Who is the Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189 for?
The Skilled Independent visa is a permanent residence visa for skilled workers who want to work and live in Australia, in an occupation on the Skilled Occupation Lists (SOL).
Visa applicants do not require sponsorship by an employer, family member, or be nominated by a State or Territory Government, and they can be in or outside of Australia upon application, and when the visa is granted.
This visa is a points test based visa and is only open to applicants upon receiving an invitation by the Department once an Expression of Interest has been lodged.
Am I Eligible for a 189 Visa?
In order to qualify for a 189 visa, you will need to demonstrate that you meet the following minimum eligibility requirements:
- Lodged an Expression of Interest (EOI) and receive an invitation by the Department to apply.
- That you have nominated an occupation from the relevant skilled occupation list.
- Obtained a suitable skills assessment for your nominated occupation less than three years ago, based on the factors in the points test below:
- English language ability
- Previous Australian and Overseas skilled work experience
- International Qualifications
- Australian study requirements and awards
- Credentialed community language qualifications
- Regional Australian Study
- Spouse skill qualifications
- Professional year in Australia
- Have a qualifying score in the skilled migration points test – the current minimum score is 60.
- That you are younger than 45 years of age when you are invited to apply for this visa.
- If you do not hold a USA, UK, NZ, Canadian or Irish passport, you must have at least ‘competent’ English language ability at the time you are invited to apply – you will need a score of at least 6 in each component of the IELTS, or equivalent score in any accepted English test.
- Meet certain health and character requirements.
- You must have lodged the 189 visa application within 60 days of your invitation to apply
How Long Does it Take?
You will have 60 calendar days to apply for your 189 visa after being invited to lodge an application. Once received, the Department of Immigration will then commence processing your application. While the average global processing time for applications is 75% in 8 months, times may vary as assessment of eligibility occurs on a case-by-case basis and will vary on the applicant’s circumstances.
It is understandable that there are some circumstances where the processing time of your visa applications will be affected, for which these affects may be out of your control. These include; the time for external agencies (namely health and police services) and the Government to conduct checks and provide supporting information.
While the above circumstances are unavoidable, there are some factors which will ensure a faster processing time. These include:
- Lodging a complete application, attached with all of the necessary supporting documents.
- Being prompt in responding to any additional information that the Department requests.
Fees & Costs
The cost of this visa is priced from $3,670. Please note this is only the flat rate and you may be asked to pay additional costs to cover requirements such as; health assessments, police certificates and biometrics.
If you wish to add additional family members to your application, an extra fee will be imposed upon your visa application.
If the additional family member is above the age of 18 and has less than Functional English, you will be subjected to a second instalment fee of $4,885, which is payable after you have satisfied all of the visa requirements listed above.
What Steps Should I Take to apply for a 189 Visa?
Unlike other Migration law firms, at Results Migration the process of applying for visas is straightforward. Our team of expert lawyers will work with you at every step of the way, and have devised a step-by-step process to ensure that your application is processed as fast as possible.
- Come in for a free consultation where our team of expert lawyers will assess and provide advice on the Australian visa option that best suits your needs.
- Conduct an assessment of your English language skills point score. In order to be invited to apply, you will need to score at least 60 points in the Points Test. If you are below this threshold, you will need to sit an International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS) test in Australia, or in your country of origin.
At this stage, we will also gather and prepare all of the documentation as well as perform any additional checks that are required to lodge a visa application.
- Organise a skills assessment within your nominated occupation. This must be performed by the relevant Australian Assessing Authority for your nominated eligible skilled occupation.
- We will prepare and submit your expression of interest for you through SkillSelect. You will then wait to receive your invitation for applying, from the Department.
- After receiving your invitation to apply for a 189 visa from the Department, we will then begin preparing your application. Despite having 60 days to lodge your application having already performed the necessary assessments, prepared the required paperwork and gathered supporting documentation, we can then lodge your application in a timely manner.
In the meantime, if you are an onshore applicant you will be granted a bridging visa until your current visa expires. This will entitle you to working rights until the outcome of your 189 visa is decided.
- Finally, we will notify you of the outcome. If granted, you will then become a permanent resident and receive the rights listed below.
Entitlements of the Skilled Independent Visa
The Skilled Independent visa will grant you permanent residence in Australia. It will allow you and your eligible family members:
- The right to stay in Australia indefinitely.
- Work and study rights in Australia.
- The opportunity to enrol in Medicare – Australia’s scheme for health-related care and expenses.
- Apply for Australian citizenship once you become eligible.
- Sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence.
- Travel to and from Australia for up to five years.
189 Visa FAQs
My 189 visa was refused, what can I do?
If your visa has been refused, we can review your refusal and from here, we will be able to guide you to further options that may be available to you such as; ministerial intervention.
Can I switch my 457 visa to a 189 visa?
Yes, it is possible to change your 457 visa to a 189 visa. Having worked in Australia, you will receive additional points towards your skill assessment. However, additional criteria may apply and a 189 visa is not available to all 457 visa holders.
Does a 189 visa require a medical examination?
It is a requirement for you to undergo a medical examination when applying for a 189 visa. You will be required to pay a fee which covers the cost of the examination.
The results will be valid for one year, however, due to the potential delay in processing times, it is recommended that you undergo a medical examination prior to lodging your application.
How many points do I need for a 189 visa?
To be invited to apply for this visa you will need to have a qualifying score of at least 60 in the Points Test.
Can family members be included on a 189 visa application?
The Skilled Independent visa allows you to add; spouses, de-facto partners, same-sex partners, dependent children and other dependent family members, such as parents who live with you and are financially dependent, to your visa application.