Skilled Independent Visa
SC 189


Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) allows people to live and work anywhere in Australia permanently. This visa allows applicants to apply under two streams, namely, the point tested stream and New Zealand stream. The point tested stream does not require sponsorship by an Australian employer, family members or nomination from any Australian state or territory. The New Zealand stream opens up the path to permanent residency for New Zealand citizens living in Australia.

  • The primary applicant must score the applicable pass marks and meet the other eligibility criteria mentioned below
  • Applicant does not need a sponsor or a nominator
  • Applicant must be invited to apply

  • Applicant should have a New Zealand Special Category (subclass 444) visa
  • Applicant should have lived in Australia for at least the last 5 years
  • Applicant should have started living in Australia on or before 19 February 2016
Eligibility Criteria

Application for Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visa is by invitation only. In order to be invited to apply, applicants must submit an Expression of Interest and meet the following criteria:

  • Primary applicant must nominate an occupation on the relevant skilled occupation list and be assessed favourably by an Australian skills assessment authority
  • Aged between 18 to 45 years at the time of receiving the invitation to lodge a visa application
  • Score 65 points or more on the Department of Home Affairs’ points test for general skilled migration
  • Possess competent level in English language or be a holder of an exempt passport (United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and United States)
  • Applicants must meet the health criteria – “One fails, all fail” policy applies
  • Applicants over the age of 16 years have to meet the character requirements
  • The applicants must not owe any debt to the Australian government
  • All applicants have to accept Australian Values Statement before the visas can be granted
  • Must not have any history of visa cancellation or refusal of application

It is important to let us know if you have had a visa cancelled or refused in the past or have a criminal record

Key Visa Entitlements
  • Permanent residents are allowed to live in Australia indefinitely and can work anywhere in the country
  • You are entitled to the public healthcare and education systems of Australia
  • You can sponsor family members to travel to Australia
  • You will be entitled to travel out of Australia multiple times while holding an Australian Permanent Residence or Resident Return Visa
  • You can apply for Australian citizenship, subject to meeting the applicable criteria
Visa Application Charges
Primary ApplicantAUD 4,115
Spouse/Secondary applicant over the age of 18 yearsAUD 2,060
Each additional applicant under the age of 18 yearsAUD 1,030
Applicants over 18 years with less than functional EnglishAUD 4,885

* Additional expenses for skills assessment, English language testing, state-nomination, meeting the health and character criteria will be applicable on actual basis.

** The Department of Home Affairs generally revises the visa application charges on 01st July of each year.

Processing Timelines

Processing times for applications in this visa subclass can vary significantly depending on the risk assessment level of the applicants’ country of origin and how promptly the applicants can submit the requested documents, including translations, if required. The general processing times for the visa applications in this visa subclass are given below and it does not include the time needed to process the skills assessment and state-nomination applications.

  • 75% of the applications are processed within 9 months
  • 90% of the applications are processed within 19 months

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