Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) - AECC

Get Your Australia Skilled Independent
Visa (Subclass 189)
Process Simplified
Learn everything you need to know about Australian
Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) and get end-to-end expert guidance from us.

Get Your Australia Skilled Independent
Visa (Subclass 189)Process Simplified

Learn everything you need to know about Australian
Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) and get end-to-end expert guidance from us.

Turn your Study Abroad Dream to Degrees Abroad in Australia


Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)

What is the Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)?

Australia is an excellent destination for anyone who wishes to start their life over again. Foreign nationals migrate to Australia for the great work opportunities it provides as well as the quality of goods and services available here. The Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) is an excellent option for skilled foreign nationals who wish to reside and get employment permanently in Australia. It is among the best-known visa streams in Australia, which comes with three streams: Points-Tested, New Zealand, and Hong Kong.

It does not take a nomination from a state, employer or territory in Australia for you to apply for the subclass 189 visa in Australia. It takes an invitation from the Department of Home Affairs to submit the application. By the time the invitation comes from the DHA, you must have an appropriate skills assessment for a valid application. Read on for more about the visa.


189 Visa Stay Period and Rights for the Points-Tested Stream and the Hong Kong Stream

With the visa subclass 189 document, you can remain in Australia as long as you want besides working and/or studying here. The visa also allows you to enrol in Medicare, which is Australia’s public healthcare system. Programs such as Medicare are made to offer eligible residents access to certain healthcare services for a low cost or free.
If you are granted the visa, you would also be able to do the following:

  • Sponsor your immediate family members to migrate to Australia;
  • Travel from and to Australia for five years; and,
  • Gain Australian citizenship by meeting the eligibility criteria.
As a person who is new to Australia, however, you may need to wait a little longer to access some Government benefits when on this visa.
It is a PR visa, meaning you can live in Australia on a permanent basis with it. The international travel facility that comes with the visa ends in five years, but it is possible to obtain a Resident Return Visa to enter Australia again after that period.

Basic 189 Visa Requirements

There are requirements specific to each skilled independent visa stream, and the criteria that apply to all the streams. No matter which stream you are applying for, you must:
  • Satisfy the requirements related to your skills, character, and health
  • Sign Australia’s Values Statement
  • Have no debt to the Australian Government
  • Have no visa application refused or visa cancelled previously

The 189 Visa Requirements for the Points-Tested Stream

There are specific requirements for you to meet to be able to apply for the 189 visa in Australia. To get the Points-Tested stream visa, you must:

  • Have an invitation to apply from the Department of Home Affairs
  • Go through the right skills assessment
  • Meet the requirement for the minimum points for the 189 visa, which is 65
  • Be below 45 years of age when you apply
  • Be competent in English

All the points in the aforementioned 189 Visa checklist may not apply to you if you are applying for the same visa but under a different stream. For instance, neither the New Zealand nor the Hong Kong stream has a minimum age requirement. Consult the Department of Home Affairs website or one of our registered migration agents for more information about the Australia 189 Visa requirements that apply to the non-Points-Tested streams.


189 Visa Processing Time

The processing times are likely to vary because of individual cases and as the Department of Home Affairs assesses each visa application separately, according to its facts. The timing depends on how complete your application and its supporting documents are, the necessary duration for any required checks, the number of places in the Australian migration program, and requests for further information.
If there is a need for further information from external organisations about character, national security or health, it may take more time for your visa to be processed. As for the Points-Tested Stream, the DHA processes half of the applications in around 25 months and the rest in about 35 months. However, when you are preparing to apply for this visa, you should be conscious of potential delays in processing it.

The Main Difference Between 189 and 190 Visa

There are many differences between both visa subclasses, with the main one being that the 190 visa requires an applicant to be nominated by a government agency in an Australian territory or state.

Australian Visa 189 Cost

Regardless of the stream you are applying for, you must pay at least $4,240 for the visa. If any other relative officially requests it with you, a separate charge would also apply. Besides, there would be a separate payment requirement if any of your eligible relatives applies for this visa at the same time as you. If required, an additional charge would be necessary for an applicant aged 18 years or above who does not have functional English. Other costs related to health checks, biometrics and police certificates may also be required. You can approach our migration team for a more comprehensive idea about how much the visa would cost you.


The Hong Kong Stream

Do you have a British National (Overseas) (BNO) passport or Hong Kong citizenship? Have you shown a commitment to the Australian Government to reside and work permanently here? If so, this would be the right visa for you to migrate to Australia. Besides the said citizenship or passport, it has requirements that are different from the criteria for the Points-Tested Stream.


189 Requirements for the Hong Kong Stream

To apply for the skilled independent visa under the Hong Kong stream, you must:

  • Have been on a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457), Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482), or a Temporary Graduate visa - Subclass 485 for the last 4 years at the least. If the grant date of that visa is before July 09, 2020, it must not end after July 08, 2025. On the other hand, if it was granted to you on July 09, 2020, or later, it must have 5-year validity.
  • Have adhered to all the conditions of one of the three visas mentioned above.
  • Have been living in the country for 4 years or more before applying for the Hong Stream visa.
  • Have at least functional English. There are many ways to prove that you satisfy this requirement, including any of the Government-approved English language tests. For instance, you can apply for it if you have an average IELTS score of 4.5 or more based on all the test components.

Can You Include Your Family in Your Subclass 189 Visa Application?

You can only add the Members of your Family Unit (MOFU) to the application. As per Australian legislation, the member of a family unit can be the primary applicant’s spouse, de facto partner, or dependent child/grandchild. You can add any of those relatives to your visa application until the Department of Home Affairs makes a decision on it. If you do not include them in your application, you must give an explanation about it to the Department. For example, an explanation can be that they already have permanent residency or Australian citizenship.


What is the difference between 190 and 189 Visa?

The Subclass 189 is the independent visa and 190 is state sponsored. Once the 189 visa is granted, the applicant can live anywhere in Australia. Whereas, visa subclass 190 holders must live in the nominating state for the first two years.

For further details and assistance, feel free to contact AECC. Make the most of your Australian adventure with the Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189).

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Visa 189 for Permanent Residency?

Yes, it allows the applicant to stay permanently in Australia. However, the visa also comes with an international travel component that lets the applicant go home and return any number of times for five years. After five years, there will be a requirement for a Resident Return visa to allow for re-entry to Australia in the form of a permanent resident.

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