, whereas New Zealand extends eligibility up to the age of 55.

Points System Comparison:

Both programs employ a points-based system to evaluate applicant eligibility, considering factors such as age, language proficiency, work experience, and education. Australia requires a minimum score of 65 points, whereas New Zealand mandates a minimum of 160 points for an invitation.

Meeting the minimum points threshold does not guarantee an invitation to apply for either country. New Zealand currently invites candidates with scores of 160 or above.

Application Process:

Australia’s Skilled Independent Visa program follows a process akin to New Zealand’s Expression of Interest system. Applicants meeting the minimum points threshold submit an EOI via the SkillSelect online platform.

Invitations for Australian permanent residency are issued monthly, prioritizing candidates with the highest ranking EOIs. SkillSelect EOIs remain valid for up to two years.

In New Zealand, the Skilled Migrant Category Resident visa operates within the EOI system. Accepted profiles undergo preliminary verification, followed by selection from the pool based on score and rank.

Processing Times & Cost:

Australia’s Skilled Independent program incurs costs of AU$4045 for the principal applicant, with additional fees for dependents. New Zealand’s Skilled Migrant Category program charges NZ$530 for an Online Expression of Interest, plus NZ$2710 as the application cost for the family.

Processing times for both programs are comparable, with Australia processing 90% of applications within six months and New Zealand within ten months.

Other Immigration Options:

Both countries offer additional immigration pathways tailored to specific circumstances, such as state sponsorship in Australia and work visas in New Zealand. Employer-sponsored programs and visas are also available in both nations.

For personalized advice on your eligibility for Australia or New Zealand immigration, we invite you to book a consultation or complete one of our free online assessments. Our registered migration agents or licensed advisers will assess your eligibility and discuss your options with you.

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