pop-up content starts
pop-up content ends

Country profiles

Profiles permanent and temporary migration trends and population for Australia's main migrant source countries.

Country profile – New Zealand


At the end of June 2018, 568,290 New Zealand-born people were living in Australia, 17.5 per cent more than the number at 30 June 2008. This is the fourth largest migrant community in Australia, equivalent to 7.7 per cent of Australia's overseas-born population and 2.3 per cent of Australia's total population.

For Australia's New Zealand-born migrants:

  • The median age of 43.0 years was 5.7 years above that of the general population.
  • Males outnumbered females—50.8 per cent compared with 49.2 per cent.1

1 Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Migration Australia (catalogue no. 3412.0).

Permanent migration

Australia's permanent Migration Program incorporates economic and family migration and is the main pathway to permanent residence. It includes the Skill stream, Family stream and Special Eligibility visas. The only other way to obtain permanent residence is on humanitarian grounds.

Skill stream visas

The Skill stream is designed for workers with the skills, qualifications and entrepreneurship most needed in the Australian economy. The Skill stream comprises four components; namely: Points Tested Skilled Migration; Employer Sponsored; Business Innovation and Investment; and Distinguished Talent.

Family and Child stream visas

The Family stream allows the permanent migration of close family members, of Australian citizens, permanent residents, and eligible New Zealand citizens. It focuses on partners and parents, but also provides the opportunity for additional family members, such as aged dependent relatives, carers, remaining relatives and orphan relatives, to join their family in Australia.

Child visas allow the permanent migration of children, of Australian citizens, permanent residents, and eligible New Zealand citizens. The Child visa comprises two categories, namely Child and Adoption visas.

Special Eligibility visas

Special Eligibility visas allow former residents and certain people who served in the Australian Defence Force to live in Australia as permanent residents.

The following table shows the size and composition of Skill stream, Family stream, Special Eligibility and Child visas from New Zealand.

Table 1: Permanent migrant places granted, 2015—16 to 2018—19
Migration category2015— 162016— 172017— 182018— 19Per cent change on 2017—18Per cent change since 2015—16
Skilled migration (points tested)
Skilled Regionaln/an/a< 5< 50.0n/a
Skilled Independentn/an/a4,4415,51724.2n/a
State/Territory Nominatedn/an/a51113121.6n/a
Skilled migration (non-points tested)
Business Innovation and Investmentn/an/a7< 5-85.7n/a
Distinguished Talentn/an/a< 5< 550.0n/a
Employer Sponsoredn/an/a487309-36.6n/a
Total: Skilled visa places granted n/a n/a 4,989 5,944 19.1 n/a
Skilled visas as a proportion of all permanent visas (%)n/an/a94.295.7n/an/a
Family and Child migration
Other Familyn/an/a013n/an/a
Total: Family and Child visa places granted n/a n/a 306 265 -13.4 n/a
Family and Child visas as a proportion of all permanent visas (%)n/an/a5.84.3n/an/a
Special Eligibility
Special Eligibilityn/an/a00n/an/a
Total places granted n/a n/a 5,295 6,209 17.3 n/a

Source: Department of Home Affairs

1 New Zealand citizen permanent visa grant numbers, before 2017—18, were not recorded against the Migration Program.

Temporary migration

People can come to Australia for a temporary stay for a range of purposes, for example, visiting Australia for tourism or attending a conference, or for more specific purposes, such as medical treatment, study, skilled work, working holidays or other specialist activities. There are six main categories of temporary residents, which can cover stays of more than three months in Australia.

Visitor visas

Visitor visas are mostly used by people visiting Australia for holidays, tourism and recreation, or to see family and friends. People may also use Visitor visas for certain short-term business activities that do not entail working in Australia.

Working Holiday Maker Program

The Working Holiday Maker Program allows young adults to have an extended holiday and engage in short-term work and study.

Student visa

The Student visa program enables international students to come to Australia to study full-time in a registered course.

Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment) visa

Allows a business to sponsor a skilled overseas worker if they cannot find an appropriately skilled Australian citizen or permanent resident to fill a skilled position.

Other temporary visas

Other temporary visas include visas that allow people to undertake short-term, non-ongoing highly specialised work, enrich social and cultural development, strengthen international relations or provide training opportunities of benefit to Australia.

New Zealand citizens

Under the 1973 Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement, New Zealand citizens can enter and leave Australia freely and live in Australia indefinitely on grant of a Special Category visa (subclass 444).

Not all categories apply to migrants from New Zealand. The following table shows the number of visa grants to migrants from New Zealand, for the Student visa program, Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment) visa, Visitor visas and Special Category visa.

Table 2: Temporary visas granted by selected categories, 2015—16 to 2018—19
Temporary visa category2015—162016—172017—182018—19Per cent change on 2017—18Per cent change since 2015—16
International Students
ELICOS 10000n/an/a
Vocational Education and Training0< 500n/an/a
Higher Education0< 5< 50-100.0n/a
Postgraduate Research0000n/an/a
Foreign Affairs or Defence86< 5< 50.0-87.5
Total: International Student visa grants 8 10 < 5 < 5 -50.0 -87.5
Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment)
Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment) visa grants 250252018-10.0-64.0
Business visitor23283129-6.526.1
Total: Visitor visa grants 344 418 294 280 -4.8 -18.6
Special Category
Special Category visa 31,850,3081,921,5611,856,6141,889,9881.82.1
Other temporary
Other temporary visa grants 45635495818.43.6
Total temporary visa grants 1,850,766 1,922,049 1,856,979 1,890,345 1.8 2.1

Source: Department of Home Affairs

1 English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students (ELICOS).

2 Data excludes Temporary Work (Skilled) (Independent Executive) visa.

3 Note: Most New Zealand citizens obtain the Special Category visa (subclass 444) to enter Australia for visiting, studying, working or residing permanently.

4 Excludes Transit visa (subclass 771), Border visa (subclass 773) and Maritime Crew visa (subclass 988).

Main occupations

The following table shows the main occupations for nationals of New Zealand, based on Skill stream migration outcomes and Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment) visa grants.

Table 3: Main occupations, 2015—16 to 2018—19
PeriodTemporary Resident (Skilled Employment) visas 1
No. of migrantsSkill stream migrationNo. of migrants
General managers< 5Registered nurses41
Chemists, and food and wine scientists< 5Other medical practitioners13
Life scientists< 5University lecturers and tutors9
University lecturers and tutors< 5General practitioners and resident medical officers9
General practitioners and resident medical officers< 5Software and applications programmers9
Other medical practitioners< 5Civil engineering professionals5
Software and applications programmers< 5ICT business and systems analysts5
Judicial and other legal professionals< 5Computer network professionals5
--General managers< 5
Technical sales representatives< 5Registered nurses26
Advertising, public relations and sales managers< 5Other medical practitioners19
Human resource managers< 5Police11
Engineering managers< 5Solicitors10
Production managers< 5Software and applications programmers9
--University lecturers and tutors7


Chief executives and managing directors5

Construction managers5


Management and organisation analysts5
Other specialist managers< 5n/an/a
Retail managers< 5n/an/a
Management and organisation analysts< 5n/an/a
Other engineering professionals< 5n/an/a
Other natural and physical science professionals< 5n/an/a
ICT business and systems analysts< 5n/an/a
Chefs< 5n/an/a






ICT support and test engineers< 5n/an/a
Chief executives and managing directors< 5n/an/a
Advertising, public relations and sales managers< 5n/an/a
Corporate services managers< 5n/an/a
Engineering managers< 5n/an/a
Artistic directors, and media producers and presenters< 5n/an/a
General practitioners and resident medical officers< 5n/an/a
Registered nurses< 5n/an/a
Plumbers< 5n/an/a



Source: Department of Home Affairs

1 Data excludes Temporary Work (Skilled) (Independent Executive) visa.

Note: New Zealand citizen permanent visa grant numbers, before 2017—18, were not recorded against the Migration Program. Occupation level information is available for primary applicants only, and is based on Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations unit level data.

Geographic distribution

The following table shows the geographic distribution of migrants, based on permanent additions for the Skill and Family streams, international student visa grants, and Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment) visa grants.

Table 4: Geographic distribution
Census 2016 (%)
Of all persons322520711212
Of New Zealand-born231839215111
Permanent additions - 2018–19 (%)
Skill stream28392019003
Family and Child stream3694247001
Temporary visa grants - 2018–19 (%)
International student visa grants--------
Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment) visa (primary) grants 138500000130

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics and Department of Home Affairs

1 Data excludes Temporary Work (Skilled) (Independent Executive) visa.

Note: Permanent additions consist of two components; those persons who, while already in Australia on a temporary basis, are granted permanent residence status or those persons who have subsequently arrived from overseas during the reporting period and are entitled to stay permanently in Australia.

Country ranking

This table uses rankings to show the significance of migration from New Zealand for the past four financial years.

Table 5: Country ranking, 2015—16 to 2018—19
Ranked position of migrants2015—162016—172017—182018—19
Population in Australia 1 2234
Points Tested Skilled Migrationn/an/a33
Employer Sponsoredn/an/a1524
Total Skill streamn/an/a55
Total Family and Child streamn/an/a3335
International students144140168180
Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment) visa 2 69778182

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics and Department of Home Affairs

1 Population level data is by country of birth and lags one year behind the financial year specified. Data based on the estimated residential population at 30 June; 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

2 Data excludes Temporary Work (Skilled) (Independent Executive) visa.