189 Skilled Independent Visa

For those planning to live and work in Australia permanently, the 189 visa is a popular choice. As a skilled independent visa, it lets you live and work where you choose, giving you the freedom to start a life in Australia in the way that’s best for you. However, you won’t be surprised to hear that a 189 is also a competitive class of visa, restricted to those with skills in certain occupations.

A 189 skilled independent visa is a points tested work visa that allows you to live and work in Australia permanently. It is an independent visa, which means it relies on your personal skills, qualifications, and attributes rather than requiring sponsorship from an employer.

Those who have been granted a 189 visa become permanent residents, and are able to work, travel outside Australia and return, and claim Medicare.

What are the requirements for a 189 Visa?

To apply for a 189 visa, you must:

  • Have an occupation which appears on the relevant skilled occupation list
  • Have a positive skills assessment for this occupation
  • Meet the points test benchmark of 60 points
  • Be invited to apply via SkillSelect
  • Be under 45 years at the time of application
  • Have Competent English (IELTS band 6 or greater)

A Points Tested Visa

Applicants for the 189 visa are allocated a certain number of points based on personal criteria that includes work experience, qualifications, English level, and age. Like other Skilled Visas, the 189 is points tested, requiring a minimum of 60 points in order to qualify.

What is the process of applying for a 189 Visa?

The process of applying for a skilled visa is unlike most other visa types. To apply for a 189 visa, you must first submit an expression of interest. You must then wait to be invited to apply before you can submit the visa application. Let’s walk through the process in more detail.

Step 1: Locate your occupation on the Medium to Long Term Skills Shortage List (MLTSSL)

To be eligible to apply for a 189 visa, you will need to identify an occupation on the MLTSSL. You will need to meet the skills and qualifications required for that particular occupation. You can see the full list of occupations on the MLTSSL here.

Step 2: Attain a positive skills assessment for this occupation

To demonstrate you have the skills and qualifications required for your particular occupation, you will need to attain a positive skills assessment. A skills assessment is an assessment of your skills by a relevant assessing authority to make sure they reach the required level for your occupation.

Step 3: Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI)

To be eligible for a 189 visa you must first submit an Expression of Interest. You must then wait to be invited to apply.

Submitting an EOI does not confer eligibility for a bridging visa – so you will need to ensure you have a visa to stay on between lodging your EOI and being invited to apply.

Step 4: Receiving an Invitation

Once you have lodged your EOI, you will need to wait for an invitation to apply. Invitations are determined in point order, within each eligible occupation. So for example, a Brick Layer with 70 points will be invited to apply before a Brick Layer with 65 points, regardless of how long each have been waiting.

Step 5: Lodge your 189 Skilled Independent Visa

Once you have received an invitation to apply, you have 60 days to lodge your 189 visa application.

It will then take the Department some time to process your visa. Once you have lodged your application onshore you will receive a bridging visa allowing you to stay lawfully in Australia while your application is processed.

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PocketLegal is a migration law firm available to handle all aspects of the Australian immigration process from beginning to end. If you need assistance with visa applications, sponsoring staff members, AAT Appeals, FCC hearings, or any other migration related issue contact our friendly team via the form on this page or by calling 1300 921 114.

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