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189 Visa – Skilled Independent Visa

Indah Melindasari MARN 0961 448
Updated July 2024
General Skilled Migration - 189 visa

Are you a skilled person who wants to live and work permanently in Australia? If you are, a Skilled Independent Visa or mostly known as Australia 189 visa is a suitable visa for you. Take a look at the 189 Visa cost, process, processing time, 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 Requirements

The requirements for 189 Visa Australia are:

  • 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

189 Visa Eligibility Criteria

The detailed eligibility criteria for the 189 Visa are:

Occupation & Skill

Your occupation must be listed on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).

You must also provide a positive Skills Assessment from the relevant Skills Assessing Authority. It is to show that you have the required qualifications and skills for your nominated occupation.

Point Test & Invitation

To get the invitation, you must lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) application.

Then, on your EOI application, you must score at least 65 points. However, some occupations require more than 65 points to be invited. It’s best to regularly check the Invitation Round.

Check your point with our Online Point Simulator.


The minimum required English level for a 189 Visa is Competent English. However, you will get higher points if you can score a Proficient or Superior level.


You must be under 45 years old at the time of invitation.

Health & Character

You must meet the health and character requirements for a 189 visa. To do so, you must undergo a health assessment and provide a National Police Certificate.

Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) streams

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

Point-tested Stream

Point tested stream of 189 Visa opens for skilled workers worldwide. When you are applying for 189 visa Australia through poin-tested stream, you must meet all requirements explained above.

Hong Kong Stream

The Hong Kong stream of 189 Visa is specified for Hong Kong or British National (Overseas) passport holders. The requirements are:

  • Have a valid visa (457 visa/482 visa/485 visa) at least 4 years prior to lodgement;
  • Have lived in Australia for 4 years immediately before submitting the application;
  • Have compiled with all Australian visa conditions;
  • Have at least Functional English level;
  • Meet the health and character requirement

Benefits of Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189) 

Visa 189 offers various benefits to you, which include:

  • 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 for a Resident Return (RRV) visa (subclass 155/157) to re-enter Australia as a permanent resident.
  • 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

Including Family Member

You can include your spouse or your de facto partner together with your dependent child to your Visa 189 application.

Additional charge will be applicable for each additional applicant.

The cost of 189 visa Australia

The cost for 189 Australia are as follow:

  • Main applicant: AUD 4,765
  • Additional applicant above 18: AUD 2,385
  • Additional applicant under 18: AUD 1,195

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.

The above fee is as of July 2024. Please be noted that the visa fee might increase in July every year.

189 Visa Application Process

To apply for 189 Visa, you must follow the following steps:

Step 1: Check your eligibility, including your occupation and your score

Checking your eligibility is very important. You must ensure that you’ve met all requirements and that your occupation is listed on MLTSSL.

You can check your occupation here and use our online point simulator to see how many points you can obtain with your current background.

Step 2: Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) Application

You must submit the Expression of Interest (EOI) application through SkillSelect. You can follow the steps here to create an Expression of Interest application.

You must complete the application with your details, and don’t forget to submit the most recent documents.

Step 3: Wait for an invitation from the Government

After successfully submitting the EOI application, you have to wait for the invitation to submit the 189 Visa. You will receive an invitation from the Australian Government.

While waiting for the invitation, you may do the following:

  • Updating your details;
  • Improving your score by reaching the highest English proficiency level, etc;
  • Ensuring all documents are still valid

Step 4: Lodge 189 Visa Application

After receiving the invitation, you will have 60 days to submit your Visa 189 application. You can simply transfer your data in your EOI application to your IMMIAccount. But, double check if any information needs to be updated.

Ensure to provide the most recent documents too. Submitting expired documents will only put your application in delay.

Step 5: 189 Visa Outcome

You will receive the outcome around 69 days to 8 months (according to the current processing time).

The Department of Home Affairs will send the outcome by email. You have to check the visa conditions carefully.

189 Visa Validity Period

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 indefinitely 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.

Location to Submit 189 Visa Application

Visa 189 is open for applicants both in Australia and outside Australia. So, 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?

The main difference is that Visa 189 is an independent skilled point visa, which means you can live and work in any area of Australia permanently. Meanwhile, the 190 Visa is a Skilled Nominated Visa, that requires you to be invited by a certain Australian state or region government. It means, you can only live and work in the state or region that invites you.

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 or to our page here. And yes, your nominated occupation has to be on the MLTSSL (Medium and Long Term Strategic Skill List).
  2. What is a positive skills assessment? How to get that?
    • Skills assessment is used to examine skills you have in order to meet the standards to work in your chosen profession.
    • All occupations on the MLTSSL have a relevant skills assessing authority, which have their own assessment procedures, timeframes and charges. You can find the assessing authority listed for your occupation here.
  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. How long is the processing time for Visa 189?
    • 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.
  5. Is it hard to get a 189 Visa?
    • We’d say that the process is quite hard to get the 189 Visa. The real challenge is to get the invitation for 189 visa. Even though the minimum pass score is 65 points, most of the time, 65 points is not enough to get the invitation. In addition, you must regularly check your Expression of Interest (EOI) application, ensuring all information and documents are still valid.
    • It’s always the best to reach the highest point possible. The higher your points, the higher your chance to get an invitation for 189 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