Australia Skilled Visa 189

Skilled Independent 189 Visa

Australia 189 Visa Highlights

•    Application from Anywhere: Apply whether you’re in or outside of Australia.
•    Live the Aussie Life: Work, study, and immerse yourself in Australian culture.
•    Permanent Residency: Stay in Australia indefinitely with this permanent visa.
•    No Sponsor Needed: Apply without needing an Australian employer’s sponsorship.
•    Path to Citizenship: Meet criteria and you might qualify for Australian citizenship.
•    Bring Your Family: Include eligible family members in your application.
•    Healthcare Benefits: Get access to Australia’s Medicare system.
•    Save for Retirement: Contribute to Australia’s superannuation.

Understanding the 189 Visa

Australia, with its beautiful landscapes, vibrant cities, and a strong economy, has always been an attractive destination for migrants. If you’ve ever dreamt of moving to the Land Down Under, the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) might be your ticket. This article will take you through the ins and outs of the 189 visa, enabling you to embark on your journey to Australian residency.

What is the 189 Skilled Visa?

The Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) is a permanent visa option for skilled workers who want to live and work in Australia permanently. Unlike other visas, you don’t need a sponsor or nominator for the 189 visa; instead, it’s point-based.

Who is it for?

This visa is designed for:

Skilled workers in professions listed on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL).
Those who have been invited to apply after submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) in SkillSelect.

189 Visa Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the 189 visa, you must:

Be invited to apply.

Have a positive Skill Assessment
Be under 45 years of age.
Meet the points test (with a score usually 65 or more, though this can vary).
Have competent English skills.
Have your skills assessed by the appropriate assessing authority as suitable for your nominated occupation.

Points System Explained for the 189 Visa

The Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) in Australia relies on a points-tested system to determine eligibility. The points are awarded based on factors such as:

  • Age
  • English language ability
  • Skilled employment experience
  • Qualifications
  • Australian study requirements
  • Credentialed community language
  • Partner qualification or skills
  • Regional study


  • 18-24 years: 25 points
  • 25-32 years: 30 points
  • 33-39 years: 25 points
  • 40-44 years: 15 points

English Language Skills

  • Competent English: 0 points
  • Proficient English: 10 points
  • Superior English: 20 points

Skilled Employment
Experience (Outside Australia)

  • Less than 3 years: 0 points
  • 3-4 years: 5 points
  • 5-7 years: 10 points
  • 8-10 years: 15 points

Skilled Employment Experience (In Australia)

  • Less than 1 year: 0 points
  • 1-2 years: 5 points
  • 3-4 years: 10 points
  • 5-7 years: 15 points
  • 8-10 years: 20 points

Educational Qualifications

  • Doctorate from an Australian institution or other recognized standard: 20 points
  • Bachelor’s degree from an Australian institution or other recognized standard: 15 points
  • Diploma or trade qualification

Australian Study Requirement

  • At least one degree, diploma, or trade qualification from an Australian educational institution that meets the Australian study requirement: 5 points

Specialist Education Qualification

  • Master’s degree by research or a Doctorate from an Australian institution that included at least 2 academic years in a relevant field: 10 points

Credentialed Community Language

  • Accreditation in a community language: 5 points

Regional Australia Study

  • At least 2 years of study in regional Australia or a low population growth metropolitan area: 5 points

Partner Qualifications

  • If your spouse or de facto partner is also an applicant for this visa and meets age, English, and skill criteria: 10 points
  • If you are single or your partner is an Australian citizen or permanent resident: 10 points

Professional Year Completion

  • Completion of a Professional Year in Australia: 5 point

Nomination by State or Territory Government (subclass 190 visa only)

  • Nomination by an Australian state or territory: 15 points

While the minimum threshold to potentially be invited to apply for the visa is typically 65 points, higher point totals increases the likelihood of receiving an invitation. Keep in mind that the actual cut-off can be higher than this threshold based on demand for certain occupations.

According to Alexander King of Migration Consultant LLC, “This system is designed to ensure that immigrants who come to Australia are equipped to contribute meaningfully to the nation’s economy. If you’re considering applying for a 189 visa, or any Australian visa, it’s essential to check your eligibility first”

Application Process for the 189 Visa

Expression of Interest (EOI)

Before you can apply, you must first submit an EOI via SkillSelect. This allows the government to assess your eligibility.


If you meet the criteria and there are available spots for your profession, you might receive an invitation to apply.


Once invited, you have 60 days to lodge a formal application. Ensure you gather all necessary documentation.


If successful, you will be granted a visa. If not, you will be informed of the reasons and potential next steps.

Benefits of the 189 Visa

  • Permanent Residency: Live, work and study in Australia indefinitely.
  • Access to Healthcare: Australia’s Medicare health scheme.
  • Education: Access to Australia’s education system, including free or subsidized schooling for children.
  • Sponsor Family Members: Eligibility to sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residency.
  • Citizenship: Opportunity to apply for Australian citizenship after fulfilling residency requirements.



Once granted, visa holders must:

  • Respect Australian laws and regulations.
  • Enter Australia within a specified time if they are outside the country when the visa is granted.


Pitfalls and Tips

Stay Updated: The SOL and points requirements can change based on Australia’s economic and demographic needs.

Documentation: Ensure your documents are genuine and accurate. Providing misleading information can result in visa refusal.
Professional Assistance: Consider consulting with a migration consultant for guidance through the process.

Wait Times and Processing

  • 75% of applications processed in about 8 months.
  • 90% of applications processed in about 11 months.

189 Skilled Independent Visa FAQs

What is the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)?

The Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) is a permanent residence visa for skilled workers who want to live and work in Australia and don’t require sponsorship from an employer or family member or nomination by a state or territory.

Who is eligible for the 189 visa?

Eligible applicants for the 189 visa are skilled professionals listed on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL), under 45 years of age, with competent English skills, and have received an invitation to apply after submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI).

How does the points system for the 189 visa work?

Applicants are awarded points based on age, English language proficiency, skilled employment experience, educational qualifications, and other factors. A minimum number of points, typically 65, is required, but higher scores improve the chance of receiving an invitation.

How long does it take to process the 189 visa?

Processing times can vary, but as of 2023, 75% of applications were processed in about 8 months, and 90% in about 11 months.

Is the 189 visa a permanent residency visa?

Yes, the subclass 189 visa grants permanent residency, allowing visa holders to live, work, and study in Australia indefinitely.

Do I need a job offer to apply for the 189 visa?

No, the 189 visa is independent of employer sponsorship. However, your occupation must be on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL), and you need to score sufficiently on the points test.

Can I bring my family with the 189 visa?

Yes, you can include family members in your application, and if granted, they’ll have the same rights and can live, study, and work in Australia.

How do I start the 189 visa application process?

Begin by submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) via SkillSelect. If you meet the criteria and there are spots available for your profession, you may receive an invitation to apply.

Can the 189 visa lead to Australian citizenship?

Yes, once you fulfill the residency and other criteria, you can apply for Australian citizenship.

How much does the 189 visa application cost?

Government Fees (due after provisional visa acceptance in approx. 18mths) Amount (AUD)

  • Visa Application Charge – Main Applicant $4640
  • Visa Application Charge – Each additional applicant 18+ $2320
  • Visa Application Charge – Each additional applicant Under 18 $1160

What is the difference between the 189 visa and the 190 visa?

The 189 visa is a Skilled Independent visa, meaning you don’t need sponsorship. The 190 visa is a Skilled Nominated visa, which requires nomination by an Australian state or territory government.

How can I increase my points for the 189 visa application?

Improving English language skills, gaining additional work experience, completing professional years, or obtaining higher educational qualifications can boost your points.

Can I switch employers with the 189 visa?

Yes, the 189 visa isn’t tied to an employer, so you have the flexibility to change jobs or employers without affecting your visa status.

What happens if my points test score is below the required threshold?

If you score below the required threshold, you won’t be eligible for an invitation to apply for the 189 visa. You might want to explore other visa options or ways to increase your points.

What is the validity of the 189 visa?

The 189 visa is a permanent visa. Once granted, it allows you to live in Australia indefinitely.

Do I need to live in a specific region with the 189 visa?

No, the 189 visa doesn’t have any regional restrictions. You can live and work anywhere in Australia.

How does the Expression of Interest (EOI) process work?

The EOI is an online application where you provide details about your skills and qualifications. It isn’t a visa application but indicates your interest in applying for a skilled visa. If eligible, you might be invited to apply.

Can I reapply if my 189 visa application is denied?

Yes, if your application is denied, you can reapply. However, it’s crucial to understand the reasons for refusal and address them in a new application.

What are the English language tests accepted for the 189 visa?

Common tests include IELTS, OET, PTE Academic, and TOEFL iBT. Each test has its scoring system, and it’s important to achieve the required scores for visa eligibility.

How often is the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) updated?

The SOL is reviewed regularly, usually annually, by the Australian government to reflect the country’s current labor market needs. It’s essential to check the latest list before applying.

How do I check the status of my 189 visa application?

To check your application status, log in to your ImmiAccount on the Australian Department of Home Affairs website. Here, you can view the progress and any updates regarding your application.

Can I travel while my 189 visa is being processed?

Yes, you can travel while your visa is being processed. However, you must inform the Department of Home Affairs of your travel plans, and ensure you have a valid visa to return to Australia if you’re already residing there.

What are the health and character requirements for the 189 visa?

Applicants for the 189 visa need to undergo health examinations and provide a police clearance certificate to prove they meet the health and character requirements set by the Australian government.

What happens if my circumstances change after I submit my application?

If there are any changes in your circumstances (e.g., marital status, new child, change of address), you should inform the Department of Home Affairs immediately to ensure accurate processing of your visa application.

How long does my Expression of Interest (EOI) remain valid?

An EOI remains valid for two years from the date of submission. If you haven’t received an invitation to apply for the visa within this period, you’d need to submit a new EOI.

What should I do if I make a mistake in my 189 visa application?

If you realize you’ve made an error after submitting your application, contact the Department of Home Affairs as soon as possible. Depending on the nature of the mistake, you may be asked to provide additional information or documentation.

Can I appeal if my 189 visa application is refused?

If your application is refused, you may have rights to appeal the decision through the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). However, not all decisions are reviewable, so it’s important to read your refusal letter carefully.

Are there any English language exemptions for the 189 visa?

Certain applicants, such as those with specific passports (e.g., UK, USA, Canada) or those who have completed at least five years of full-time study in English, may be exempted from the English language requirement.

How do I extend my 189 visa?

The 189 visa is a permanent residency visa, so there’s no need to extend it. However, if you wish to travel out of Australia after the travel validity expires (usually 5 years from visa grant), you’ll need a Resident Return Visa.

What happens if I don’t meet the 189 visa criteria?

If you don’t meet the criteria for the 189 visa, your application may be refused. Consider consulting with a migration agent to explore alternative visa options or paths to Australian residency.

Meet Some 189 Visa Clients

Client Profile:

Name: Sophia Martinez
Occupation: Secondary School Teacher
Nationality: Colombian
Destination: Brisbane, Australia


Sophia Martinez, a seasoned secondary school teacher from Colombia, had always dreamt of experiencing the Australian educational system and soaking up the rich culture of Brisbane. But like many, she found the idea of navigating the complex immigration process daunting.

The Process:

Upon consulting Migration Consultant LLC, Sophia’s journey became significantly smoother. The firm meticulously guided her through each stage of the 189 Skilled Visa application, ensuring she opted for the Points-tested stream given her professional credentials.


Verification of Credentials: As an international teacher, Sophia’s biggest concern was ensuring her qualifications and experience were recognized in Australia. The equivalence process, unfamiliar to her, seemed perplexing.
Understanding Points Allocation: The points system, though designed to be transparent, can be tricky. Sophia was unsure about her standing and the best way to maximize her points.

What Made It Easy:

Comprehensive Guidance: Migration Consultant offered a detailed breakdown of the points system, ensuring Sophia claimed every point she was eligible for.

Network of Professional Contacts:

Migration Consultant introduced Sophia to a liaison in Brisbane’s educational sector, easing her job search.
Relocation Assistance: Their dedicated relocation team provided insights into Brisbane’s living standards, housing, and even local school cultures – making her transition seamless.

Migration Consultant’s Role:

Documentation: They ensured every piece of Sophia’s documentation was in order, from qualification verifications to personal statements.
Job Search: Leveraging their extensive network in the Australian educational sector, they connected Sophia with potential employers, streamlining her job search.
Relocation: Beyond just the visa, the firm provided a comprehensive guide to Brisbane, from neighborhoods to cultural norms, ensuring Sophia felt at home upon arrival.


Sophia successfully secured a position as a secondary school teacher in one of Brisbane’s renowned institutions before her move. Today, she praises Migration Consultant LLC for making her Australian dream a reality, emphasizing their unparalleled support in job placement and settling down.

Sophia’s Testimonial:

Migration Consultant didn’t just help me get to Australia; they prepared me to start my life there. From understanding the visa points system to securing a job, every step felt simplified. Today, I teach with confidence in Brisbane, and I owe a huge part of this journey to the team at Migration Consultant LLC.

Client Profile:

Name: Eleanor Williams
Occupation: Registered Nurse
Nationality: British
Destination: Sydney, Australia

Making the decision to move from London to Sydney was massive for me, not just geographically but also professionally. The medical field has its unique complexities, and navigating these in a completely new environment could have been overwhelming. That’s where Migration Consultant LLC stepped in. They didn’t just guide me through the paperwork and the licensure transition; they genuinely understood the intricacies of my profession and provided invaluable insights into Sydney’s healthcare landscape. Their connections in the medical community here were a significant advantage, helping me secure a position that I love, in a renowned clinic, within a month of my arrival. But what I appreciated the most was their effort to ensure I felt at home in Sydney, from understanding its vibrant neighborhoods to adapting to the local culture. I genuinely felt I had a partner in this journey. Moving across continents is a monumental task, but with Migration Consultant’s support, it felt achievable and smooth. I’m grateful for their expertise and wholehearted support.

Migration Consultant Alexander King
Migration Consultant at Migration Consultant LLC | Website

Alexander King is a leading authority in the field of migration, holding a prominent role as a Head of Compliance at Migration Consultant LLC ( With years of expertise under his belt, King has guided countless individuals and families on their journey to immigrating to Australia and Canada, shaping countless lives with his professional advice and in-depth knowledge of immigration law and procedures.

His profound understanding of the complexities of immigration coupled with his unparalleled skills in tackling these challenges has earned him a reputation as a trusted expert in his field. This expertise is shared in his groundbreaking book, "How to Immigrate to Canada," a comprehensive guide designed to streamline the process for those aspiring to call Canada their new home.

King's dedicated, compassionate approach to helping others stems from his own experiences. Born and raised in a multicultural community, he grew up witnessing the struggles and triumphs of people striving to start new lives in new countries. This drove his passion for guiding others through their immigration journey, a passion that he pours into his work and writing.

Authoring "How to Immigrate to Canada" has been an endeavor close to his heart. King hopes that through his words, he can demystify the often daunting process of immigration, making it accessible and achievable for everyone.