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Skilled Independent Visa (189)

Get an Australian 189 visa

The process of obtaining a Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) involves meeting various criteria, including the points test pass mark, which requires a minimum score of 65 in SkillSelect. Once eligible, applicants must navigate through different stages, such as submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) and undergoing skill assessment by the relevant assessing authority. Meeting the health related care and character requirements is mandatory for a substantive visa application. Additionally, applicants must provide evidence of physical or cognitive limitations if applicable, alongside other supporting documents like police clearance certificates from past places of residence and English proficiency test results. Throughout the process, it's crucial to adhere to Australian laws and regulations, ensuring compliance with all visa requirements for a successful outcome.

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What sets Australian Migration Agents apart

What is a subclass 189 Skilled Independent visa?

The Skilled Independent visa caters to highly skilled professionals occupying roles listed on the medium and long-term skilled occupation list. This point-based visa, designed for permanent residency, enables individuals to settle and work in Australia indefinitely.

Unlike certain other visas, there's no stipulation to work in a specific occupation or for a designated employer. Holders of this visa enjoy the complete array of privileges bestowed upon Australian permanent residents.

Comparable to the subclass 190 Skilled Nominated visa, the 189 visa operates on a points system facilitated through SkillSelect. However, unlike the 190 visa, it doesn't require State or Territory nomination. Applicants await an invitation to apply and must undergo skill assessment by the relevant authority prior to lodging an expression of interest.

Applicants need not be physically present in Australia to apply for this visa, allowing skilled workers to directly pursue Australian permanent residency. The 189 visa application can encompass family members of the primary applicant, granting all secondary applicants the same benefits of permanent residency.

Eligibility criteria for a Skilled Independent visa in Australia

To qualify for a subclass 189 visa, applicants must meet several criteria:

  • Possession of a valid passport is mandatory.
  • A minimum score of 65 points in SkillSelect is required.
  • Submission of an Expression of Interest (EOI) in SkillSelect and receiving an invitation to apply for the visa are necessary steps.
  • A positive skills assessment for the applicant's occupation is essential.
  • The applicant's occupation must be listed on the medium and long-term strategic skills list.
  • The applicant should be under the age of 45 when invited to apply.
  • All necessary qualifications and/or licences required for the occupation must be obtained.
  • Meeting the relevant English language requirements is imperative.
  • Satisfying the health and character requirements is mandatory.
  • Signing the Australian values statement is a prerequisite.

Benefits of the 189 Skilled Independent Visa

The Skilled Independent visa offers numerous advantages, enabling skilled workers to establish indefinite residence in Australia and pursue Australian citizenship upon fulfilling the necessary criteria.

The 189 visa offers a pathway to permanent residency without the need for a sponsoring employer, and it imposes fewer work restrictions once granted. This freedom permits visa holders to engage in any occupation and work for any sponsor. Additional benefits for 189 visa holders include:

  • Unrestricted work, study, and travel rights for both the primary applicant and any secondary applicants.
  • Permission for travel in and out of Australia.
  • Access to Medicare and subsidised study opportunities.
  • Inclusion of family members in the visa application, allowing them to relocate to Australia as permanent residents.

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Skilled Independent Visa checklist

Obtaining a 189 visa requires a substantial amount of evidence. While some evidence required for the application overlaps with what was requested for the Expression of Interest, there are some distinctions.

  • Passport
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Divorce/death certificate for previous spouse (if applicable)
  • Proof of name change (if applicable)
  • National identity card (if applicable)
  • Birth certificates
  • Current CV or resume
  • Evidence of relevant qualifications
  • Must have a suitable skills assessment outcome
  • Evidence of registration or licensing (if applicable)
  • Reference letters from former employers
  • Records of military service or discharge documentation (if applicable)
  • Medical assessments
  • Police clearance certificates from past places of residence
  • Results from English proficiency tests

How the 189 Skilled Independent visa works

The subclass 189 visa application process allows for both onshore and offshore applications, without the prerequisite of having previously held an Australian visa or being nominated by an Australian business. The process consists of two main stages:

Stage 1: Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect

In the initial stage, applicants submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) via SkillSelect and await an invitation to apply. The EOI involves a points-based assessment, considering factors like work experience, English proficiency, qualifications, and relationship status to assign a score. While the minimum score for eligibility is 65, a higher score enhances competitiveness. It is worth noting that applicants should have a positive skills assessment before lodging an EOI.

Stage 2: Visa Application

Upon receiving an invitation to apply for the subclass 189 visa, applicants have 60 days to submit their application. The invitation includes a link directing applicants to an application portal within their Immi account. Similar to the EOI, the visa application requires providing evidence and substantiating claims made in the EOI.

Benefits of using a registered migration agent

At Australian Migration Agents, we offer invaluable guidance and assistance to streamline the entire process. With a track record of high success rates, we've navigated a diverse range of complex occupations and scenarios.

Our team of accredited Australian Australian Migration Agents leverages their expertise to provide clear and precise advice on all relevant requirements and strategies for your case.

We provide comprehensive support throughout the process, from preparing necessary applications to securing the visa grant. Additionally, we collaborate with you to address any additional requests from the Department of Home Affairs.

  • Consultation and engagement
  • Preparation and support
  • Submission and communication
  • Representation and success

Skilled Independent visa subclass 189 costs

There are two primary expenses associated with a 189 visa application:

Professional Fees to Australian Migration Agents:

The cost of engaging Australian Migration Agents to prepare and assist with the application varies based on individual circumstances. Complex applications may incur higher fees, which will be quoted accordingly. We operate on a fixed-fee basis to ensure transparency and provide clients with certainty regarding total costs. Additionally, we offer payment plans tailored to financial needs. Our fees depend on the stages of the process we're involved in, including the skills assessment, Expression of Interest (EOI), and visa application. Schedule a free consultation with one of our qualified agents to receive a quote.

Department Fees:

The Department of Home Affairs charges an application fee of $4,640 for a 189 visa application. Additionally, there are fees associated with the skills assessment, which vary depending on the assessing authority. Notably, there are no fees for lodging an EOI in SkillSelect.

Visa application steps

The visa application process can be challenging and time-consuming, but our team at Australian Migration Agents handles this daily and understands the requirements needed for successful outcomes. Get in touch to discuss your eligibility and explore the most budget-friendly services available to you.

Book a consultation

Step 1

Consultation and engagement

Organise a consultation time to speak with one of our agents. You can meet with us in person, via Zoom or telephone. Following this, we will send you paperwork that confirms our engagement to represent you.

Step 2

Preparation and submission

We will prepare written submissions in support of your visa application. This will be based on your individual circumstances, and supported by evidence where appropriate. We then submit your application to the relevant body (Department of Home Affairs, courts or tribunal)

Step 3

Representation and success

We will keep you informed about your application, and notify you of the outcome. If you receive an unfavourable outcome and we can reapply, we will!

189 Visa Processing times

The processing period for a subclass 189 visa typically spans from 12 to 13 months, although this timeframe may vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the case, the completeness of your application, and the caseload being processed by the Department of Home Affairs. Delays may also occur if there's a delay in receiving an invitation to apply.

At Australian Migration Agents, our objective is to submit high-standard, comprehensive applications that are as complete as possible. By doing so, we aim to minimise delays and enhance the likelihood of a successful outcome for our clients.

Skilled Independent Visa subclass Considerations

Our legal team at Australian Migration Agents consists of proficient attorneys specialising in the Australian migration system.

While we cannot assure the approval of your visa, we possess a comprehensive grasp of the law to present the strongest case for a favourable outcome. The final decision lies with the Department of Home Affairs, not any individual representative, or migration agent.

Our aim is to be readily available to you. Initial consultations are often complimentary, and ongoing services will be subject to a predetermined fee, which we will discuss with you. Consultations can be conducted from anywhere in Australia as we offer online services.

Regardless of where you stand in the 189 visa process, we can provide assistance. We cover all stages, including skills assessment, Expression of Interest (EOI), and visa applications. Collaboration with both you and your sponsor ensures consistency and excellence throughout the entire application process.

Australia-wide services

Our skilled team offers in-person and virtual appointments, which means we can provide immigration assistance and advice regardless of where you live in Australia.  

Frequently asked questions

Read our most frequently asked questions

What is a skilled independent visa subclass 189?

A subclass 189 visa is a permanent visa for highly skilled applicants in occupations listed in the medium and long term occupation list. Invitations to apply for the visa are made on the basis of a points test and Expressions of Interest made in SkillSelect.

What is the difference between 189 and 190 skilled independent visa subclass?

The subclass 189 visa is sought autonomously, whereas the 190 necessitates a nomination from an Australian State or Territory government. Notable distinctions between the two visas encompass:

  • The 190 visa encompasses occupations listed on both the short-term and medium to long-term skilled occupation lists, whereas the 189 is exclusively accessible for the latter list.
  • The 189 visa mandates compliance with nomination criteria, which vary among different States or Territories.
  • Prior to receiving an invitation to apply for the 190 visa, you must secure nomination from a State or Territory.

Is 189 visa hard to get?

The Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) often faces stiff competition, underscoring the significance of securing a competitive points score. Enhancing your score is achievable through obtaining a superior English test outcome or accumulating more work experience. Flexibility exists to update your Expression of Interest (EOI) at any point, increasing your prospects for success. With a commendable points score and a sought-after occupation selection, the likelihood of receiving an invitation to apply substantially increases. Upon receipt of the invitation, the subsequent application process is relatively straightforward, contingent upon meeting all requisite criteria.

How many points is the Skilled Independent visa subclass 189?

To qualify for the subclass 189 visa, you need a minimum points score of 65. Nevertheless, aiming for a higher score enhances your competitiveness and consequently increases your chances of being invited to apply.

How long is a 189 visa valid for?

The subclass 189 visa grants permanent residency, permitting an indefinite stay in Australia. Initially, the visa includes a travel facility valid for five years, but you can seek an extension through a Resident Return visa after this period. Additionally, meeting residency requirements may render you eligible for Australian citizenship.

Book a consultation

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