Home > Australia Immigration > Work Visa > Skilled Independent Visa – Subclass 189
Skilled Independent Visa – Subclass 189

Skilled workers who are not sponsored by an employer or family member or nominated by a state or territory government can apply under this Visa category. Visa holders under this category can live and work anywhere in Australia as a permanent resident which means they can stay in the country indefinitely.


This visa category which is termed as Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189 is a type of permanent residency visa program. This program is used by international skilled worker who are eligible under the point system and wish to reside in Australia for permanent basis.

Candidates who wish to apply under Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189 require submitting an EOI or expression of interest and then if eligible, they will be invited under Skill Select program.
The applicant can be inside or outside Australia at the time of submitting the visa application or at the time of visa grant.

Points to remember before you apply for visa

Before applying for this visa program an applicant must first submit an EOI or expression of interest and then if eligible, they will be invited under Skill Select program. In order to submit a successful EOI, applicant should have required English language skills and a positive skills assessment for the nominated occupation.

In case the applicant gets an invitation from Australia, they will have 60 days time to apply for Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189 online. At the time of submitting the visa application the information provided should be exactly same as in the expression of interest submitted earlier. No data can be changed later.

The visa application demands supporting documents listed in the document checklist. It will be beneficial to compile all your required documents way before submitting the EOI or expression of interest.

Passport under Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189

An applicant must acquire a valid passport while applying for Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189. If any individual do not have any passport till date then he or she must get a new passport before applying for Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189. In case a new passport has been acquired post lodging the visa application, all the details of the new passport must be given to one of the Australian Immigration offices.

Basic Requirements

  • nominated an occupation which is present on the list of eligible skilled occupations
  • Acquired a positive skills assessment for selected occupation
  • Below 50 years of age
  • Obtaining the specified score i.e. 60 Points based on the factors in the points test
  • Proficient in English Language.

Health requirements

Applicant must qualify specific health requirements. The health examinations will be based upon few factors like the nation of citizenship, time spent in other nations during the last five years and intended activities in Australia. The health examinations results are mostly valid up to 12 months.

This health examination is mandatory for the applicant and all members of the family mentioned in the visa application.

Candidate can arrange the health examination prior submitting the visa application.

Character requirement

Applicant must qualify specific character requirements. A police clearance certificate from each and every nation, the applicant has resided in for 12 months or more during the past 10 years after you turned 16 years of age have to be submitted. This certificate must be only arranged when asked by the authorities.

This is mandatory for the applicant and all members of the family mentioned in the visa application.

Australian Government Debts in Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189

Applicant must not carry any outstanding debts to the Australian Government or must have organized the repay of outstanding debts to the Australian Government prior the visa grant.

Biometrics submission

Candidate might be asked to submit biometrics which is a form of scientific identification in the visa application.

Australian Values Statement in Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189

In case the candidate is of 18 years of age or above, an Australian Values Statement must be signed by the same in order to provide confirmation that he or she will respect the Australian lifestyle and follow the Australian laws. The statement is a part of the visa application.

Addition of Family in Application

Following family members can be added in the visa application:

  • Common law partner or spouse
  • Children/step children or your partner’s children/step children

The visa application in this case must have documental proofs supporting the relationship of the family member with the primary applicant.

Family members added in the visa application must also submit the health examination report and police clearance certificate. Family members can be added to the visa application until any decision comes on Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189.

Point Test System

Applicant must acquire minimum score of 60 points as per mentioned above in the basic requirements for this visa application. The points are awarded on the basis of few factors.

In case the applicant gets an invitation, he or she must acquire the minimum points mentioned in the letter of invitation.

The information below can tell you about the factors for which you can acquire points:

Factor Description Points
Age 18–24 years 25
25–32 years 30
33–39 years 25
40–44 years 15
45–49 years 0
English Language Ability Competent English
(IELTS – min 6)
0
Proficient English
(IELTS – min 7)
10
Proficient English
(IELTS – min 7)
10
Superior English
(IELTS – min 8)
20
Work experience in your nominated skilled occupation or a closely related skilled occupation 3 years 5
5 years 10
8 years 15
Qualification PhD from an Australian educational institution or from a recognized standard 20
Bachelor degree from an Australian educational institution or other degree of a recognized standard 15
An award or qualification recognized by the assessing authority in the assessment of the skilled occupation 10
Others Factors Credentialed community language qualifications 5
Study in regional Australia or a low population growth metropolitan area 5
Partner skills 5
Professional year in Australia 5

Age

Maximum 30 points can be acquired depending upon the age candidate has at the time of getting an invitation to apply.

Applicant must be below the age of 50 years at the time of getting an invitation to apply.

English language proficiency

Applicant must have at least a competent English language capability at the time of getting an invitation to apply and also at the time of submitting the visa application.

Up to 10 points can be acquired for proficient English and 20 points can be acquired for superior English. But, No points will be given for only competent English.

English language tests result mentioned below which are conducted less than 36 months before the time of getting an invitation to apply, can be utilized as a proof for English language ability:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  • Occupational English Test (OET)
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-Based Test (TOEFL iBT)
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic

 

The Cambridge Advanced English (CAE) test results can be taken into consideration only if the examination was conducted on or post 1 January 2015.

IELTS examination includes an academic test and a general training test. Applicant requires taking only the general training test unless until the assessing authority of Australia asks you for the academic test. Only the Test report form (TRF) number or the test registration number must be submitted which is present on your English language test certificate.

Skilled employment

Up to 20 points can be acquired for skilled employment factor.

In order to acquire points for skilled employment factor, the applicant must have minimum 20 hours of paid employment per week in the nominated skilled occupation or any closely related job profile in the 10 years prior getting an invitation to apply.

The employment experience is called skilled if:

  • The related assessment authority gives their positive judgment in the skills assessment process and establishes that the nominated employment is skilled.
  • The experience qualifies the requirements for the nominated skilled employment decided by the related assessment authority.

Closely Related Occupation

Employment of any time period under a closely related occupation will be considered as similar skill level as the nominated occupation.

Employment stated as ‘closely related’ to the nominated occupation must be:

  • Present in the same ANZSCO Unit Group OR,
  • Constant with a career improvement pathway OR,
  • Stated by the related assessment authority that the employment is closely related to the nominated job profile.

Working for 20 hours per week

Working for 20 hours per week is the 20 hours paid employment conducted every week. The candidate must also qualify the requirement in case the working hours get extended beyond a week.

Qualifications

Up to 20 points can be acquired depending upon the academic qualifications attained at the time of getting invitations to apply. Points will be given for the highest education qualification of all.

The related assessment authority for the nominated occupation can decide whether the qualification provided matches the required standard of a related Australian qualification.

In case the related assessment authority which is responsible for assessment of skills is not able to provide the assessment report regarding the qualifications, the candidate can reach to the Vocational Education Training and Assessment Services.

Doctorate Degree

In order to acquire 20 points for a Doctorate degree, the candidate must have acquired the degree from an Australian institution or from other academic institution which can be comparable to the Australian standards.

Bachelor Degree

In order to acquire 15 points for a Bachelor degree, the candidate must have acquired the degree from an Australian institution or from other academic institution which can be comparable to the Australian standards.

Note: In order to acquire 15 points for a Masters degree, the candidate must have a Bachelor degree in Australia or in other country, or the Masters degree must meet the level of Australian standard Bachelor degree.

Diploma or Trade qualifications in Australia

Up to 10 points can be acquired for Diploma or trade qualification in Australia.

Other qualification

Up to 10 points can be acquired for other education qualification which is appropriate for the nominated occupation by the related assessment authority.

Study requirement

Up to 5 points can be acquired in case the candidate have attained one or more degrees, diplomas or trade qualifications via a course at any Australian academic institution.

The course must:

  • be registered under the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Course for Overseas Students (CRICOS)
  • have been attained within minimum 16 months of time
  • have been attained within minimum 2 academic years
  • have provided all instruction in English language
  • have been attained at the time the candidate was physically present in Australia
  • have been attained at the time the candidate had a visa for studying in Australia

The education course can be taken into consideration only for one time. Course subject failed will not be counted.

Specialist academic Qualification

Up to 5 additional points can be acquired for Doctorate or Masters degree attained from Australian universities in Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) or specified information and communication technology (ICT) fields in Australia.

Candidate must submit proof that a Post Graduate Degree by Research has been attained via course of minimum 2 years at an Australian educational institution.

Following are the education fields which will be accepted under CRICOS:

  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemical Sciences
  • Earth Sciences
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Natural and Physical Sciences
  • Other Natural and Physical Sciences
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Computer Science
  • Information Systems
  • Information Technology
  • Other Information Technology
  • Aerospace Engineering and Technology
  • Civil Engineering
  • Engineering and Related Technologies
  • Geomatic Engineering
  • Manufacturing Engineering and Technology
  • Maritime Engineering and Technology
  • Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and Technology
  • Other Engineering and Related Technologies
  • Process and Resources Engineering

Other factors

Credentialed community language

Up to 5 points can be acquired for attaining a credentialed community language at the time of getting the invitation to apply. The language must be recognized under the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters.

In order to acquire points, the candidate must submit the evidence for proving that the authority has recognized the candidate as a translator or interpreter at the paraprofessional level or above that.

Study in regional Australia

Up to 5 points can be acquired in the following cases:

  • Candidates have met the Australian education requirement
  • Candidates have resided and obtained education in regional Australia or a low population-growth metropolitan area.
  • The education acquired is not a form of distance education.

Partner or spouse skills

Up to 5 points can be acquired under this factor. The candidate’s partner must acquire the following requirements:

  • Aged below 50 years of age
  • Acquire minimum proficiency of competent English
  • nominated an occupation which is present on the list of eligible skilled occupations
  • Positively assessed by the related assessment authority for having appropriate qualification regarding the nominated occupation.

Professional year in Australia

Up to 5 Points can be acquired for attaining a professional year in Australia in the last 4 years before the time of getting an invitation to apply.

The study course under the professional year must be present in the nominated skilled occupation or in the closely related skilled occupation. The course must have a time period of minimum 12 months.

Eligible professional year courses are provided by:

  • Australian Computer Society
  • CPA Australia
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia
  • Institute of Public Accountants
  • Engineers Australia

Visa Application Process

Candidate can apply for this visa online via Skill Select program, by utilizing the link given in the letter of invitation.

Applicant must note that the Invitations are based upon the information submitted in the expression of interest; hence the visa application must carry proofs to support the mentioned data.

In case the candidate is invited to apply for Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189, he or she will have only 60 days to apply for Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189. The Skill Select remain close occasionally due to maintenance work. It is important that the applicant must apply as early as possible to get a successful lodgment. The applicant can be inside or outside Australia at the time of visa application.

Documents preparation

Candidate must submit all the documents given in the documents checklist to support the claims made in the visa application. Few documents may take a longer time to attain. Hence, the candidate must keep the documents ready at the time of filing the visa application in order to deduct the process delays.

Document Checklist

Applicant must submit all the required documents in order to support the visa application. He or she must submit good quality colored scan copies for the supporting documents in the ImmiAccount.

In case the documents are not available in English, then they must be having authorized English translations.

Applicant can follow the below given checklist in order to make sure that the visa application do not remain incomplete. Filing a successful visa application helps in deducting the processing time.

IDENTITY AND FAMILY RELATED DOCUMENTS

Travel documents

Each and every applicant must submit their latest passport’s biographical pages or any travel documents. In case the name of the applicant has modified or the name of any other person who were added in the visa application has modified will need to submit proofs for the name modification.

Birth registration documents

Birth registration documents for all visa applicants, mentioning both parents’ names will be needed. Appropriate documents consist of but are not restricted to complete birth certificates or any family registration books having both parents’ names. In case any child listed in the visa application is adopted, adoption documents will have to be submitted.

Marital and relationship documents

Marital certification or Marriage registrations of the applicant and the applicant’s partner or any other person who were added in the visa application, even if they are not migrating to Australia with you will be required. In case the applicant or other person who were added in the visa application are widow, divorced or permanently separated with their partner, must submit death certificate, divorce decree absolute, or statutory declaration/separation certificate as per requirement.

Authentic relationship Proofs

In case the applicant is married or into a de-facto relationship, proofs for an authentic and ongoing relationship with the partner must be submitted. In de-facto relationships, the applicant must submit proofs which states that the relationship in active for minimum 12 months at time of visa application. Proofs can consist, but is not restricted to, joint bank account statements, billing accounts in joint names, and other Proofs of cohabitation.

Family member details for 18 years of age & above

For all family members who are added in the visa application and are above 18 years of age, excluding the spouse need to submit supportive documents in order to prove their dependency and relationship to the primary applicant. Proofs can consist, but is not restricted to employment, financial, residential and education documentation for all family members.

Proofs of parental responsibility/custody

In case any applicant for Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189 is below 18 years of age and the parent of the same child is not included in the visa application, then proofs for parental permission must be submitted in order to grant the visa for that child.

In case the other parent is alive, a proof such as a court custody order with an authorized identification document showing the other parent’s signature must be submitted. In case the other parent is not alive, a death certificate or other official documents have to be submitted.

HEALTH AND CHARACTER

The primary applicant and all the family members must submit health and character documents even if they are not migrating with the applicant. Mostly health and character examinations are conducted prior the filing of visa application.

Health requirements

Proofs for all family members who have taken the needful health examination must be submitted.

Character requirements

All the family members who are added in the application including the primary applicant needs to submit the Police clearance certificate(s) from the country(s) they have resided in for a time period of 12 months or above in the last 10 years post turning 16 years of age.

For person who was a part of the army in any country, Military service record or discharge papers for all persons need to be submitted. Police certificates will also be required from the country served.

SKILL AND ENGLISH LANGUAGE

The below given requirements must be fulfilled at the time of getting invitation for Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189.

Skills assessment

A positive skills assessment for the nominated occupation must be submitted.

English language ability

Documents to prove that the applicant has a minimum of Competent English at the time of getting an invitation for Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189 must be submitted. If the applicant depends upon the English language examinations then one must provide the test copy from a recognized English language test conducted within the 3 years prior getting an invitation for Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189.

English language ability proofs will only be required for applicant(s) who are family members.

Functional English proofs must be submitted for all the applicants who are family member and is 18 years or above at the time of visa filing. Functional English proofs can be submitted till the visa application has been finalized.

POINT SYSTEM REQUIREMENT

Applicant must submit documents in order to support the declaration made for each factor in the Point System.

Age

Age proof must be submitted in the form of scanned copy of the passport or birth certificate.

Proficient English language ability

Applicant must submit the test results coming from a recognized English language test conducted within 3 years prior getting an invitation to apply for Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189. In case of the Cambridge English tests, it can only be accepted if the test was conducted post 1 January 2015.

Skilled employment

Following proofs for declared skilled employment or self-employment within the time period of 10 years prior getting an invitation must be submitted:

  • employment references
  • contracts, pay slips, tax returns, group certificates
  • self-employment proofs
  • Other documents that have been submitted to the related assessment authority in order to attain skills assessment, which involves employment history documents

Employment references must have the below mentioned criteria:

  • It must be written on the official company letterhead or government department which is offering the reference
    company letterhead must have the complete address of the company and telephone, fax numbers, e-mail and website addresses
  • name and designation of the individual who is authorized to sign the employment reference must be kept below that person’s signature
  • contact number of the referee must be there in the letter
  • Employment tenure (mentioning whether it is permanent or temporary, full or part-time), designation(s), job duties, and the salary. Designation must not be placed in the form of generic titles but as per the duties conducted.
  • Pay slip from your present employer must be there especially for government departments.

Professional year in Australia

Applicant must submit proofs for completing an authorized professional year in Australia within the 4 years prior getting an invitation for Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189. Professional years are offered by:

  • Australian Computer Society
  • CPA Australia
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia
  • Institute of Public Accountants, or
  • Engineers Australia

Education qualifications

Applicant must submit proofs for any degrees, diplomas, certificates, completion letters and education course transcripts and other documents submitted to the related assessment authority which will support the education skills declared.

Australian Study requirement

Applicant must submit proof for skills fulfilling the Australian Study requirement.

Specialist Education

Applicant must submit proof for the Post Graduate Degree acquired through a course undertaken for minimum 2 years in an Australian academic institution.

Regional Australia study

Applicant must submit proof for skills fulfilling the Australian Study requirement at the time of residing and obtaining education in regional Australia/low population growth metropolitan areas:

  • Residential proof with the time period of residence
  • In case the education transcript does not mention the campus location, applicant can submit proofs for getting education from regional Australia or a low population growth metropolitan area.

Credentialed community language

Applicant must submit proof of accreditation acquired at the paraprofessional level for translating under the National Accreditation Authority for Translation and Interpreters (NAATI).

Partner qualification

Applicant must submit proof that at the time of getting an invitation his or her partner was:

  • Below 50 years of age
  • Acquired minimum Competent English proficiency
  • Attained a positive skills assessment through the related assessment authority for the nominated occupation.

In case the spouse/partner is already or becomes a permanent resident/citizen of Australia while Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189 assessment is given, the primary applicant will not be taken as eligible under this section.

Online application

Applicant must upload the required documents by utilizing his or her own ImmiAccount at the time of filling the online visa application. This will benefit in deduction of delays in Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189 process.

Post Application

Post submitting the visa application and the required documents, the authorities will provide an acknowledgment that they have received your data.

When the authorities will be taking the profile for further assessment, an email address will be provided to the candidate for future use.

The visa application can be tracked and managed by utilizing Immi Account.

Waiting for Final decision

Visa processing time for Subclass 189:

75% of visa applications are processed in – 4 Months

90% of visa applications are processed in – 6 Months

Candidate must note that the visa application might take longer duration in case the candidate requires character or health certifications or to add some additional data.

Priority processing arrangements applies in the processing of visa application. It states the sequence in which the authority takes the application into consideration regardless of the time, applications were filed.

Outside Australia:

In case the candidate have applied for Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189 outside Australia, they must not travel to Australia until they are said so in written that their visa has been granted. Applicant must wait for the final decision from the authority prior leaving the job, selling home or booking any travel package.

Inside Australia:

In case the applicant have applied for Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189 inside Australia, they might also get eligible for the Bridging visa which permits the applicant to be in the country legally at the time of visa application process. In case, the applicant has acquired the Bridging visa A, he or she can apply for a Bridging visa B (BVB) in order to travel outside Australia till the time your final decision is out.

Final Visa Decision

In case Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189 is granted, the Australian immigration authorities will provide information related:

  • when Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189 can be used
  • visa grant number
  • conditions related to the visa

In case Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189 is not granted, the Australian immigration authorities will provide information related:

  • why visa has not granted
  • review rights of the applicant (if present)
  • application time limit for the decision review (if present)

Visa application process Cost

In case the applicant is making the payment for the visa application via credit card, a surcharge will be applied.

The present surcharge rates are:

  • Visa and MasterCard* – 0.98%
  • American Express and JCB – 1.4%
  • Diners Club International – 1.99%

NOTE: The surcharge rate will also be applicable on Debit Visa cards and Debit Master Cards at the time of online payments.

Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189 costs modifies with time. Cost is based upon the date on which the immigration authorities have received the visa application. In case there is a price rise in between the filing date and the date on which the immigration authorities have received the visa application, the applicant will have to pay the modified application charge.

This visa application charge is taken in the form of Australian dollars (AUD) that to be paid for the visa application. In few cases the visa application charge can be NIL as well.

Cost: Applicant inside or outside Australia

Note: All charges will be in Australian Dollars.

Visa subclass

Note Base application charge Offline application charge Additional applicant charge for
18 & above

Extra applicant charge for below 18

Skilled – Independent (Subclass 189)

12a $3600 N/A $1800

$900

Footnote: *12a for applicants who got 18 at the time of visa application and those who don’t have functional English, the second installment will be $4885. For others, the second installment is NIL.

Second installment

Applicant must pay the second installment for all family member added in the application that are:

  • 18 years of age or above
  • Not having functional English

This charge has to be paid by the applicant prior visa grant.

Other costs

Applicant may need to pay the other costs, including health assessments costs, police certificates costs, or other certificates or tests costs. The applicant is alone responsible for organizing the needful requirements.

Benefits of Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189

Subclass 189 is a form of a permanent residency visa. It allows the primary applicant and his or her family members whose visa grant has been approved to:

  • Reside in Australia permanently
  • Get employment and education in Australia
  • Get registered in Medicare which is Australia’s program for health care and related expenditure.
  • apply for citizenship in Australia, in case the applicant is eligible
  • nominate/sponsor family relatives who are eligible for permanent residency
  • travel to and fro in Australia for a period of 5 years counting from the date of visa grant

Related Links:

Temporary work (skilled) visa – Subclass 457: Abolished & Replaced

Employer Nomination Scheme – Subclass 186

Skilled Nominated visa – subclass 190

Skilled Regional provisional Visa Subclass 489

Regional sponsored Migration scheme visa (Subclass 187)

Short-term Skilled Occupation List STSOL (2017-18)

Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List MLTSSL (2017-18)


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