Skilled Independent Subclass 189 

The Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visa is an option for immigration to Australia for skilled workers who are not having sponsorship from an employer or family member in Australia or a State or Territory. It is an Australia PR Visa that permits skilled workers to reside, work and study in the nation subject to fulfilling the eligibility criteria as per the framework for assessment of skills. 

The Subclass 189 Visa permits the holders to travel from and to Australia multiple times for five years from the Visa approval. You can also sponsor your relatives to Australia through this Visa. As it is a Permanent Residency Visa, it also allows you to stay indefinitely in Australia. You are also allowed to include your family members in your Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visa application. The Visa permits you to enroll yourself in any chosen Healthcare Scheme in Australia. 

To apply for Australia Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visa you must score at least 65 points on the Australia 65 Points Calculator. You must also submit an EOI - Expression of Interest and receive an ITA - Invitation to Apply from Skill Select. Once you receive the ITA, you get 60 days to submit your Visa application. You are required to submit all the necessary documents to support claims made in your profile while submitting the EOI. 

Once you receive the Australia Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visa you and your accompanying family members can reside, study and work in Australia as PR or Permanent Residents. 

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Do I Apply from Overseas or in Australia?

You can either be overseas or in Australia when you submit your application for a Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visa. You must have a Bridging C, B, or A Visa or Substantive Visa to file your application from within Australia. After you apply from within Australia, you will be offered the Bridging Visa that allows you to stay in Australia while your visa application gets processed. 

What Are the Benefits of the Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visa?

The Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visa offers all the benefits of Australia PR Visa to you including your accompanying family members: 

  • Stay and work in Australia for an indefinite period.
  • Opportunity for studying in Australia.
  • Enroll in state-run Healthcare scheme of Australia - Medicare. 
  • Opportunity to apply for Citizenship of Australia. 
  • Sponsor relatives for Australia PR Visa. 
  • Travel from and to Australia any number of times. 

How Can I Apply for the Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visa?

Stage 1: Verify if your occupation is on the SOL - Skilled Occupation List

The Subclass 189 Visa is available only for individuals who can fill a position on the SOL.

Stage 2: Ensure you fulfill all the eligibility requirements

To apply for the Subclass 189 Visa, you must fulfill several requirements and the most essential of these are: 

  • Be below 45 years of age.
  • Have minimum skills in English. 
  • Fulfill the character and health requirements. 
  • Agree to sign the Statement of Australian Values.

Stage 3: Complete an Assessment for Skills

You must complete an assessment for skills and score the required points to qualify for the Subclass 189 Visa. The score must be as per the specification on your letter of invitation (stage 5). 

Stage 4: Submit an EOI - Expression of Interest through Australia Skill Select

In the next stage, you are required to submit an EOI through Skill Select. The Australian Skill Select program will have several queries regarding your skills, background, and applicable employment history. Your EOI will be visible to authorities in Australia and to employers as well who might be seeking candidates for hiring having skill-sets similar to that of yours. You will be invited to apply for Subclass 189 Visa if your EOI fulfills the Visa requirements and you obtain a sponsor or nomination. 

Stage 5: Obtain a government nomination or identify a sponsor

The Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visa requires you to receive a nomination from a Territory or State Government or Sponsorship from a family member or employer in Australia. After you obtain the appropriate sponsor, you will receive the ITA for the Visa from them. 

You can find an employer through the Skill Select program if you do not have a qualified relative or employer for the sponsorship. This program connects qualified skilled workers with employers seeking skilled overseas workers. You can also receive the nomination from a Territory or State Government through Skill Select. 

Stage 6: Get your sponsor to complete essential paperwork

After you get a sponsor, you must ask them to nominate you for the Subclass 189 Visa. Often, you can apply for this Visa at the same time your sponsor files their nomination application. Employers can submit the nomination application online through DHA. 

Stage 7: Apply for the Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visa

Once you identify an employer and receive the nomination, you can apply online for the Subclass 189 Visa with the DHA. 

Stage 8: Await for the verdict

The DHA can take several months to declare its verdict on your Subclass 189 Visa application. 

Stage 9: Obtain your visa and begin working in Australia

You will receive your Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visa once the DHA approves your application. You can then begin to work in Australia. 

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How are the points allocated for the Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visa?

The Subclass 189 Visa point's allocation is based on the profile you have submitted in the EOI. Extensive details about your skills, occupation, qualifications and other particular details are captured by the EOI. Skill Select will rank you based on the points you score using this submission against contending immigrants in the program. The minimum score required to qualify for the application is 65 points. 

Your profile in Skill Select will be allocated points as per the information that you have submitted in the EOI for the following criteria: 


Only those applicants who are above 18 years and below 45 years at the time of receiving the ITA qualify for the Subclass 189 Visa. 

Points Age
25 18-25 years
30 25-33 years
25 33-40 years
15 40-45 years

English Skills

You must demonstrate adequate skills in the English language through your score in tests such as IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, or OET. 

Points English Proficiency
0 Competent
10 Proficient
20 Superior


The points for education are allocated based on your highest educational qualification when compared with the suitable Australian credentials. 
Points Qualification
20 Doctorate
15 Bachelor or Master's Degree
10 Diploma
10 Qualification or Award for Skilled Occupation


You will also be allocated points for your experience if it applies to the SOL. 

Overseas Skilled Employment  

Points Experience
0 Less than 3 Years
5 3 to 4 Years
10 5 to 7 Years
15 Minimum 8 Years


Australian Skilled Employment

Points Experience
0 Less than 1 Years
5 1 to 2 Years
10 3 to 4 Years
15 5 to 7 Years
20 Minimum 8 Years

Partner Skills

The Government of Australia can consider the skills of your partner or spouse for allocation of 5 extra points to you if your partner or spouse: 

  • Is it below the age of 45 years?
  • Has competent skills in the English language. 
  • Is assessed and found to possess skills relevant to the occupation nominated under SOL?
  • Is immigrating to Australia with you?
  • Is not a Citizen or PR Visa holder in Australia? 

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Eligibility Criteria for the Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visa

The Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visa has extensive and specific eligibility criteria that you need to fulfill to apply for and receive this Visa: 

  • You must receive an ITA for the Subclass 189 Visa and you are required to submit an EOI to declare your intentions to apply for this Visa. 
  • You must receive a nomination from a State Government or Australian Territory agency for the Subclass 189 Visa. 
  • You can apply for the Visa only if your nomination is as per the specified guidelines. 
  • When you receive the ITA for Subclass 189 Visa, your age must be less than 45 years. 
  • You must declare that you have the appropriate skills as specified by the authority for skills assessment in Australia while applying, for the Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visa.
  • You will be required to fulfill the criteria for English language skills demonstrated through applicable scores in the test for the English language. 
  • You must score a minimum of 65 points or more in the EOI that you submit to qualify for the Subclass 189 Visa.
  • You must possess the skill or occupation that has been specified in the SOL for the Subclass 189 Visa. 
  • You must fulfill the character and health requirements as specified by the DHA for the Subclass 189 Visa. It is also applicable for your family members whom you have included in this Visa application. 
  • You must not have any outstanding debts or dues that you owe to the Government of Australia. 
  • Any of your Australia Visa applications or Australia Visa must not have been canceled or rejected in the past. 

Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visa - English Requirements 

You are required to have specific mandatory skills in the English language for the Subclass 189 Visa which can be demonstrated through results from any of the below tests: 

Required Score Test
Minimum 6 for each of the 4 components IELTS - International English Language Testing System
Minimum 13 for reading, 12 for listening, 18 for speaking, and 21 for writing TOEFL iBT - Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based Test
Minimum 50 points for each of the 4 components PTE Academic - Pearson Test of English Academic
Minimum B for each of the 4 components OET - Occupational English Test
Minimum 169 in each of the 4 components Cambridge C1 Advanced test

Documents Checklist for Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visa

Documents play a very important in the approval of your application for a Subclass 189 Visa. Given below is the checklist of documents required for submitting the Visa application: 

  • Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visa Application form 
  • 2 Color passport size photos 
  • Identification proof 
  • Test scores for English skills 
  • Educational credentials documents 
  • Report for skills assessment 
  • Documents for proving the skills 
  • Letter of Reference from employer/s 
  • Certificate of Character allotted by the Department of Police 
  • Medical check-up certificate 
  • Proof for Australian study requirement and documents to demonstrate evidence of study, if applicable 
  • Proof of proficiency in English for the partner 
  • Evidence for the status of the relationship 
  • Any other documents as requested by the DHA during the process

Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visa Processing Time

Subclass 189 Visa is a type of Australia PR Visa and several things as taken into consideration while deciding the Visa approval for each application. The general processing times for this Visa are as follows: 

Percentage Of ApplicationsProcessing Time
75% of applications Processed in 7 months
90% of applications Processed in 8 months

We at Nationwide Visas have assisted hundreds of individuals to successfully immigrate to Australia with their families through a Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visa. Our qualified and experienced Immigration Experts are equipped with the proficiency to accurately assess your case and advise the most suitable course of action for best serving your needs.

Nationwide has accumulated a treasure of goodwill and exhaustive experience over the last 15 years in this dynamic immigration industry and has constantly facilitated a wide range of aspiring immigrants to achieve their overseas goals.



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