Skilled Independent Visa

The Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) lets migrants with skills needed in Australia live and work permanently anywhere in Australia.



Skilled Independent Visa holders can:

  • Live anywhere in Australia permanently
  • Work and study in Australia
  • Enrol in Australia’s public health care scheme, Medicare
  • Sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence
  • Travel and to from Australia for five years
  • Become an Australian citizen if eligible


To apply for a Skilled Independent Visa, candidates must:

  • Be under the age of 45
  • Work in an occupation on the relevant skilled occupation list
  • Have a suitable skills assessment for the occupation
  • Score 65 points or more
  • Have competent English
  • Meet Australia’s health and character requirements


The Skilled Independent Visa application process has six steps:

Any immigration should always start with an eligibility assessment to determine if the prospective migrant meets Australia’s work visa requirements.

The next step in the process, if the migrant is eligible to live and work in Australia, is completing a skills assessment and English test.

The skills assessment is a process to test your qualifications and work experience, and it’s done by the relevant skills assessing authorities.

Many skills assessments only require paper-based evidence, for example, evidence of previous work experience and education. However, some may also entail a practical or technical interview, where you’ll have to show your skills.

English tests are a way to prove your English language skills. Most English tests have four parts that test your reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. Migrants most often use the IELTS, but other tests are also available.

With the skills assessment and English test completed, the migrant will submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). The EOI is the way in which a migrant shows their interest in applying for a skilled migrant visa.

EOIs include the following details:

  • Personal information, for example given names and surname, date of birth, countries of citizenship and/or residence
  • The nominated occupation
  • Work experience and employment history
  • English language proficiency

EIOs are ranked against each other and the highest ranking EOIs automatically get an Invitations to Apply. Invitations are issued regularly through SkillSelect.

Migrants whose EOIs are selected will get an Invitation to Apply. Invitations to Apply include the following information:

  • The visa subclass under which the migrant is getting an invitation to apply
  • The time frame within which the migrant must submit their visa application
  • Any additional information the Department of Home Affairs wants, if applicable

The migrant prepares and completes their visa application with all necessary paperwork and submits their application. The migrant can apply from overseas or while in Australia.

The migrant gets the outcome of their visa. They can be in or outside Australia while Home Affairs decides on their application.


To apply for a Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189), you must have an occupation on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).

Examples of occupations on the MLTSSL include:

  • Construction Project Manager
  • Architect
  • Civil Engineer
  • Quantity Surveyor
  • Audiologist
  • Carpenter
  • Motor Mechanic
  • Early Childhood Teacher
  • Electrician
  • Optometrist
  • Social Worker
  • Structural Engineer
  • Veterinarian

The Subclass 189 Visa is a permanent residence visa that never expires. Visa holders can permanently live in Australia.

Subclass 189 Visa applicants can include their immediate family in their application.

Family members can get included:

  • when the principal applicant lodges their visa application, or
  • after the principal applicant lodges their visa application but before the Department of Home Affairs decide on the visa.

Family members who apply for the visa must meet Australia’s health and character requirements.

The answer would depend on the migrant's unique circumstances and what they want from their immigration. 

Both visas offer permanent residency, and successful applicants can live and work anywhere in Australia on both visas, too.

The main difference is that the Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) does not require nomination, while the Skilled Nomination Visa (Subclass 190) does require nomination from an Australian state or territory.

It’s best to speak with a licensed immigration advisor to decide which of the two visas is best for you.

The Subclass 189 Visa is points-based and requires a minimum score of 65 points. However, the more points you can score, the higher your chances of receiving an invitation to apply.

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