Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)

Features

This visa allows skilled workers who are not sponsored by an employer or family member or nominated by a state or territory government to live and work in Australia as a permanent resident.

If you are granted the visa, it is your responsibility to find employment.

Help improve our website by completing this short survey.

Eligibility

  • be invited to apply for the visa
  • have an occupation that is on the relevant list of eligible skilled occupations
  • have a suitable skills assessment for that occupation
  • satisfy a points test requirement
  • be under 50 years of age
  • have Competent English.

You must be able to meet these eligibility criteria at the time you are invited to apply for the visa. Other visa criteria also apply.

Length of stay

Permanently

Cost

From AUD
3,600

Global processing times

75 per cent of applications processed in 4 months

Learn about...

The process

VisaProductPageInfoGraphic.png

Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) via SkillSelect with details of your nominated occupation, skills and qualifications. SkillSelect will estimate a points score and rank you against other intending migrants.

If you are ranked high enough and there are places available for your nominated occupation, you will be invited to apply for the visa.

If you are invited, you have 60 calendar days to apply for the visa. We will then process your visa application.

Processing time

75 per cent of applications processed90 per cent of applications processed
4 months6 months

Last updated 17 May 2017 (for month ending 30 April 2017)

Processing times vary.

Eligibility

Invitation

You must be invited to apply for the visa.

You will receive an invitation to apply for the visa if there are places available for your nominated occupation and you rank high enough in your points score.

More information is available about invitations.

Occupation

Your occupation must be on the relevant list of eligible skilled occupations.

You must have a skills assessment that shows you have the skills and qualifications to work in that occupation.

Points score

You must be able to meet the points score on your invitation letter. This score will be 60 or more.

The score on your invitation letter is based on the information in your EOI.

You must be able to meet the points score eligibility at the time you are invited to apply for the visa.

Check how many points you might get.

Age

You must be under 50 if and when you are invited to apply for the visa.

Health

You must meet our health requirement.

Character

You must be of good character.

Debts

You must have repaid, or have arranged to repay, any outstanding debts to the Australian government.

Cancelled visas

You might not eligible to apply for this visa if you have had a visa cancelled or refused while you were in Australia.

Expressions of Interest

What they are

They provide us with information about you.

How long they last

EOIs are kept for two years.

Who must submit one

Everyone who wants to be invited to apply for the visa must submit an EOI.

You must be under 50 years of age to submit an EOI.

What happens after you submit your EOI

You will be ranked against other intending applicants and might be invited to apply for the visa.

Cost

There is no cost to submit an EOI.

Location

You can be in or outside Australia when you submit your EOI.

Make changes to your EOI

You can make changes to your EOI before you are invited to apply for the visa.

More information

More information about EOIs, including invitation rounds and occupation ceilings, is available.

Points

The points table

Use the points table to calculate your test score.

Assessing authorities

Use the assessing authority listed against your nominated occupation in the relevant list of eligible skilled occupations.

Update your information

You can make changes to your EOI before you are invited to apply for the visa.

The visa

What you can do

This is a permanent visa. It lets you:

Cost

From AUD 3,600

You might have to pay additional costs.

Estimate the cost of your application

The visa pricing estimator is an online tool that calculates the total cost of your visa.

Visa pricing estimator

Note: The estimator does not calculate the second instalment or additional costs.

Location

You can be in or outside Australia when you apply for the visa and when a decision is made.

How long the visa lasts

This is a permanent visa – it lasts indefinitely.

The visa starts on the date it is granted.

Family

You can include you partner and your or your partner’s child or step-child in your application.

Family members who are granted the visa have the same rights and can do the same things as you.

Your obligations

You and your family members must comply with Australian laws and your visa conditions.

You can find your visa conditions in VEVO.

Travel

You can travel in and out of Australia as many times as you want for five years after the visa is granted.

Follow these steps

  1. Gather your documents

  2. Before you submit your expression of interest

      Before you submit your EOI, you should complete all parts on this step. If you are not able to, consider:
    • another visa
    • waiting until you can complete all parts.

    Check your points

    Check that you can score at least 60 points in your EOI. If you cannot score at least 60 points, you will not be invited to apply for the visa.

    If you are invited to apply for the visa, you must prove that the points you claim are correct.

    Information about points is available under the Learn about tab.

    Gather your documents

      If you receive an invitation and apply for the visa, you will need to provide documents:
    • that prove all of the claims you make in your EOI
    • that support other eligibility criteria for the visa.

    It is preferable that you have all of these documents before you submit your EOI.

    Use the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) document list to make sure your application is complete.

    Prepare your documents

      It is preferable that you prepare all your documents before you submit your EOI.
    • All non-English documents must be translated into English.

      Translators in Australia must be accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters.

      Translators outside Australia do not need to be accredited, but they must endorse the translation with their full name, address, telephone number, and details of their qualifications and experience in the language being translated.

    • Scan all documents (English and non-English documents) in colour in readiness to attach to your visa application.
    • Your documents do not have to be certified.
    • When you apply for the visa, send a document only once, even if you are using it as evidence for more than one criterion.
    • Information about attaching documents is available.

    Check your occupation

    Check that your occupation is on the relevant list of eligible skilled occupations.

    Get a skills assessment

    Your skills and qualifications need to be assessed so we know you can work in your nominated occupation.

    The assessment must be undertaken by a relevant assessing authority. Assessing authorities are listed against occupations in the relevant list of eligible skilled occupations. You might have to pay a fee to the assessing authority.

    You must have the results of your skills assessment to submit an EOI.

    More information is available about the skills assessment and assessing authorities.

    Medical doctors, barristers and solicitors

    Medical doctors, barristers and solicitors do not need to have their skills assessed.

      Medical doctors must provide one of the following certificates issued by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency as proof of full registration:
    • unconditional or general medical registration
    • conditional specialist registration – which allows you to practice only in your particular speciality with no further training or supervision requirements.

    Barristers and solicitors must provide proof of admission to practice as a lawyer in the relevant state or territory.

    Check you are eligible for the visa

    Check that you are eligible for this visa. Even if you receive an invitation to apply for the visa, you might not be eligible for it.

  3. Submit your expression of interest

    How to submit your EOI

    EOIs are submitted through the online system SkillSelect.

    Create an Expression of interest

    Note: Make sure you select the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189).

    You will receive an email confirming that your EOI has been submitted.

  4. After you submit your expression of interest

    If you are in Australia

    If you submit an EOI in Australia and your current visa is about to expire, you must apply for another visa to stay in Australia.

    You are not eligible for a bridging visa because the EOI is not a visa application. You are only eligible for a bridging visa after you are invited and apply for this visa.

  5. Receive an invitation to apply for the visa

    Apply for the visa within 60 calendar days

    You could receive an invitation any time within two years of submitting your EOI. If you are invited to apply for the visa, you will receive an email from SkillSelect. Receiving an invitation does not mean you will be granted the visa.

    If you are invited, you have 60 calendar days to apply for the visa. This time will not be extended.

    The invitation will include a points score based on your EOI claims. You must demonstrate that you can meet the points score and satisfy all other eligibility criteria. If you cannot meet this points score and all other eligibility criteria, you will not be granted the visa.

    If you do not apply for the visa after two invitations, your EOI will be removed from SkillSelect.

    You will not receive an invitation if you turn 50.

    If you cannot meet the points score or other eligibility criteria

    If you cannot demonstrate that you can meet the points score and satisfy all other eligibility criteria you should not apply for the visa at this time. If you want to update your EOI to better reflect your points score, you can do so after the 60 day invitation period has elapsed.

    If this is your first invitation, you might be sent a second invitation after the 60 day invitation period has elapsed.

    If this is your second invitation, you will have to submit another EOI if you still want the visa.

    If you do not receive an invitation

    If you are not invited to apply within two years of submitting your EOI, your EOI will expire. We will send you an email when your EOI is about to expire.

    You will need to submit a new EOI if you still want the visa.

    You will not receive an invitation if you turn 50.

  6. Organise health checks

    We prefer that you and your family members have health checks before you apply for the visa.

    You will pay a fee for the checks and the results are valid for one year. If you undertake a health check before you apply and it takes longer than a year to process your application, you will need to undertake, and pay for, the checks again.

    Undertaking health checks after you lodge your application may cause processing delays.

    Find out the checks you need

    If you have not lodged your application, you can find out the checks you and your family members need through our online system ImmiAccount.

    If you don’t have an ImmiAccount, you need to create one.

    Create an ImmiAccount

    If you already have an ImmiAccount, log into it.

    Log into ImmiAccount

    When you are in your ImmiAccount, create a New application and then select Health > My Health Declarations.

    After completing My Health Declarations, you will automatically be directed to the online system eMedical Client where you will answer questions about your medical history and receive advice regarding health checks.

    More information

    There is more information about My Health Declarations.

    There is more information about our health requirement.

  7. Apply

    Apply for the visa online

    You have 60 days from the date of your invitation to apply for the visa.

    You can be in or outside Australia when you apply for the visa.

    Start your application

    Log into your SkillSelect account.

    Log into SkillSelect

    When you are in your SkillSelect account, click the “Apply Visa” button. This will take you to our online application system – ImmiAccount.

    Log into your ImmiAccount or create an ImmiAccount if you do not have one.

    Note that your ImmiAccount will have a different username and password to your EOI.

    The visa application form will be available when you are in your ImmiAccount.

  8. After you apply

    Current Australian visa expires

    If you applied in Australia

    If you applied in Australia, you were granted a bridging visa when you lodged your application. The bridging visa will come into effect only if your current visa expires. A bridging visa lets you stay in Australia while your subclass 189 visa application is being processed.

    If you held a Bridging visa A (BVA), Bridging visa B (BVB) or Bridging visa C (BVC) when you lodged your application, you were granted a Bridging visa C (BVC).

    If you held a visa that was not a bridging visa when you lodged your application, you were granted a Bridging visa A (BVA).

    Learn about travel outside Australia as a holder of a bridging visa.

    More information is available about bridging visas.

    If you applied outside Australia

    If you held an Australian visa at the time you lodged your visa application, you must apply for and be granted another visa to enter Australia.

    When in Australia, you can apply for a Bridging visa A (BVA). The bridging visa will come into effect if the visa you entered Australia on expires. A BVA lets you stay in Australia while your subclass 190 visa application is being processed.

    More information is available about bridging visas.

    Travel

    If you applied in Australia

    You do not have to tell us if you want to travel outside Australia while your visa is being processed. This is because you do not have to be in Australia when the visa is decided.

    Bridging visa holders

    Only holders of a Bridging visa B (BVB) can return to Australia if they leave.

    Holders of a Bridging visa A should apply for and be granted a BVB before they depart Australia. You cannot apply for a BVB outside Australia.

    Holders of a Bridging visa C are not eligible for a BVB.

    If you applied outside Australia

    Do not make arrangements to travel to Australia, leave your job or sell your home until we advise you in writing that you have been granted the visa.

    Provide biometrics

    You might need to provide biometrics (fingerprints and photo). We will let you know if you need to provide them.

    Get health checks

    If you did not have health checks before you applied, you will need to have them when we tell you to.

    More information is available about our health requirement.

    Send more information or documents

    If you did not include all relevant documents when you applied, attach them to your ImmiAccount as soon as you can.

    If we request documents, you will usually have 28 days to provide them. Generally, we will not continue to process your application or respond to email enquiries during this 28 day period.

    Pay the second instalment if applicable

    If you need to pay the second instalment, we will send you an invoice for the instalment after you have met all other requirements for the visa.

    Please do not request the invoice.

    Add family members

    You can add a partner or dependent child to your application any time before we make a decision on your visa. Attach evidence of your relationship and the family member’s passport to your ImmiAccount.

    You will also need to complete and send Form 1436 - Adding an additional applicant after lodgement (364 KB PDF).

    Newborn children
      If your child is born after you lodge your application but before a decision is made, attach to your ImmiAccount:
    • a completed Form 1022 - Notification of changes in circumstances (266 KB PDF)
    • the child’s birth certificate
    • the child’s passport, when obtained.
      When we receive the form and birth certificate:
    • the child will be added to your visa application
    • we will request a health check for the child
    • if the child was born in Australia, they will automatically be granted the same visa you held at the time of their birth.

    If you are eligible for grant of the visa, we will need a copy of your child’s passport before decision.

    There is no fee to add a newborn child to your application.

    Tell us of changes

      You need to tell us if:
    • there are any changes to your circumstances, for example change of address, telephone number or birth of a child
    • you made a mistake on your application
    • you need to provide more information
    • you want to withdraw your application.

    Detailed information about updating is available at the Tell us of Changes tab.

Tell us of changes

Changes to your EOI

You can change your EOI at any time before you are invited to apply for the visa.

Changes to your circumstances

Tell us if there are changes to your circumstances after you lodge your application but before a decision is made.

You can update your contact details and passport number via your ImmiAccount.

Mistakes on your visa application

Tell us if there are any mistakes in your application.

Complete Form 1023 - Notification of incorrect answer(s) (99KB PDF).

Send more information

If you did not send all documents with your application, send them via your ImmiAccount as soon as you can.

We might also ask you to provide more information, which can be provided to us via your ImmiAccount.

Withdraw your visa application

You can withdraw your visa application at any time before we make a decision.

Complete Form 1446 - Withdrawal of a visa application (375KB PDF) and attach it to your ImmiAccount.

Removing your application from ImmiAccount does not withdraw it.

Estimate the cost of your visa

* Price will be displayed in Australian dollars unless changed.
The following Visa Pricing Estimator requires you to answer the questions as accurately as possible to provide you with an estimate for lodging a visa application. The estimator does not include the second instalment of the visa application charge which is payable for some visas. Please note this is an estimate for a visa application, if you have already lodged your application and you want to change/add applicants please refer to the Visa Pricing Table. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection Visa Pricing Estimator will give you an estimate of the charges you may need to pay to lodge a visa application. This is paid after you have made your application but before the visa can be granted. Read the department's full disclaimer. The Commonwealth of Australia does not guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of any material in the Visa Pricing Estimator.