The Australian Skilled – Independent Visa (subclass 189) is an Australian skilled visa for skilled workers who are not sponsored by an employer, a state or territory, or a family member. A visa holder can live and work permanently anywhere in Australia. Certain family members can be included in the application.
You must score at least 60 points (the pass mark) on the Points Test to be eligible for this visa.
Applying for the Skilled – Independent Visa (subclass 189)
To be able to lodge a valid application for this visa you need to first submit an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect. You can do this in or outside Australia.
To apply for this visa you must:
- be invited to apply;
- be younger than 45 years of age when you are invited to apply;
- nominate an occupation that matches your skills and qualifications and is on the relevant Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL);
- have your skills assessed by the relevant assessing authority as suitable for your nominated occupation;
- have at least competent English;
- score at least 60 on the Points Test; AND
- meet the health and character requirements.
Australian Skilled Visa Process
The Skilled – Independent Visa (subclass 189) is based on a 3 stage application process.
- Stage 1The first stage of the application process involves completing a skills assessment with the relevant government body. Your skills assessment enables the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) to judge if you have the required level of skill in your chosen occupation to practice in Australia.
- Stage 2Once you have received a positive skills assessment, you will need to submit an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect. You can do this in or outside Australia.
- Stage 3
Once you have been issued an Invitation To Apply (ITA), you can continue to the DIBP stage of the application, where you can submit your final, complete application to be approved by DIBP so your visa can be granted.
Priority processing arrangements apply to this visa. They determine the order in which the department considers applications regardless of when they have been lodged.
Australian Skilled Visa Conditions
A successful applicant is given a 5 year multiple entry visa to live and work in Australia. You only need to live in Australia for 2 of the 5 years to have the visa reissued for a further 5 years. Alternatively, you can spend 4 consecutive years in Australia and be eligible for citizenship.
If you choose not to gain citizenship, however, you must apply for a Resident Return Visa before the original one expires in order to travel to and from Australia. To qualify for this you must demonstrate that you have spent 2 years lawfully living in Australia or that you have significant personal, cultural or business ties to Australia.
Complete an Online Assessment to determine if you can qualify for an Australian Skilled – Independent Visa (subclass 189) as a highly skilled migrant.