Subclass 189:
Skilled Independent Visa

The Points-tested stream of a Subclass 189 visa is the primary option for permanent residency with independent skills in an occupation for which Australia experiences labour shortage. Applications are only accepted if the applicants have been invited on SkillSelect.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for a Subclass 189 in this stream, the applicant must:
  • Be in an eligible occupation;
  • Be invited on Skillselect to apply;
  • Have a positive skills assessment from no more than 3 years ago;
  • Have competent English; and
  • Have the same Schedule 6D points as claimed in the Expression of Interest (EOI).
  • Occupations

    Only Individuals in specified occupations are eligible to apply for Subclass 189 visas. The list of these occupations is referred to as the “Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List” and is the most restrictive of all occupation lists applicable in the Australian migration scheme.

    Invitation Rounds

    Invitations for Subclass 189 visas operate under an annual quota for a whole financial year. This quota is divided on a monthly basis, and in each round a set number of persons are issued invitations on the basis of their EOI. Applicants are prioritised firstly by the number of points and the date on which their EOI was lodged.

    Because the demand often outstrips the supply, the minimum threshold points to secure an invitation varies each month depending on the level of competition amongst all EOIs. Some competitive occupations are subject to additional restrictions, rendering receipt of the invitation more difficult.

    Skills Assessment

    For each eligible occupation, an authority is tasked with assessment of the suitability of applicants for the corresponding occupation. This process of assessment is known as “Skills Assessment.” Each assessor operates with its own standards, procedures and prerequisites. For certain occupations, multiple bodies may conduct skills assessments for migration purposes.

    Schedule 6D Points

  • Age
    • Not less than 18 and under 25 – 25 points
    • Not less than 25 and under 33 – 30 points
    • Not less than 33 and under 40 – 25 points
    • Not less than 40 and under 45 – 15 points
  • English
    • Competent English – 0 points
    • Proficient English – 10 points
    • Superior English – 20 points
  • Overseas Employment Experience in the Last 10 Years
    • 36 months – 5 points
    • 60 months – 10 points
    • 96 months – 15 points
  • Australian Employment Experience in the Last 10 Years
    • 12 months – 5 points
    • 36 months – 10 points
    • 60 months – 15 points
    • 96 months – 20 points
  • NOTE: You cannot claim more than a total of 20 points for all work experience in Australia and overseas.
  • Australian Professional Year (IT, Engineering and Accounting only)
    • Completed within the last 48 months – 5 points
  • Education
    • Recognised qualification – 10 points
    • Trade qualification – 10 points
    • Diploma – 10 points
    • Bachelor – 15 points
    • Doctorate – 20 points
  • NOTE: You can only claim one set of points for your highest level of qualification. The bachelor qualification or other qualification does not have to be related to the applicant’s nominated occupation.
  • Specialist Education – Masters by Research or Doctoral Degree
    • Qualification competed in a specified field – 10 points
  • Australian Study
    • Degree, diploma or trade qualification completed in Australia – 5 points
  • Regional Study
    • Degree, diploma or trade qualification completed in regional Australia – 5 points
  • NOTE: You may claim points for both Australian study and regional study for a total of 10 points collectively.
  • NAATI Certification in a Community Language
    • Certified translator or interpreter in a specified language – 5 points
  • NOTE: Not all languages are classed as community languages.
  • Partner Qualifications (Non-citizen Non-permanent Resident Partners Only)
    • Partner has competent English – 5 points
    • No partner – 10 points
    • Partner is under 45 and has a positive skills assessment for an eligible occupation – 10 points
  • NOTE: Only one of the above may be claimed

    Applicable Public Interest Criteria

    4001, 4002, 4003, 4004, 4020, 4021 and 4019 (if applicable)

    Applicable Special Return Criteria

    5001, 5002 and 5010

    Conditions

    No conditions attached to Subclass 189 visas.

    Application Charges

    First instalment payable at the time of application;
  • Base application charge: $4,045
  • Additional applicant charge for an applicant who is at least 18: $2,020
  • Additional applicant charge for an applicant who is less than 18: $1,015
  • Second instalment payable prior to visa grant;
  • Applicants aged 18 and over who do not demonstrate functional English: $4,885