Skilled – Independent Visa (Subclass 189)

Subclass 189: Skilled Independent Visa

Points-tested Stream

Subclass 189 Skilled Independent visa in the Points-tested stream is a permanent visa which allows invited skilled migrants who are qualified to work or train in an eligible skilled occupation to live and work anywhere in Australia permanently.

Stay Period

Indefinitely with 5-year travel facility after which you may need to apply for Subclass 155 or 157 Resident Return visa to extend your travel facility.

You may consider applying for Australian citizenship for unrestricted travel facility once eligibility criteria are met.

Apply from...

All applicants may be in or outside Australia, but not in immigration clearance, to apply and to be granted this visa.

Each applicant in Australia when applying for this visa must hold:
  • a substantive visa; or
  • a Subclass 010 Bridging A visa; or
  • a Subclass 020 Bridging B visa; or
  • a Subclass 030 Bridging C visa
with no condition(s) attached to the visa that prevent the applicant from applying this visa in Australia.
To make a valid application for Subclass 189 visa in the Points-tested stream and/or be granted this visa, the following sets of criteria must be met:
Under 45 years old at the time of receiving invitation to apply
The primary applicant must be under 45 years old at the time of receiving SkillSelect invitation to apply for this Subclass 189 visa in the Points-tested stream. If the primary applicant turned 45 years old after receiving invitation to apply for this visa from SkillSelect, the applicant can still apply for this visa as long as invitation being received before turning 45 years old and the application is lodged within the period stated in the invitation.
Occupation must be on Skilled Occupation List
The applicant’s nominated occupation must be an eligible occupation for a Subclass 189 visa listed in the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).
SkillSelect Expression of Interest (EOI) & Invitation to Apply
To apply for this visa, the applicant must first submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect and received an invitation before the applicant can apply for this visa. To be invited, the applicant must score at least 65 points (pass mark) in the points test. Applicants with the same skilled occupation will be ranked in SkillSelect to determine to whom the invitation should be issued to in each invitation round. The Department of Home Affairs published points score required for certain occupation in previous invitation rounds at https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/working-in-australia/skillselect/invitation-rounds. This can serve as an indication of the latest points score required to receive invitation for certain occupations.
Have Suitable Skills Assessment
At the time of receiving invitation to apply for the visa, the applicant must have had obtained positive skills assessment outcome for the nominated occupation from the relevant assessing authority. A list of assessing authorities relevant to each nominated occupation can be found at Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). The skills assessment obtained must not be an assessment for a Subclass 485 Temporary Graduate visa.
English Language Requirement
At the time of receiving invitation to apply for the visa, the primary visa applicant had competent English. Any other applicant (e.g.: secondary/subsequent applicant) aged 18 years old and above (at the time of application) must either have at least functional English or will be asked to pay for the second instalment of the visa application charge prior to visa grant.
The following persons can apply for this Subclass 189 visa in the Points-tested stream:
  • any person who met the eligibility criteria outlined in "Eligibility Criteria" tab on this page (hereinafter referred to as "the Primary Applicant");
  • the member of family unit of the Primary Applicant, e.g.: spouse/de facto partner and children who are still dependent on the Primary Applicant or the spouse/de facto partner of Primary Applicant
Each applicant in Australia when applying for this visa must hold:
  • a substantive visa; or
  • a Subclass 010 Bridging A visa; or
  • a Subclass 020 Bridging B visa; or
  • a Subclass 030 Bridging C visa

with no condition(s) attached to the visa that prevent the applicant from applying this visa in Australia.

If the substantive visa or the last substantive visa held by the applicant is/was a Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa or a Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa, the applicant must have held that visa for at least 3 years at the time of application unless exceptional circumstances exist.

Points Table for Subclass 189 Skilled Independent Visa in the Points-tested Stream

Age

AgePoints
at least 18 but less than 25 years25
at least 25 but less than 33 years30
at least 33 but less than 40 years25
at least 40 but less than 45 years15

English language skills

Skills LevelPoints
Competent English0
Proficient English10
Superior English20

Skilled employment experience

Overseas skilled employment – (outside Australia)

Number of YearsPoints
Less than 3 years0
At least 3 but less than 5 years5
At least 5 but less than 8 years10
At least 8 years15

Australian skilled employment – (in Australia)

Number of YearsPoints
Less than 1 year0
At least 1 but less than 3 years5
At least 3 but less than 5 years10
At least 5 years but less than 8 years15
At least 8 years20

Educational qualifications

RequirementPoints
A Doctorate from an Australian educational institution or a Doctorate from another educational institution, that is of a recognised standard.20
At least a Bachelor degree from an Australian educational institution or at least a Bachelor qualification, from another educational institution, that is of a recognised standard.15
A diploma or trade qualification from an Australian educational institution.10
Attained a qualification or award recognised by the relevant assessing authority for your nominated skilled occupation as being suitable for that occupation.10
Please note: For points based migration you will receive points for your highest qualification only.

Specialist education qualification

RequirementPoints
A Masters degree by research or a Doctorate degree from an Australian educational institution that included at least 2 academic years study in a relevant field.10
The postgraduate degree by research (doctorate or masters) must be awarded from an Australian education institution after at least 2 academic years of study in the following science, technology, engineering, mathematics or specified information and communication technology (ICT) fields:
    Natural and physical sciences
  • biological sciences
  • chemical sciences
  • earth sciences
  • mathematical sciences
  • natural and physical sciences
  • other natural and physical sciences
  • physics and astronomy
    Information technology
  • computer science
  • information systems
  • information technology
  • other information technology
    Engineering and related technologies
  • aerospace engineering and technology
  • civil engineering
  • electrical and electronic engineering and technology
  • engineering and related technologies
  • geomatics engineering
  • manufacturing engineering and technology
  • maritime engineering and technology
  • mechanical and industrial engineering and technology
  • other engineering and related technologies
  • process and resources engineering

Australian study requirement

RequirementPoints
Meet the Australian study requirement.5

Professional Year in Australia

RequirementPoints
Completion of a Professional Year in Australia.5

Credentialled community language

RequirementPoints
Hold a recognised qualification in a credentialled community language.5

Study in regional Australia

RequirementPoints
You must have at least 1 degree, diploma or trade qualification from an Australian educational institution that satisfies the Australian study requirement obtained while living and studying in an eligible area of regional Australia.5

Partner skills

RequirementPoints
Your spouse or de facto partner must also be an applicant for this visa and meet age, English and skill criteria.

For you to be eligible for the award of these points your partner must be an applicant for the same visa subclass and must not be an Australian permanent resident or an Australian citizen. Additionally, you will need to provide evidence that when you were invited to apply for this visa that they:
  • were under 45 years old;
  • had competent English;
  • had nominated a skilled occupation that is on the same skilled occupation list as your nominated skilled occupation;
  • had a suitable skills assessment from the relevant assessing authority for their nominated skilled occupation, and the assessment wasn’t for a Subclass 485 visa.
10
Your spouse or de facto partner must also be an applicant for this visa and has competent English.

For you to be eligible for the award of these points your partner must be an applicant for the same visa subclass and must not be an Australian permanent resident or an Australian citizen.
5
You are single or your partner is an Australian citizen or permanent resident.10
The following condition(s) might be attached to this visa:

Condition 8515 - Must not marry or enter into a de facto relationship before entering Australia

If this visa is granted when the secondary applicant is outside Australia, the holder of this visa must not marry or enter into a de facto relationship before entering Australia.

This condition usually applies to secondary applicant(s) who are not married or in a de facto relationship and are still dependent on the primary visa applicant prior to visa grant. For example, child of primary visa applicant who is also a secondary applicant for this visa must not married or enter into a de facto relationship prior to entering Australia for the first time.

Breaching this visa condition will render the said visa with the condition 8515 subject to cancellation.

Subclass 189: Skilled Independent Visa

New Zealand Stream

Subclass 189 Skilled Independent visa in the New Zealand stream is a permanent visa which allows New Zealand citizen arrived Australia after 26 February 2001 and on/before 19 February 2016 to live in Australia as a permanent resident and apply for Australian citizenship if eligible.

New Zealand citizen who made first arrival in Australia after 26 February 2001 on Subclass 444 Special Category Visa (SCV) are considered ‘non-protected SCV holder’ and will first need to become an Australian permanent resident before eligible to become an Australian citizen.

Non-protected SCV holder have restricted access to social security benefits and is ineligible for the following Centrelink income support payments:
  • Age Pension
  • Austudy
  • Carer Payment
  • Disability Support Pension
  • Farm Household Allowance
  • JobSeeker Payment
  • Parenting Payment
  • Partner Allowance
  • Sickness Allowance
  • Special Benefit
  • Widow Allowance
  • Youth Allowance
However, non-protected SCV holder still eligible for child-related social security and family assistance payment, concession cards and Medicare. For comprehensive list of social security payments that non-protected SCV holder are entitled to, kindly visit Services Australia website.

This Subclass 189 permanent visa enable New Zealand citizen to live in Australia as a permanent resident with unrestricted access to social security benefits provided applicable waiting periods & other eligibility criteria are met.

Stay Period

Indefinitely with 5-year travel facility after which you may need to apply for Subclass 155 or 157 Resident Return visa to extend your travel facility.

Apply from...

Primary applicant must be a Subclass 444 Special Category visa holder and must be in Australia, but not in immigration clearance to apply for this visa. However, the primary applicant can be in or outside Australia to be granted this visa.

Secondary applicant may be in or outside Australia, but not in immigration clearance, to apply and to be granted this visa.

Secondary applicant in Australia when applying for this visa must hold:
  • a substantive visa; or
  • a Subclass 010 Bridging A visa; or
  • a Subclass 020 Bridging B visa; or
  • a Subclass 030 Bridging C visa
with no condition(s) attached to the visa that prevent the secondary applicant from applying this visa in Australia.
To make a valid application for Subclass 189 visa in the New Zealand stream and/or be granted this visa, the following sets of criteria must be met:
Arrived Australia on/before 19 February 2016
To be eligible for this permanent visa, primary applicant who is a New Zealand citizen must have started their residency in Australia on or before 19 February 2016.
Lived in Australia for 5 Consecutive Years
Primary applicant must have been usually resident in Australia for a continuous period of at least 5 years immediately before the date of the visa application.

The continuous period of usual residence in Australia must have started on or before 19 February 2016.
Income Requirement for the Last 4 Financial Years
Primary applicant’s taxable income as shown on ther Notice of Assessment, issued by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), for each of the 4 completed financial years immediately before applying for this visa must be at, or above, the minimum income threshold for corresponding income year as listed below:
Income PeriodMinimum Taxable Income on ATO Notice of Assessment
1 July 2014 – 30 June 2015AUD 53,900
1 July 2015 – 30 June 2016AUD 53,900
1 July 2016 – 30 June 2017AUD 53,900
1 July 2017 – 30 June 2018AUD 53,900
1 July 2018 – 30 June 2019AUD 53,900
1 July 2019 – 30 June 2020TBA
This legislative instrument details updated income requirement.

Income exemptions apply to the following circumstances:
  • Applicant with parenting order that restricts the applicant from removing a child from Australia
  • Primary applicant was unable to meet the income requirement for any period during the 5 years immediately before the date of the application because the primary applicant were prevented from leaving Australia to return to New Zealand because the Family Court of Australia or the Federal Circuit Court of Australia assigned primary care of a child to the applicant and placed restrictions on the applicant from removing the child from Australia.

  • Applicant with injury compensation claim
  • Primary applicant was unable to meet the income requirement for any period during the 5 years immediately before the date of the application because the primary applicant was receiving compensation for an injury which prevented the applicant from earning at, or above the income threshold; and would have their ongoing rehabilitation or compensation discontinued if the applicant returned to New Zealand.

  • Applicant was on parental or carer’s leave
  • Primary applicant was unable to meet the income requirement for any period during the 5 years immediately before the date of the application because the applicant was on an approved period of parental (including maternity & paternity) or carer’s leave from the applicant’s usual employment; and
  • immediately before the period of parental or carer’s leave, met the minimum income requirement for the corresponding income year; and
  • has resumed, or is expected to resume within a reasonable period, earning an income that will meet the minimum income requirement for the corresponding income year.
The following persons can apply for this Subclass 189 visa in the New Zealand stream:
  • New Zealand citizen who holds a Subclass 444 Special Category visa and met the eligibility criteria outlined in "Eligibility Criteria" tab on this page (hereinafter referred to as "the Primary Applicant");
  • the member of family unit of the Primary Applicant, e.g.: spouse/de facto partner and children who are still dependent on the Primary Applicant or the spouse/de facto partner of Primary Applicant (hereinafter referred to as "the Secondary Applicant")
Secondary applicant in Australia when applying for this visa must hold:
  • a substantive visa; or
  • a Subclass 010 Bridging A visa; or
  • a Subclass 020 Bridging B visa; or
  • a Subclass 030 Bridging C visa

with no condition(s) attached to the visa that prevent the secondary applicant from applying this visa in Australia.
The following condition(s) might be attached to this visa:

Condition 8515 - Must not marry or enter into a de facto relationship before entering Australia

If this visa is granted when the secondary applicant is outside Australia, the holder of this visa must not marry or enter into a de facto relationship before entering Australia.

This condition usually applies to secondary applicant(s) who are not married or in a de facto relationship and are still dependent on the primary visa applicant prior to visa grant. For example, child of primary visa applicant who is also a secondary applicant for this visa must not married or enter into a de facto relationship prior to entering Australia for the first time.

Breaching this visa condition will render the said visa with the condition 8515 subject to cancellation.

If you are ready to commence your life in Australia, contact Ausdirect Migration today at 1800 462 188.

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