NZ 189 Visa income exemptions

Income exemption 189 visa
Date last modified: 01 July 2021

The Primary applicant for the NZ 189 visa must have earned at least the taxable income threshold, as shown by ATO Notices of Assessment, in each of the last four financial years or qualify for an income exemption. Note: from 1 July 2021 only 3 of the last 5 years income needs to meet the income threshold, including the latest financial year. You must be able to provide documentation to support your claim to an income exemption.

Being made redundant, becoming unemployed, salary sacrificing and negative gearing are not grounds for an income exemption.

There are four categories of income exemption:

  • the Family court has awarded you the primary carer of a child and you cannot remove them from Australia.
  • you are receiving compensation for an injury, which prevents you from earning at or above the income threshold.
  • you are on parental or carer’s leave, as approved by your employer.
  • your 2019–20 income was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. You must provide evidence to support the claim.

Please note

If claiming parental or carers leave exemption you must have:

  • earned at least the income threshold immediately prior to the period of leave.
  • been on a period of patental leave as agreed to with your employer.
  • resumed, or intend to resume, earning an income that is no less than the income threshold.

You are NOT on parental leave if you have:

  • quit your job.
  • returned to work, even part-time, after your child is born/adopted.
  • taken a few years out of the workforce to care for your children.

Maternity and parental leave

SCV New Zealanders are entitled to take maternity and parental leave and can claim Parental Leave Pay, subject to meeting the eligibility criteria.

Find out more

Income requirement

Income exemption

Refer to the income requirement details for income exemptions you can’t claim


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