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Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visa

The Subclass 189 Visa (Skilled Independent) is a points-tested visa that allows students who have completed their study in Australia or skilled workers who do not have any sponsorship from an employer or a family member or any nomination from a state or territory government to live and work in Australia permanently. This points-based Subclass  189 visa stream allows one to stay indefinitely at any place in Australia and also include those family members who are eligible to apply as secondary applicants.

subclass 189 visa

Inherent Features of Subclass 189 Visa

The Australia Subclass 189 visa makes you eligible:

  • to live, work and study at any place in Australia permanently
  • to become an Australian citizen
  • to sponsor eligible family members for Australian PR
  • to enrol in Medicare, Australia’s public healthcare scheme
  • to travel in and out of Australia for 5 years

Eligibility for Subclass 189 Visa

You are required to meet the following requirements to qualify for the Subclass 189 visa invitation round.

  • Your occupation for the Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visa must be a relevant one and listed on the ‘Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), which details the specification of occupations and the assessing authorities.
  • You need to have a suitable skill assessment from the assessing authority concerned. Check for any work experience required for there are some occupations that ask for the same. You must have received skills assessment for the relevant occupation at least three years before the date of the invitation.
  • In the case of international students whose skills were assessed based on the Australian qualification while holding a student visa, such qualification must be of a course registered on CRICOS.
  • You need to be under 45 years of age when you are invited to apply for the Skilled Independent Subclass 189 visa Australia.
  • Ensure that you will be able to score 65 points or more on the claims provided on the Expression of Interest (EOI)
  • Submit the duly filled EOI through SkillSelect.
  • You are required to prove that you have competent English by providing any of the English language test results of IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, OET or CAE.
  • You, as well as your family members, should satisfy the health and character requirements
  • You must have paid back the debts, if any, to the Australian government.
  • You must be invited to apply for the subclass 189 visa.

subclass 189 visa

Documents Needed for Subclass 189 Visa

In support of the claims made in the EOI, you need to submit the following documents.

  • Current passport,
  • National identity card
  • Color photographs (Passport-size)
  • Documents approving the name change, if any.
  • Relationship documents showing you are married, a widower or a divorcee.
  • Skills assessment certificate
  • English language skills test report
  • Documents showing your educational qualifications
  • Character certificate from the police
  • Health assessment report
  • Skilled employment documents
  • Other documents that support the claims made by you in the EOI
  • In case you have nominated an authorized immigration consultant to help you with the Subclass 189 visa application, then you need to include Form 956a for having the authorized recipient of your correspondence or Form 956 for the assistance from an Australia immigration agent
  • Documents required for under-18 dependents
  • Reference letters from employers

Know Any Recent Changes Affecting Subclass 189 Visa

The new Subclass  189 visa occupation list has about 212 skilled occupations eligible for the program. The invitations invited via EOI in April 2020 were around 100, where the 50 applications were for the Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visa.

High Demand for Certain Skilled Occupations Falling under Subclass  189 Visa

Some occupations are of high demand and as a result, the Subclass  189 visa April 2020 invitations for those were issued on a pro-rata basis, with the minimum points score of 95 points. Some of the occupations for which a large number of invitations are sent are for software and application programmers, civil engineers, accountants, life scientists, and so on.

What is the Process for Applying for Subclass 189 Visa?

When it comes to applying for the  Subclass 189 visa Australia, we, at Immigration Help, follow a quite straightforward process. At every step of the process, we assist you by working closely with you.

Step 1: We want you to talk with us and therefore, would like you to fix an appointment for a free consultation with any of our expert lawyers so that it would help us advise you about the Australian visa that best suits you.

Step 2: We ensure that you meet all the eligibility requirements listed above. Where you have not undergone the skills assessment, we can help arrange for it within your nominated occupation, with the relevant assessing authority. Similarly, you need to prove that you have competent English by providing the International English Testing System (IELTS) or Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic test results.

Step 3: We will assist you to prepare and lodge an expression of interest (EOI) through SkillSelect for any inaccuracy in the application form will cause a delay in submission. Once you submit your EOI, you receive an email confirming it.

Step 4: In the meantime, we will gather all the relevant documents in support of the claims made in your  Subclass 189 visa EOI. Here, we will ensure that all the furnished information to prove your identity is accurate. Some of the Subclass 189 visa documents you are required to submit are identity, relationship, character, English language skills, skills assessment, and dependents under or over 18 documents. Being an immigration consultant Adelaide, we can assist you in submitting true information and save you from any refusal of an application under Public Interest Criterion (PIC) 4020.

Step 4: You need to wait until you receive an invitation to apply for the Subclass 189 visa.

Step 5: On receiving the invitation to apply, we will assist you in preparing and submitting the application within 60 days, with all the supporting evidence. The processing time of the visa is 12 months. Where you are an onshore applicant, you will receive a bridging visa until the time when your current visa expires or when you know the result of your Australian Subclass 189 visa.

Step 5:  Time to know the outcome of your visa application. Where you are granted the subclass 189 visa, you will be informed the visa grant number, the starting date of the visa and conditions, if any.

subclass 189 visa

Points Table for Subclass 189 Visa

Australia immigration under the Skilled Independent Subclass 189Visa  is not possible without scoring 65 or more points on the skilled points test. Nonetheless, the score you earn depends on the information you fill out in your EOI. The points table given below shows the points you can score against each criterion.

Age Points
18 – 24 years 25
25 – 32 years 30
33 – 39 years 25
40 – 44 years 15


English Language Skills Points
Competent English 0
Proficient English 10
Superior English 20


You need to acquire the English language skills levels given above to get a Subclass  189 visa invitation to apply. The Australian immigration department accepts IELTS (International English Language Testing System), TOEFL iBT (Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-Based Test), OET (Occupational English Test), PTE (Pearson Test of English) Academic and CAE (Cambridge English: Advanced) test results to confirm your English language skills.

To qualify, you must at least be a Competent English language user, though you score 0 points for it. Being in Proficient and Superior English level, you can score high and get shortlisted.

Overseas Skilled Employment (past 10 years) Points
Less than 3 years 0
3-4 years 5
5-7 years 10
At least 8 years 15


Skilled Employment in Australia (past 10 years) Points
Less than 1 year 0
1-2 years 5
3-4 years 10
5-7 years 15
At least 8 years 20


Educational Qualifications Points
A Doctorate acquired from an Australian educational institution or another recognized educational institution 20
A Bachelor degree received from an Australian educational institution or another recognized educational institution 15
A diploma or trade qualification from Australia 10
An award or qualification for your nominated skilled occupation and recognized by the appropriate assessing authority 10


Australian Study Requirement Points
A minimum of one degree, trade qualification, or diploma received from an Australian educational institution, which meets the Australian study requirements. 5


Specialist Education Qualification Points
A Master’s degree by research or Doctorate in a relevant field for a minimum of two academic years in an Australian educational institution 10


Accredited Community Language Points
A recognized translator or interpreter accredited by NAATI 5


If you are a translator or interpreter in any designated Australian community languages credentialed by NAATI (National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters), you stand to gain 5 points under the Skilled Migration Points Assessment.

Regional Study Points
A degree, diploma, or trade qualification from a university or school in a regional part or low-population growth area in Australia 5


You stand to score 5 points for a degree, diploma, or trade qualification attained through a minimum of two-year study from a university or school in a regional part of Australia or a metropolitan city, having lower population growth in Australia.

Partner Skill Qualifications Points
For the spouse or de facto partner who is an applicant and who meets the eligibility for the 189-visa mentioned above 10


Your partner’s skills are considered for points when you apply for the skilled migrant visa and you can claim 5 points if your partner is:

  • Under 45 years
  • A competent English language user
  • Also, a skilled worker and his/her nominated occupation are in the skilled occupation list.
  • Assessed and found to have skills relevant to the nominated occupation by the relevant authority
  • Also accompanying you to Australia
  • Not a permanent resident or an Australian citizen
Professional Year in Australia Points
For the Professional Year in Australia (Find details below) 5


The Australia PR points test system also makes you eligible for the points for the Professional Year in Australia; however, you must have:

  • Completed four years in Australia before the invitation to apply for the visa is received
  • Been in the nominated occupation or any relevant employment
  • Completed it over minimum 12 months
  • Provided by the organizations, such as CPA Australia, the Australian Computer Society, the Institute of Public Accountants, Engineers Australia, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand

Been given by the organizations like CPA Australia, the Australian Computer Society, the Institute of Public Accountants, Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand and Engineers Australia

subclass 189 visa

What You Can Do Once You Have Australia Subclass 189 Visa?

In case you are outside Australia, you are required to enter the country before the time mentioned in the Subclass 189 visa grant letter. We ensure that you have a valid passport and visa before you fly to Australia. At the border, you are required to prove your identity by completing the incoming passenger card.

Being in Australia:

  • You are allowed to live, work and study in Australia indefinitely
  • You get to enrol in Medicare, Australia’s public healthcare scheme
  • You are permitted to fly to and from Australia for 5 years
  • You can sponsor your relatives for Australia PR
  • You can become an Australia citizen, if eligible



How Much Does It Cost to Acquire a Subclass 189 Visa?

As for the cost for the Subclass 189 visa, it is AUD 4,045 for the main applicant. Where you have family members applying for the visa with you, then you need to pay an extra Subclass  189 visa fee for each member. There are additional costs that depend on your circumstances.

Processing Time for Subclass 189 Visa

The visa applications received are assessed on a case-by-case basis; nevertheless, the  Subclass 189 visa processing time depends on an applicant’s circumstances. A few of the aspects that affect the processing time are:

  • Whether you have submitted all the relevant documents along with the duly filled in visa application
  • In case of any clarifications required, how promptly did you respond
  • Where there are any Subclass  189 visa health checks required, how long did you take to complete the same
  • The time is taken to receive and submit the additional information like the character or health report
  • Based on the number of Subclass 189 visa places allotted in the immigration program

subclass 189 visa

How is Subclass 189 Visa Different from  Subclass 190 Visa?

Choosing between Subclass 189 visa and Subclass 190 visa is essential and most of the skilled migrants are confused for both visas to come under the General Skilled Migration scheme. And what is more, they permit you to stay and work in Australia indefinitely. If that is the case, how are they different from one another and how would you choose the most suitable one between them. Here are some quick comparison points to help you learn and understand them better.

Aspect Subclass 189 Subclass 190
Category Skilled Independent Visa Skilled Nominated Visa
Points-based test Yes – Score 65 points or more Yes – Score 65 points or more
Permanent Residence Yes Yes
Skilled Occupation List MLTSSL (Medium and Long-term Strategic Skilled List) MLTSSL and STSOL (Short-term Skilled Occupation List
Include Family Yes Yes
Cost Same as SC 190 visa Same as SC 189 visa
Visa Process Stage 1: Skills assessment

Stage 2: EOI

Stage 1: Skills assessment

Stage 2: Nominated by the state or territory government agency & EOI

Processing time For stages 1 & 2, it depends on the occupation and points scored

For stage 3, it takes an average time of 3 to 6 months

For stages 1 & 2, it depends on the occupation, points scored and state nomination

For stage 3, it takes an average time of 3 to 6 months

Stay Anywhere in Australia You give an undertaking for residing in the sponsored state
Australian citizenship Can become, if eligible Can become, if eligible


Subclass 189 Visa FAQs

What is the subclass 189 visa?

The subclass 189 visa is a skilled independent visa and it allows you to live, work and study anywhere in Australia permanently. Here you can choose the state after discussing with us.

How easy is it to acquire an Australia PR visa?

Where you meet all the important eligibility requirements, such as relevant occupation, skills assessment, competent English, relevant work experience and score more than 65 points on the points-based test in the Subclass 189 visa checklist, you can attain a subclass 189 or 190 visa, which assures Australian permanent residency.

Nevertheless, you receive a quick invitation if you score high on the points-based test. It generally takes 6 – 8 months to receive an Australia PR visa, in case everything goes well. Australian visas have their eligibility requirements and conditions, and therefore, it largely depends on the type of the visa you choose and qualify.

Moreover, much depends on immigration planning and the levels set by the Australian government. There are times when the government gave preference to the skilled migration program, with 70 per cent of the places filled with visas under this program.

Is it possible for me to change my 457 visa to Subclass 189 visa?

Being in Australia, it is possible to apply for the Subclass 189 visa, changing your 457 visa. There are chances that you receive extra Subclass 189 visa points towards the skills assessment. Some additional criteria may however apply and it is better to note that all 457 visa holders do not satisfy the Subclass 189 visa eligibility.

Where I score 65 points, will I receive an invitation to apply for the Subclass 189 visa?

One of the eligibility requirements for any skilled visas, such as the Skilled Independent visa subclass 189 and Skilled Nominated visa subclass 190 is scoring 65 points or more on the points-based test. Nevertheless, it is up to the Australian government to set the minimum points to score via EOI based on the requirement. The invitations sent for Subclass  189 visa April 2020 saw the minimum points score fixed to 95 points. Hence, other than meeting the eligibility criteria, a lot depends on the government regulations on 189 visa cut-offs.

subclass 189 visa

What makes it so long to grant me the Subclass 189 visa?

The subclass 189 visa generally undergoes a competitive application process owing to a few occupations that are of high demand and as a result, the 189 visa invitations for those were issued on a pro-rata basis. Moreover, the limited number of places and the government’s change of policies also cause a delay in processing the Subclass 189 visa application.

Can I include my family members in the 189 visa application?

When it comes to including the family members, you can add your spouse, dependent children, de-facto partners, dependent parents and other dependent family members who are financially dependent on you in the 189 visa application.

How do I know that I am eligible for applying for the Subclass 189 visa?

This 189 visa in Australia asks for meeting certain eligibility conditions, which are suitable skills assessment, an age limit of under 45 years, competent English, health and character requirements, a minimum score of 65 points, invitation to apply, and so on. We can help you choose the most suitable visa based on your qualification.


If my Subclass  189 visa application is rejected, what should I do?

In case your 189 visa application is rejected, we can review it and also help you look for the other options.

What is the validity of the subclass 189 visa?

The 189 visa permits you to stay and work anywhere in Australia indefinitely. There is a travel component, where you can fly from and to Australia for 5 years after the date of the grant of the visa. In case you are outside Australia when applying for this visa, you are required to enter Australia before the date mentioned in the visa grant letter.

What is the processing time of a Skilled Independent Subclass 189 visa?

The time taken to process the subclass 189 visa depends on the individual circumstances of the applicant. However, it takes 6 to 8 months to process and grant the visa. In case of any additional information, the immigration authority concerned will contact for relevant 189 visa documents.

How much does it cost for a Subclass 189 visa?

The cost of the Subclass 189 visa is AUD 4,045 for the main applicant. Where you want to include your family members in the application, then you need to pay an additional fee of AUD 2,020 for the secondary applicant who is above 18 years and AUD 1,015 for the one who is under 18 years. There are other 189 visa costs that you may incur for biometrics, health check, and so on.

What makes the Subclass 189 visa easy to get?

There is considerable demand for skilled workers under visa 189 Australian immigration. The migration planning levels of 2019-20 saw that 70 per cent of the places were allocated to the skilled migration program. Under this stream, you have better chances to acquire an Australian PR visa, provided you satisfy all the eligibility requirements.

How many points should I score to be invited for the application of  Subclass 189 visa?

Though you need to score at least 65 points to lodge an EOI, it is not enough to be selected for an invitation to apply. The recent invitations sent in 2020 saw that the minimum score for 189 visa requirements Adelaide has increased to 85 points and for some selected 189 skilled occupations which are in high demand, the invitations were sent for those applications that scored 95 points and above.

When asked for further documents, what do I do?

There is no need to panic if you are requested for further information and documents in connection with your 189 PR visa application. The Department of Home Affairs gives you 28 days to furnish additional information and you must consider it. In case you fail to provide the required information or document, the immigration department will make the decision based on the information provided.

What is the Ministerial Review?

Where your visa is refused or cancelled and such a decision is reviewed by a Tribunal and confirmed, you have a chance to request for a Ministerial Review by writing to the Department of Home Affairs. You can either write it yourself or ask a registered immigration agent to do it for you. You need to include all the supporting evidence; if the Minister thinks it is appropriate, he will issue the visa, exercising the discretion.

Can I use the professional services of an immigration consultant?

Australia immigration law allows you to source the services of MARA agents.

As a registered migration agent Adelaide, we can provide immigration assistance and help you settle anywhere in Australia. With the changes in immigration policy and the tightening of visa rules and regulations, the visa process to any country is quite complex. As professionals in the field, we, immigration consultants in Adelaide keep ourselves updated with the recent immigration laws and procedures and advise you on your 189 visa application. We offer our personalized immigration services, Adelaide, for all types of skilled visas.

Is it possible to change the visa category after lodging the EOI?

The system allows you to make changes to the EOI within two years of its submission. You can always update your profile in the SkillSelect to help you have better a chance to be selected for an invitation.

Can I know how a profile is selected from the EOI bank and within how much time?

Once you have submitted your EOI, it will be there in the pool for two years until it is chosen and shortlisted by the federal bureau. It is however done based on the points and rank your profile scores. The ranking keeps changing with the new submissions of EOI and those which score the highest will be sent an invitation to apply.

There are times when the ranking is given based on the occupation, where there is an extreme shortage of manpower. In such a case, a higher ranking over the others is given to the applicant of such occupation. It is difficult to say when your profile will be chosen though it remains in the pool for two years. Within these two years, if it is not chosen, you need to file your profile again by updating the eligibility requirements, for instance, appear for the IELTS test again.

subclass 189 visa

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The Subclass 189 visa, in general, is for those who qualify for it with the relevant occupation listed on the specific (MLTSSL) skilled occupation list and who meet all the eligibility requirements mentioned above. A permanent visa, it makes you eligible to stay and work anywhere in Australia; pursue an education; enrol in Medicare, the healthcare scheme; sponsor your family members; access some social security payment; and apply for Australian citizenship, if eligible.

You do not need any sponsorship for this 189 Australia visa; instead, gain the eligibility for submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI), score adequate points to get into the pool, wait and receive an ‘invitation to apply’ and apply for the Subclass 189 visa. The invitation round for the skilled 189 visa is run once a month. The highest-ranked applications are invited to apply for the Australia visa 189. The places are first allocated by the SkillSelect to the Skilled Independent Subclass 189  visa.

With Australia slowly recovering socially and economically from the coronavirus pandemic, the federal government is looking at the occupations that need to be added to and removed from the list. We hope the federal budget in October will throw more light to it.

Where you are one of those prospective candidates for the Skilled Independent Subclass 189 visa, then you are at the right place. All you need to do is to fill in the simple enquiry form and submit it to us, we will call you and fix an appointment to talk to you.








    Just let us know, our consultants will be happy to assist you.