Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)

Skilled Independent visa (Subclass 189)

If you are highly skilled in your area, you can move to Australia to work and live there permanently. You can sponsor your family and relatives too. That is possible through the Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189) program. Under this visa program, you don't need sponsorship by an employer or anyone else. Skills are all that matters.

What is the Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)?

This is an invites-only permanent visa to Australia. It is for skilled workers that are not sponsored by state or employer. Once you get this visa, you will be able to do the following:

  • Permanently stay in Australia
  • Work and study in Australia
  • Sponsor relatives for other visas
  • Enroll in Australia's Medicare
  • Apply for Australian citizenship
  • Travel to and out from Australia as you wish within a five-year window


You can include these family members and dependents in your application:

  • A spouse or partner
  • Your/your partner's dependent child
  • You/your partner's dependent relative

How it Works

You can apply for the Skilled Independent Visa when you are in or outside Australia. It's a two-step process. First, you must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through Skill-Select. If that's a success, you will be invited to apply for the visa.

The program is designed with occupation ceilings. For example, the 2020-2021 program requires no more than 7 145 construction workers, 1000 child care center managers and 1000 music professionals, and so forth. The structuring guarantees that hundreds of occupations get the space and chance for consideration.

The Points-Tested Stream

In this stream, your EOI is evaluated and scored. The EOI should extensively capture details about you and your qualifications, occupation, and skills. Using this submission, Skill-Select will rank you, in points, against competing migrants.

Eligibility for the Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)-points tested stream.

  • Applicants must be below the age of 45
  • Your profession and occupation must be relevant and listed on the 189-occupation list
  • Applicants must demonstrate that they have the rightful skills assessment for their occupation
  • You must be invited to apply after you submit an EOI
  • Your application must disclose whether you have a medical condition that requires continuous support from the government or community
  • Your application must disclose whether you have a medical condition that requires continuous support from the government or community
  • The application must also state whether you have been diagnosed with TB or other highly contagious illnesses
  • You must attain the required score in the points test

New Zealand Stream

In this category of the Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189), New Zealand citizens can apply for the visa without going through a points-testing. Under the New Zealand stream, eligibility criteria differ slightly from the points-tested stream:

  • As a New Zealand applicant, you will be required to show that you have contributed significantly to and are committed to Australia
  • You must have lived in Australia for the last five years
  • You must have started living in Australia before 20th February 2016
  • Applicants should meet the taxable income requirements
  • You should meet the character requirements
  • In your application, you must disclose whether you have a medical condition that requires continuous support from the government or community
  • The application must also state whether you have been diagnosed with TB or other highly contagious illnesses

Moving from New Zealand to Australia is easier. The two countries have a deal, the Trans-Tasman Travel Arrangement (TTTA), hence the fewer eligibility requirements for the New Zealand stream of the Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189). So, let's see how the process would be like for non- New Zealand citizens.

Points Testing and how it Works

Based on some aspects of your EOI, the Skill-Select awards you points. If you are ranked higher than average, and there are still slots in your occupation category, you may be invited to apply for the visa.

The current pass mark is 65 points. Your score and ranking will be based on factors such as English language proficiency, age, work experience, and education level.

Occupation relevancy and skills assessment

Before you submit the EOI, dear skilled worker, check to ensure your profession falls among the listed 189 occupations. Further, you shall be required to have a skills assessment that proves your expertise. An authorized skills assessment organization does the evaluation

Occupations in the eligibility list have their different skills assessing authority listed against them. Be sure to check that. Skill-Select only accepts endorsements made by the relevant skills assessing authorities.

Applicants are required to contact the right authority and get the assessment needed before submitting EOI.

EOI Validity

Once you submit it, your EOI remains valid for two years, and you can receive an invitation to apply for the visa at any time. Before you receive the invitation to apply, you can always update your information on the website. That may boost your chances of getting invited. Once you are invited to apply, you will no longer be able to change your score.

Invitation and Application

If you are invited, you will be allowed 60 calendar days to apply for the visa. You can apply for a visa when you are in or outside of Australia. If you apply for it while in Australia, you will be given a bridging visa to use as you await processing and verdict.

Applications are assessed based on the eligibility criteria listed earlier. The assessment for the visa also largely relies on the points you score in the EOI. You are more likely to be granted the visa if you score higher points than the stated pass mark.


Priority processing sometimes applies to this visa. The Australian immigration department may consider applications based on when they were made, among other factors.

Take note:

  • The Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189) program is a permanent visa, its validity is indefinite
  • You can include close relations in your application
  • You and your family can study, work, travel, and access medical care in Australia under this visa

We Can Help

The skilled independent visa gives you the easiest and direct path to Permanent Residency in Australia based on your skills. It is much more straightforward compared to an employer-sponsored work visa. We can improve your chances of getting this visa by guiding you through the application. We can:

  • Prepare the EOI and application for you
  • Get the assessment of the required skills for you
  • Monitor application status on your behalf
  • Prepare relative sponsorship application for you

Contact us to set an appointment .