Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)

Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189

If you are a skilled worker dreaming of building a new life, the subclass 189 visa might be the perfect opportunity for you. It serves as the primary pathway for individuals seeking to migrate to Australia. With the increasing demand for skilled workers in Australia, the General Skilled Migration (GSM) has served as a vital program, accounting for the majority of permanent visas granted each year. Australia, being ranked among the top 10 countries in the world according to the United Nations Human Development Index, offers a wonderful work-life balance, a great quality of life, and an exceptional education system, making it a truly inviting destination for making a permanent move.

What is a Skilled Independent Visa?

Skilled Independent Visa is also known as Visa subclass 189. It is a permanent residency for workers who are not sponsored by an employer, family members, or a state or territory. Designed specifically for independent migrants, this visa pathway allows individuals to migrate to Australia based on a point-based system.

According to the Parliament of Australia, the subclass 189 visa, which falls under the GSM program, has been in existence for less than a decade. It was introduced as a replacement for a previous skilled independent visa subclass. To be eligible, aspiring applicants need to attain a minimum of 65 points, considering various factors such as education, work experience, age, and language proficiency. Moreover, this visa allows the inclusion of family members in the application, fostering the possibility of a united and prosperous future in Australia.

Who is 189 Skilled Independent Visa For?

189 skilled independent visas are for skilled workers who are not sponsored by an Australian employer. This visa is for eligible New Zealand citizens as well as Hongkong or British national passport holders and invited workers who possess skills that are in demand in Australia. Skilled independent visa subclass 189 provides an opportunity for skilled individuals to establish their lives in Australia on a permanent basis. You can also sponsor your family members or relatives to migrate to Australia, allowing them to travel to and from Australia for 5 years, and also get Australian citizenship after fulfilling specific requirements.

What Are the Advantages of a Skilled Independent Work (Subclass 189) Visa?

advantages of 189 visa

Here are some advantages of a skilled independent visa (subclass 189):

1. Permanent Residency:

Permanent Residency is a person's legal immigration status in a country where they are not a citizen but have the right to stay in a country on a permanent basis. In the context of skilled migration to Australia PR, the selected skilled workers for the visa can live and work in Australia indefinitely and enjoy the benefit that is provided to Australian citizens.

2. Full Work Rights:

The right to work is one of the basic requirements for every citizen of a country. When someone possesses full work rights, they have the legal privilege to engage in any lawful employment or business activities. Unlike many other visa schemes, 189 skilled independent visa do not require sponsorship from an employer. They are not tied up to a specific employer. They can choose to work for many employers, switch jobs or even pursue self-employment.

3. Job Market Flexibility:

Job market flexibility is simply an opportunity provided to visa holders in terms of employment. provided to visa holders Visa holders have unrestricted work rights. They have the flexibility to explore various work opportunities and industries in Australia. Skilled individuals are allowed to independently establish their careers in Australia based on their qualifications and experience.

4. Work Security:

The workers or visa holders are not dependent on the ongoing sponsorship or the stability of the employers. And without the need for additional visas or sponsorship, you can seek employment in any industry of your choice. They provide the stability that individuals have in their employment. You will get a well-defined employment contract with clear terms and conditions.

5. Access to Social Security Benefits:

Social benefits refer to the entitlement of individuals to receive many social programs as well as financial support such as disability benefits, retirement benefits, unemployment benefits, family and child benefits, etc. It means that Permanent residents in Australia, including Subclass 189 visa holders, are generally eligible for social security benefits and support programs offered by the Australian government.

6. Pathway to Citizenship:

After holding the Subclass 189 visa for a specified period of time, individuals may be eligible to apply for Australian citizenship. It is particularly supervised by the government of immigration of laws and regulations. There are certain requirements that you must have fulfilled to get citizenship such as residency requirements, good moral character, etc. This provides additional rights and privileges, including the ability to vote and access certain government services.

7. Family Sponsorship:

Family sponsorship means you can also sponsor your eligible family members to join you in Australia. Getting emotional support is also a very strong motivation in everyone's life. You get to reunite and be with your loved ones. This sponsorship program includes a Partner visa, Child visa, and other family stream visa. Family members can live in a new country, with access to healthcare, education, and a supportive family environment.

8. Access to Medicare:

Medicare is a government-funded healthcare system that is available in Australia. You will be eligible to access all of Australia’s national healthcare schemes. It is the country’s publicly funded healthcare system that provides affordable and accessible medical services to Australian citizens, permanent residents, and certain visa holders. This facility provides various benefits such as an enrollment process, costs, coverage, disability-based, age-based, etc.

9. Access to Education and Training:

Education is the lifelong process of learning which is beyond traditional training. Australia focuses on providing high-quality education to enhance personal development. They provide inclusive education addressing the needs of individuals with disabilities, and marginalised communities, etc. You can get access to all the educational opportunities and training that are provided by Australian Institutions. You can study in Australia freely without any intervention.

10. Travel Rights:

This right gives you the freedom to travel within Australia and also internationally across borders. You can also travel to and from Australia for 5 years without any restrictions. Individuals can travel freely without being bound by any laws or regulations. You can explore new places, establish connections, and also experience different cultures.

Stream for Skilled Independent Visa For Australia

The Skilled Independent Visa for Australia offers two streams: the Points Tested Stream and the New Zealand Stream. This stream is for the individuals who have the necessary skills and qualifications that will have a positive impact on Australia's labour shortages. These streams help to determine an individual's capability and also to see if they fit under certain criteria or not. The following are the two streams that you should know about before applying for the visa:

Points Tested Stream

This stream is aimed at attracting skilled workers who have been invited and possess the specific skills required by the broader Australian community. This visa allows successful applicants to establish permanent residency in Australia, granting them the freedom to live, work, and study anywhere in the country. The subclass 189 visa operates on a points-tested system that evaluates applicants based on their particular work skills. Once granted, visa holders enjoy many of the same privileges and entitlements as Australian citizens.

Eligibility Criteria for Points Tested Stream:

  • Invitation to apply for the visa
  • Age below 45 years
  • Positive skill evaluation
  • Minimum 65 points on the score table

New Zealand Stream

The Skilled Independent visa includes a dedicated stream for New Zealand citizens known as the New Zealand Stream. This particular visa falls under the subclass 189 category and offers eligible New Zealand citizens the opportunity to permanently reside and work in Australia. New Zealand citizens must demonstrate their commitment and contribution to Australia to qualify for this stream. If the visa is granted, New Zealand citizens can enjoy the benefits of living and working in Australia on a permanent basis.

Eligibility Criteria for New Zealand Stream:

  • Special visa subclass 444
  • At least five years of residence in Australia
  • Meeting the income threshold requirements

Eligibility and Requirements for Skilled Independent Visa 189

One of the migration visa schemes of Australia is a skilled independent Visa through which you can get PR (Permanent Residency). To be eligible for the Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189, applicants must meet certain criteria and fulfill specific requirements. Here are the key eligibility factors and requirements:

Requirements Description
Invitation to apply You must receive an invitation from the Australian government to apply for the subclass 189 visa. This invitation is typically based on factors such as your occupation, skills, and points score. It is important to meet the eligibility requirements and express your interest in migrating to Australia through the appropriate channels. Upon receiving the invitation, you can proceed with the visa application process.
Skills assessment To qualify for the subclass 189 visa, you need to undergo a skills assessment. This assessment is conducted by a designated assessing authority recognized by the Australian government. It is important to provide accurate and complete documentation during the assessment process.
Age under 45 The subclass 189 visa requires you to be under the age of 45 at the time of receiving the invitation to apply. Age is an important factor in the points-based system used to assess visa eligibility. Points are allocated based on different age brackets, with higher points awarded to younger applicants. Meeting the age requirement can significantly increase your chances of qualifying for the visa.
Points score of 65 or more In the points-based system used for the subclass 189 visa, you must achieve a minimum score of 65 points to be eligible. Points are awarded based on various factors such as age, English language proficiency, work experience, education, and other relevant qualifications. The higher your points score, the higher your chances of receiving an invitation to apply for the visa.
Competent English level You must demonstrate a competent level of English language proficiency. This is typically assessed through standardised English language tests such as IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE Academic. Achieving the required minimum scores in these tests ensures that you have the necessary language skills to effectively communicate and integrate into the Australian society and workforce
Relevant skills and qualifications You must possess the skills and qualifications that are relevant to your nominated occupation. This includes having the necessary educational qualifications and work experience in the field.
Meet health requirements You will be required to undergo a medical examination to ensure that you meet the health criteria set by the Australian government.
No outstanding debts You must have no outstanding debts owed to the Australian government. This includes any unpaid healthcare debts, education debts, or other financial obligations. Having outstanding debts can affect your eligibility for the visa. It is important to ensure that all financial obligations are settled before submitting your visa application.
No visa cancellations or refusals You must have a clean immigration history and demonstrate your compliance with visa conditions in any previous stays in Australia. Any visa cancellations or refusals must be appropriately addressed and disclosed during the application process. Providing accurate and truthful information is essential for a successful visa application.

In general, Visa applicants go through these five steps:

  1. Occupation assessment
  2. Expression of Interest submission
  3. Receiving an invitation to apply (RTA)
  4. Visa grant

189 VISA Document Checklist

The following is the 189 visa document checklist that should be considered while applying for the visa:

Passport Documents:

  • Copy of passport pages containing personal details
  • National identity card (if applicable)

Expression of Interest (EOI):

  • Submitted expression of interest for the points tested stream visa subclass 189

Character Requirements:

  • Form 80 (if required for the points tested stream)
  • Other character documents as requested

English Language Proficiency:

  • Proof of English language proficiency (not required for the New Zealand stream)

Skill Assessment Documents:

  • Skill assessment outcome documents (if applicable for the points tested stream)

Name Change Documents:

  • Documents proving any name changes (if applicable)

Form 956 and Form 956a:

  • Submission of Form 956 and Form 956a

For New Zealand Stream Visa:

Residence and Income Documents:

  • Residence documents
  • Income documentation

For Partner or Spouse:

Identity and Character Documents:

  • Identity documents of the partner/spouse
  • Character documents of the partner/spouse

Marriage and Divorce Documents:

  • Marriage certificate
  • Divorce documents (if applicable)

Registered Relationship Evidence:

  • Evidence of registered relationship (if applicable)

English Language Proficiency:

  • The functional level of English language documents

For Dependent Children under 18:

Identity and Birth Documents:

  • Identity documents of dependent children
  • Copies of birth certificates

Family Book or Parental Consent:

  • Family book with parents' names (alternative to birth certificate)
  • Parental consent form 1229
  • Statutory declaration

For Dependent Children over 18:

Proof of Dependency:

  • Proof of dependency documents
  • Dependency form 47a

English Language Proficiency:

  • Proof of functional English proficiency (only for the points tested stream)

189 VISA Point Calculation

To calculate the points for a Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189) or For, 189 visa point calculation. You need to consider various factors and assign points based on your qualifications, skills, and other criteria. The minimum point for 189 visas is 65 points. Here is the detailed information on point calculation.


  • 18-24 years: 25 points
  • 25-32 years: 30 points
  • 33-39 years: 25 points
  • 40-44 years: 15 points

English Language Proficiency:

  • Competent English: 0 points
  • Proficient English: 10 points
  • Superior English: 20 points

Work Experience (Overseas):

  • Less than 3 years: 0 points
  • 3-5 years: 5 points
  • 5-8 years: 10 points
  • 8 years or more: 15 points

Work Experience (Australia):

  • Less than 1 year: 0 points
  • 1-2 years: 5 points
  • 3-5 years: 10 points
  • 5-8 years: 15 points
  • 8 years or more: 20 points

Educational Qualifications:

  • PhD: 20 points
  • Bachelor's Degree: 15 points
  • Master's by Research: 10 points
  • Diploma or Trade Certification (recognized institution): 10 points
  • Qualification or Award for Relevant Occupation: 10 points
  • Doctorate with 2 years of Australian study: 10 points
  • Australian Study Requirement: 5 points
  • Professional Year in Australia: 5 points
  • Recognized Qualification in Credentialled Community Language: 5 points
  • Study in Regional Australia for at least 1 year: 5 points

Marital Status:

  • Partner Criteria: 10 points
  • Competent English Level of Partner: 5 points
  • Single or Partner is an Australian citizen or permanent resident: 10 points

Skill Occupation List for 189 Visa Australia

The Skilled Occupation List for the Subclass 189 Visa in Australia consists of occupations that are in high demand in the Australian labour market. Individuals who possess the necessary skills and experience in these occupations may be eligible to apply for the 189 Visa. The skilled occupation list in Australia consists of various categories, you can visit the official website of the Department of home affairs of Australia for further information.

How to Apply For a Skilled Independent VISA Subclass 189?

To apply for a Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189), gather the required documents such as a passport, educational certificates, and English language test scores. Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) on SkillSelect, aiming for a minimum score of 65 points. If eligible, you may receive an invitation from the Department of Home Affairs to apply for the visa. Lodge your application within 60 days, including all documents and fees. Undergo health and character assessments by completing medical examinations and providing police clearance certificates. Wait for a decision as the Department assesses your application. If approved, you'll receive a Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189) grant letter.

Estimated Costs for 189 Visa

The current cost of a subclass 189 visa is AUD$ 4,045 for the main applicant. Keep in mind that there are additional fees for each family member included in the application. If any family member over 18 years old has limited English skills, there will be an extra charge of AUD$ 4,885, but this is only applicable if the visa is approved. Remember to consider other expenses such as health checks, police certificates, and biometrics as well. It's important to budget for these costs when applying for a visa.

When it comes to the New Zealand stream of the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189), the cost is the same as the main subclass 189 stream. For the primary applicant, it will be AUD$4,045. If you have family members over 18 years old, they will need to pay AUD$2,020, and for those under 18 years old, the cost will be AUD$1,015. Keep in mind that there might be additional fees depending on your specific situation. To get a better idea of the costs, you can use the Visa Pricing Estimator available on the Home Affairs website. It will help you calculate the expenses more accurately.

Processing Time of Skilled Independent 189 Visas

On average the processing time of a skilled independent 189 visa takes around 8 months to 1 year. The following points are the detailed information on the timeline of visa application:

1. Confirming Profile Existence:

It typically takes 7 to 12 working days to confirm if your profile exists in the Skilled Occupation List (SOL), which outlines eligible occupations for the subclass 189 visa.

2. Meeting Eligibility Requirements:

You should ensure that you meet all the eligibility requirements, which may take up to 15 days to assess and gather the necessary documents.

3. Skills Assessment Tests:

The skills assessment tests, which evaluate your qualifications and work experience, usually take around 2 to 3 months to complete.

4. Expression of Interest (EOI) Submission:

Once you have successfully completed the skills assessment, you will need to submit an Expression Of Interest through SkillSelect. This step typically takes 15 working days.

5. Visa Application Lodgement:

After receiving an invitation to apply, you will need to lodge your visa application, which generally takes about 2 months to complete.

6. Decision Waiting Period:

Once your visa application has been submitted, you will need to wait for a decision, which can take approximately 15 to 30 days.

Wrapping Up

The visa allows you to live and work freely in Australia without any restrictions or the need for employer sponsorship, providing independence and flexibility. Although, the whole 189 visa process might seem lengthy and exhausting but in the end, it's all worth it. The endless opportunities and entitlements that you get from the visa are impressive compared to other visas. CDR Writers Australia provides valuable assistance to skilled workers, particularly engineers from overseas, who are migrating to Australia. Our primary focus is on offering CDR (Competency Demonstration Report) Report Writing Services, specifically designed to aid engineers in their EA (Engineers Australia) skill assessments required for skilled migration to Australia.

Frequently Asked Questions

189 Visa can be refused if you have not fulfilled the eligibility criteria or if the information you have provided is inaccurate. Also if your health condition is not proper as set by the Australian government your application can be refused. Similarly, if your character assessment has any criminal records it will lead to visa application refusal.

With this visa, you can stay in Australia indefinitely as it is a permanent residency visa. If you fulfil all the requirements for visa application and your visa is granted then you can live and study in Australia for life. You will have full access to Medicare, education, training sessions, etc that are offered by the Australian government.

You can bring your family members with a Visa 189. It is one of the entitlements of this visa. If your family member has relevant eligibility that is set by the Australian government, they can live in Australia indefinitely. They get access to all the benefits that Australian citizens are facilitated with.

You can travel from and to different places in Australia with a Skilled Independent Visa 189. With this visa, you get to travel for five years without any restrictions. It is one of the benefits offered by the government of Australia for skilled workers with permanent residency.

You can leave Australia on a 189 visa for about five years without any restrictions but if you have crossed that period of time you need a return visa to Australia. During the validity of your visa, you can leave and come to Australia multiple times but you have to be inside the rules set by the government of Australia.

Yes, Visa subclass 189 is permanent. As it is a permanent residency visa in Australia. With this visa, you can live in Australia freely and indefinitely with access to all the facilities offered to Australian citizens by the government of Australia.

On average, subclass 189 visa processing time can vary from 8 months to one year for the visa grant. As the visa grant requirements have various criteria to be fulfilled as well as you need to receive an invitation to apply for the visa the visa grant process takes a lengthy duration.