Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)

The Australian Skilled Independent Visa is a permanent visa that allows skilled workers from foreign countries to live and work permanently in Australia. If they meet the eligibility criteria, the holder of this visa will be able to apply for Australian citizenship.

For advice and support with a Skilled Independent Visa application, contact Total Law today to speak with one of our expert immigration attorneys. Reach out to us at +1 844 290 6312 or use the online contact form to get in touch.

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    What is the Australian Skilled Independent Visa?

    The Subclass 189 visa is made for skilled workers without sponsorship from an employer or family member, or nomination from a state or territory government agency. This is a permanent residency visa that allows the holder to remain in Australia indefinitely and work permanently in any Australian state. The visa has two streams – the New Zealand stream made for eligible New Zealand citizens, and the points-tested stream created for other overseas workers.

    You can apply for this visa from inside or outside Australia. You will also be able to include eligible family members in your application or sponsor them to obtain Australian permanent residence.

    The subclass 189 visa will also allow you to:

    • Study in any Australian educational institution
    • Enrol in Australia’s public health care scheme, Medicare
    • Sponsor your relatives to come to Australia
    • Travel to and from Australia for 5 years
    • Apply for Australian citizenship when eligible
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    Eligibility Criteria for Skilled Independent Visa

    To be eligible for the subclass 189 visa, you must fulfil the following eligibility criteria:

    • You must be invited to apply for the visa by the Department of Home Affairs
    • Have a suitable skills assessment
    • Must not be more than 45 years when you get your invitation letter
    • Must have at least competent English
    • Must have an occupation on the relevant list of eligible skilled occupations for the Point-Tested stream
    • Must meet health and character requirements
    • Meet the points test pass mark of 65 (for the points-tested stream
    • Not have had a previously canceled visa
    • Pay back all debts owed to the Australian government
    • Must sign the Australian values statement

    How are Points Assigned?

    You are assigned the following scores on the points test based on your qualifications;

    • Age
      • between 18-25 years – 25 points
      • between 25-35 years – 30 points
      • between 33-40 years – 25 points
      • between 40-45 years – 15 points
    • English proficiency
      • Competent English level – 0 points
      • Proficient English level – 10 points
      • Superior English level – 20 points
    • Overseas work experience
      • 3 years – 0 points
      • 3-5 years – 5 points
      • 5-8 years – 10 points
      • more than 8 years – 15 points
    • Australian work experience
      • 1 year – 0 points
      • 3 years – 5 points
      • 3-5 years – 10 points
      • 5-8 years – 15 points
      • more than 8 years – 20 points
    • Level of Education
      • Ph.D. from a recognized institution – 20 points
      • BA from a recognized institution – 15 points
      • Masters by research from a recognized institution – 10 points
      • Diploma or trade certificate – 10 points
      • Qualification or award in relevant occupation – 10 points
      • A doctorate with two years of academic study by an Australian institution – 10 points
      • at least 1 degree, diploma, or trade certificate from an Australian institution that meets the study requirements – 5 points
      • completed a professional year in Australia – 5 points
      • have a recognized qualification in a credentialled community language – 5 points
      • have studied for your degree, diploma, or certificate in regional Australia for at least a year – 5 points
    • Marital status
      • partner is under 45 years old, they have a competent level of English, have relevant skills, and is nominated in a profession registered in the skilled occupation list – 10 points
      • partner has a competent level of English – 5 points
      • single or have a partner that is an Australian citizen or permanent resident – 10 points

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      The Skilled Independent Visa Application Process

      The process of applying for the Subclass 189 visa starts with the submission of an expression of interest through SkillSelect. This informs the Australian government of your intention to apply for the visa.

      If you are applying through the points-tested stream, you will immediately receive a points score based on the information you entered on your EOI. You can work on increasing your score while waiting to receive an invitation.

      While waiting for your invitation, you should gather all the necessary documents to provide evidence for the claims you made on the EOI. Once the department of home affairs sends you an invitation letter, you can proceed to make your application.

      The application process is online and can be completed inside to outside Australia. You have 60 days from the day your invitation letter is sent to make your application. To apply for the visa, log in to SkillSellect and choose the “apply for the visa” option. This will take you to an ImmiAcount page where you will scan and upload all supporting documents. After uploading your documents, you submit your application and wait for a decision from Home Affairs.

      Ensure that you provide accurate information throughout your application. If it is found that you or any member of your family has provided incorrect information, you may be subject to a non-grant period of three or ten years depending on the specific offense.

      Supporting Documents Needed to Make an Application

      You need to submit the following supporting documents when applying for a skilled independent visa:

      • Identity documents – pages of a current valid passport, national identity card, and documents that show any change of name
      • Relationship documents such as marriage or divorce certificates
      • Character documents such as an Australian police certificate
      • Proof of English competency
      • Skill assessment documents
      • Expression of interest documents

      For your partner or spouse:

      • Their identity documents
      • Character documents
      • Marriage certificate
      • Divorce documents (if applicable)
      • Evidence of registered relationship (if applicable)
      • Documents that prove a functional level of the English language

      For your dependent children under 18:

      • Identity documents
      • Copies of birth certificates
      • Family book with parents’ names (alternative to the birth certificate).
      • Parental consent form 1229
      • Statutory declaration

      For your dependent children over 18:

      • Proof of dependency.
      • Dependency form 47a
      • Proof of functional English proficiency (only for the points tested stream)

      If applying for the New Zealand stream, you must also submit:

      • Residence documents
      • Income documentation

      After Applying for the Visa

      When the Immigration Department receives your application, they will notify you. If you have a valid visa and are in Australia, you may be given a bridging visa while your application is being processed.

      Home Affairs will send you a written decision after processing your visa. If your visa is approved, home affairs will send you;

      • your visa grant number
      • the date your visa starts
      • your visa conditions

      If our visa is refused, you will be informed on why the visa was refused and if you are eligible for a decision review.

      Skilled Independent Visa Processing Time

      Most subclass 189 visa applications are processed within 45 months. This time starts from the date of submitting your EOI to receiving a final decision on your application. However, certain conditions may cause a delay in processing your application. This includes factors like;

      • Not submitting complete documents
      • The department of home affairs has numerous applications to deal with
      • The time of the year when you send in your application.

      We can help with your Skilled Independent Visa application. Contact us

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        Visa Cost

        The cost of the subclass 189 visa is AUD4,240 for the main applicant. However, there is an extra charge if family members apply with you. Any candidate 18 years old or older with less than functional English may be charged an additional fee.

        This is referred to as the second installment. The second installment charge for family members is AUD4,885.

        You might also have to pay other costs for health checks, police certificates, and biometrics.

        How can Total Law Help?

        Total Law’s immigration attorneys have helped several clients complete Australian skilled independent visa applications. With our wealth of experience, we can guarantee you a seamless and successful application process.

        Our expert immigration lawyers help determine your eligibility, advise you on how to meet deficient areas, and help you gather necessary supporting documents for your visa application.

        We will advise you throughout the process to ensure that you have the best outcome. So reach out to us today at +1 844 290 6312 or use the online contact form to get in touch with an attorney

        If you need advice and support with Australian Skilled Independent Visa application, reach out to Total Law. Contact us

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                    Frequently Asked Questions

                    Both the skilled independent visa (subclass 189) and skilled nomination visa (subclass 190) are permanent residence visas that work on a points-based system. However, the subclass 190 visa requires that you are nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency before you receive an invitation, while the subclass 189 visa does not have this requirement. The subclass 190 visa also has a faster processing time than the 189 visas. Otherwise, both visas have similar requirements and processing fees.

                    The Skilled Independent (subclass 189) (New Zealand stream) visa is currently closed to new applications until July 2023.

                    For the first five years, a skilled independent visa allows you to travel in and out of Australia. Five years after the date your visa was granted, you must apply for a resident return visa. This visa will prolong your travel facility for another five years, allowing you to continue and travel as you like.