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189 Visa – Skilled Independent Visa

Indah Melindasari MARN 0961 448
Updated July 2023
General Skilled Migration - 189 visa

Are you a skilled person who wants to live and work permanently in Australia? If you are, Skilled Independent Visa or mostly known as Australia 189 visa is a suitable visa for you. Take a look at all conditions and requirements on this page. Subclass 189 visa Australia is for skilled invited workers and skilled New Zealand Citizens, if you are one of them, then you can live and work permanently anywhere in Australia.

Skilled Independent Visa / Australia 189 Visa Eligibility

To be eligible for Australia 189 Visa, you must meet these requirements:

  • Have a relevant occupation on the 189 visa occupation list (MLTSSL),
  • Have a suitable skills assessment for the occupation,
  • Lodge an EOI and be invited to apply,
  • Meet the points test pass mark of 65 points (as of 1 July 2018),
  • Be aged between 18 and 44 inclusive,
  • Show that you have Competent English level,
  • Meet health and character requirements

Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) streams

There are two streams in 189 visa Australia, they are point-tested stream and New Zealand Stream.

Point-tested Stream

When you are applying for 189 visa Australia through poin-tested stream, you must:

  • have an occupation listed on the relevant skilled occupation list; 
  • have a suitable skills assessment for the occupation; and
  • be invited to apply for subclass 189 visa.

New Zealand Stream

This visa stream is temporarily closed to new applications. The stream will be opened for new applications from 2 July 2023.

The temporary closure aims to finalize the current application backlog and to review all eligibility criteria for New Zealand citizens. 

189 Visa Point-tested stream basic eligibility and benefits

To be able to obtain Skilled Independent visa through point-tested stream, there is basic eligibilities to apply for 189 visa Australia that you need to meet:

  • You must be invited by the Australian Federal Government;
  • You must lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) and pass the minimum score of 65 points;
  • You must be under 45 years old;
  • You must have a positive skills assessment;
  • At the time of invitation, you must show that you have Competent English level.

Benefits of getting 189 visa through point-tested stream.

  • This is a permanent visa, so you can stay in Australia indefinitely.
  • The visa has a travel component that expires 5 years after the date of the visa grant.
  • After five years, you will need to apply a Resident Return (RRV) visa (subclass 155 or 157) to re-enter Australia as a permanent resident.

More benefits from point-tested stream:

  • You can work and study in Australia
  • You can enrol in Australia’s public health care scheme, Medicare
  • Sponsor your relatives to come to Australia
  • If eligible, you can become an Australian citizen

New Zealand stream basic eligibilities and benefits

We will update you with the most recent eligibility criteria once the Australian Department of Home Affairs announced the new criteria. 

The cost of Australia 189 visa

The cost for the main applicant of Australia 189 visa is AUD $4,640. If you have a dependent age 18 years or older, an additional charge of AUD $2,320 will be applicable. 

However, if you have a dependent applicant who is 18 years old or older and has less than functional English level, you will need to pay a second installment of AUD $4,885.

The additional charge for the dependent applicant is payable when the Department asks you to.

Please be noted that the visa fee might increase in July every year.

How long is a visa 189 Australia valid for?

Visa 189 Australia is a permanent visa, which means there is no expiration date for this visa. Hence, if you hold this visa, you are allowed to work and live permanently in Australia.

Is 70 or 75 points enough for visa 189 Australia?

70 or 75 points might be enough for you to apply for visa 189 Australia. However, it is much better if you could get a higher score. In order to apply for Australia visa 189, the higher points you get, the higher chance to get invited by the Australian Government. 

Hence, if you have got 70 or 75 points, we would recommend you to keep going and try to get a higher point, so your chance to be invited for visa 189 Australia will be higher.

Where should I Lodge My Visa 189 Application?

Australia 189 visa is open for applicants both in Australia and outside Australia. You can be in or outside Australia when you apply for this visa and when the Department decides on your visa application.

If you apply for Australia 189 visa while in Australia, you must hold a substantive visa or a Bridging Visa A (subclass 010), Bridging Visa B (subclass 020), or Bridging Visa C (subclass 030).

What differentiate visa 189 and visa 190?

As we know, the General Skilled Migration program has three different visa subclasses, namely Australia 189 visa, Australia 190 visa and Australia 491 visa. You may notice that both Australia 189 visa and Australia 190 visa are permanent visa and both of them are skilled point-tested visas. So, what differentiate these visa subclasses?

First, we can see the difference between these visa subclasses by its name. Visa 189 Australia or Skilled Independent visa allows the applicants to choose where to live or work independently. It means you can live and work in any area of Australia permanently. Meanwhile, if you apply for Visa 190 Australia or Skilled Nominated Visa, you will be invited by a certain state or region of Australia. It means, you can only live and work in the state or region that invites you.

In line with the explanation above, if you apply for a visa 189 Australia, you will be invited by the Australian Federal Government. However, if you apply for visa 190 Australia, a certain Australian state or regional government will invite you to work in their state or region.

Furthermore, in applying for a visa 190 Australia, you would need to meet the requirements of the state that you aim for, for example, if you apply for a visa 190 Australia and aiming to work in the state of Western Australia, you need to meet the Western Australia state’s requirements as well.

In this case, visa 189 Australia seems simpler than visa 190 Australia as you do not need to meet additional requirements from an Australian state or region. 

So, is visa 189 Australia better than visa 190 Australia?

You are the one who is eligible to answer this question. You are the only person that is eligible to decide whether visa 189 Australia is better than visa 190 Australia, or vice versa, because you need to see and think of your first main purpose before applying for the visa.

If you have a certain state or region in mind to work and live permanently, applying for visa 190 Australia might be the best answer. However, if you do not mind living and working in any state or region, applying for an Australia 189 visa might be the best answer.

Skilled Independent Visa – Subclass 189 Visa Frequently Asked Questions

ONEderland Consulting managing director and also registered migration agent, Indah Melindasari, B.Com (MARN 0961 448) is here to answer your 189 visa Australia questions!

  1. How to check my occupation? Does my occupation have to be listed?
    • You may refer to the Skilled Occupation List from the Department of Home Affairs website, and your nominated occupation has to be on the list.
  2. How many points do I need to have?
    • You need to reach 65 points, at the minimum.
    • The higher points you get, the better chances you will have against other migrants.
  3. How to calculate my points?
    • Points may come from: Your age, English language requirements, work experience (inside and outside Australia), recognised qualification, partner skills, State or Territory nomination and regional study.
    • We have a system made for you to see the bigger picture of your points. Please click here.
  4. What is a positive skills assessment? How to get that?
    • All occupations on the MLTSSL have a relevant skills assessing authority, which have their own assessment procedures, timeframes and charges.
    • Skills assessment is used to examine skills you have in order to meet the standards to work in your chosen profession.
  5. Can I include my family in Subclass 189 visa application?
    • You can include your partner and/or dependent children in your Subclass 189 visa application, either when you lodge the visa application or add them afterwards, but before the Department finalises your application.
  6. How long is the processing time for 189 visa?
    • Visa 189 Australia generally takes from 36 to 39 months to be processed, assuming that you meet all the requirements and provide all additional request in time.
  7. How long can I stay using 189 visa?
    • Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) is a permanent visa, which allows you and your family to stay in Australia indefinitely.
    • Visa 189 Australia expires five years after the Department grant it, and you may renew the visa before it expired.

Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189 Visa) Five Steps Process

Check your occupation, points and eligibility visa 189 Australia

Before starting to apply for a Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) Australia, you have to understand the process, check your occupation, must be aged under 45 or turn 45 after being invited to apply, able to score 65 points or more.

After all the requirements are meet and upon receiving the invitation, then you are eligible to apply for subclass 189 visa Australia.

Submit an Expression of Interest

Once you are eligible to apply for an Australian working visa and receive positive skills assessment outcome, thereon, You are required to submit an Expression Of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect.

Waiting for the invitation

After you submit the EOI, you need to wait until you are invited. Each year the Department issues a different number of invitation.

It is based on the number of applications they receive and process. During this time, your EOI is valid for 2 years.

You can access your EOI and update any information at any time, such as if you have gained a new work experience, a higher qualification, improved your English language ability or your family make up has changed.

If you receive an invitation to lodge a visa application, it will be too late to update your EOI.

Gather all the required documents

If you are qualified, meet the requirements, and score the highest among all migrants in the same subclass, the Department will invite you to apply for the visa.

This time, you have to gather documents to apply for the visa.

You have 60 days to lodge an Australia 189 visa application after receiving an invitation for 189 visa from DIBP. Please keep in mind you are eligible to apply only if you receive an invitation.

Apply for the visa within 60 days of invitation

The Department gives you a timeframe to apply for the visa within 60 days. Once your documents are ready, you may lodge the visa.

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Indah Melindasari MARN 0961 448

Indah Melindasari, B.Com

Lead Migration Agent – MARN 0961 448

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Indah Melindasari Registered Migration Agent in Perth - Migration Agent Perth - ONEderland Consulting