Occupational visas are one of the most straightforward, flexible and financially rewarding visa options available for those looking to relocate temporarily or permanently to Australia.

They are not an easy process by any means, but in comparison to other options, they can often seem superior– especially if you have a stable career path that you are happy to utilise in order to remain and work in the country.

That being said, successful attainment of an Australian work visa first requires that you understand and adhere to the necessary methods of preparation.

Independent work visas, in particular, have a very specific process that must be followed in order to be effective in your application. Unlike general work sponsorship visas, where an employer or territory vouches for you, independent visas are (just as they sound) completed on your own.

This means that you receive certain benefits, like being able to work for yourself as opposed to being beholden to one company for the length of time that it takes to receive your residency. You still have the same options for permanent residency that you would if engaging in a work sponsorship visa, but the occupations which are accepted for sponsorship are more limited under this stream.

That being said, if you believe you are currently working in a field that is eligible for a Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189), then read on. The following 10 steps are what you need to prepare in order to be ready for your Skilled Independent Visa application.

Consider the following steps necessary to formally apply for your visa.

  1. Confirm that you are in the right age bracket. The current cutoff age to be eligible for the Skilled Independent Visa is 45 years old (at time of invitation to apply).
  2. Check that you meet Australian health and character requirements, as outlined on the national government website. We recommend that you get a local medical examination to confirm that your general wellbeing is up to par.
  3. Be currently working in an occupation that appears on the List of Eligible Skilled Occupations for this visa.
  4. Research the points requirement for this visa and determine whether you believe you will meet the minimum (which, in this case, is 60 points).
  5. Ensure that you can afford this visa. The starting cost for the subclass 189 visa is $3,670 AUD (unless you are a dependent, in which case it will be less).
  6. Have your skills assessed by an Australian assessing authority. This is to check if your skills, experience and education are in line with the country’s standards and regulations.
  7. Prepare for and then take the IELTS exam. This exam tests your knowledge of and ability to effectively use the English language. A minimum score of 6 is required to be eligible for application. *Native English speakers can bypass this step in the application process.
  8. Submit your Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect. This is an Australian government website where you submit past work and education experience, which will then ascertain how many points you will receive in your invitation to apply.
  9. Wait for a response on your EOI (which, hopefully, should result in an invitation to apply for your Skilled Independent Visa. Invitations are sent out twice per month, with priority given to applicants who have higher total points.
  10. If you meet all requirements and receive an invitation to apply, then you’re all ready to submit your formal application. Congratulations!

Once you have carefully gone through these ten steps and are submitted your Skilled Independent Visa, you will be very close to gaining a valid Australian work visa and permanent residency in your new home country.

That being said, if you would like additional assistance with preparing or applying for your visa, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Ausdirect Migration. Our professional team of skilled migration agents can answer any questions you have about the visa process. We look forward to hearing from you!

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