Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)

If you are aiming to obtain a permanent work permit in Australia and the present occupation is on the current Skilled Occupation List (SOL) then the Skilled Independent Visa is the best option you can go for. The purpose of this visa is to permanently live and work or study in the country and if you wish, get the Australian citizenship.

This visa allows you to live, work or study in Australia as a permanent resident. To apply for this visa, based on your qualifications or work experiences, you should nominate an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) and be under 50 years of age.
This visa is for points-tested skilled workers who are not sponsored by an employer or family member or nominated by a state or territory government. And to apply for this visa you should have at least 60 points. To be able to apply for this visa you need to submit an “expression of interest (EOI)” and then be invited through Skill Select to apply.

Requirements for the Skilled Independent Visa

The basic characteristics of this type of Australian visa does not require the applicant to be sponsored by a regional body or state or any family member, however, the applicant should score at least 60 points in the Points Test and which is usually the most difficult condition applicants has to meet.

Requirements for this visa type include the age of the applicant to be under 50 years of age and should possess adequate skills of English language. In addition to this, formal professional skills and qualifications in the respective occupation are also required. Whether the applicant is professional or not in the nominated occupation is decided by a designated Australian assessing body which assesses the qualifications and skills of applicants. Moreover, the applicant is also required to meet the health and good character requirements that have been laid down by the state authorities.

Process of Australian Skilled Independent Visa

The visa application process is carried out through the following processes:

Skill Assessment

The initial stage for visa application process includes completing a skill assessment which has been laid down by the relevant government authorities. Through this assessment, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) will be able to determine as to whether the applicant has the adequate level of skills required for practicing a job in the nominated occupation.

Submission of Expression of Interest 

After successfully completing the skill assessment, the applicant is required to submit an Expression of Interest via SkillSelect. This act can be done either in Australia or outside the country.

Submission of Final Application

After an Invitation to Apply (ITA) has been issued to the applicant, they can proceed to the DIBP application stage where the complete and final application will be submitted so that it gets approved by DIBP and a visa is granted. Priority processing arrangements are applicable to this visa type which has been designed to consider the applications by the department regardless of the time they have been lodged.

Conditions for Australian Skilled Independent Visa

Successful applicants will be granted a work permit of 5 years in the country. This visa will be reissued at the end of its expiration period. On the other side, those applicants that spend 4 consecutive years in the country will be entitled to receive Australian citizenship.

On the other side, those applicants who do not wish to gain citizenship can apply for a Resident Return Visa prior to the expiration of the original visa so that they can travel to and from Australia. In order to qualify for this visa type, the applicant needs to demonstrate that they have spent 2 years lawfully in the country or they have considerable cultural, personal or business ties with Australia.

Frequently Asked Questions

What I need to submit my expression of interest?

To submit a complete expression of interest, you should have at least 60 points for your nominated subclass and you must have at least competent English language skills and a positive skills assessment for your nominated occupation (or Job Ready program, if applicable).

Your visa application is likely to require extensive supporting documents, as listed in the document checklist. It is highly recommended to start compiling your documents early in the process, even before you submit your expression of interest. 

If I am invited to apply for this visa, what should I do?

If you are invited to apply for this visa, you will have 60 days to do so. Invitations are based on claims made in your expression of interest, so your application must be consistent with the information you provided in your expression of interest and it must be supported by evidence.

How can I obtain a skills assessment?

You can find the assessing authority of your occupation in immigration department website. Each assessing authority has its own assessment procedures, timeframes and charges.

Can I sponsor my eligible relatives for permanent residence while I am holding this visa?

Yes, you can sponsor an eligible relative for 489 visa if:

  you are at least 18 years of age

  you live in a designated area of Australia

The relative or the relative's partner you want to sponsor must be your:

  child or stepchild

  parent or step-parent

 brother, sister, adoptive brother, adoptive sister, stepbrother, step sister, niece, nephew, adoptive niece, adoptive nephew, step niece, step nephew, aunt, uncle, adoptive aunt, adoptive uncle

 grandparent or first cousin.


Am I eligible to enrol for Medicare?

Yes, you and your dependants can enrol in Medicare, Australia's scheme for health-related care and expenses

Can I travel to and from Australia?

Yes, you can travel to and from Australia for five years from the date the visa is granted (after that time, you will need a resident return visa or another visa to return to Australia).

Can I include my family in my application?

You can include the following people in your visa application at the time of lodgement:

  your partner

 your child/step-child or your partner’s child/step-child.

Can I apply for this visa onshore?

You can be in or outside Australia when you apply and when the visa is granted.

How points are awarded for this visa?

You can receive points for your age, English language ability, skilled employment, qualifications, Australian study, Specialist education Qualification, Credentialed community language, Study in regional Australia, Partner skills, Professional year in Australia.

How can I claim for my partner skill?

You can receive five points if your partner provides evidence that they:

  were under 50 years of age

 had at least competent English

 had nominated an occupation on the same skilled occupation list as your nominated occupation (it means, if you are applying for 189 visa your partner’s occupation should be listed in SOL)

 had been assessed by the relevant assessing authority as having suitable skills for the nominated occupation.

How long does this visa take to be granted?

The current visa processing time is approximately 3 months

What is the visa application charge?

AUD 3600 base application charge plus AUD 1800 for dependant older than 18 and AUD 900 for dependant under 18