This permanent visa category is assessed according to the applicant’s skills.

The Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) is a permanent residence option for skilled workers who would like to live and work in Australia. The visa requires that applicants must be based in a role that appears in the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and must also pass a points-test related to their nominated occupation. It does not require that applicants are sponsored by an employer, family member, state or territory.

The first step towards applying for this visa is to submit an expression of interest to SkillSelect with information about your work experience. If you meet all requirements, you will then be invited to apply for your subclass 189 Skilled-Independent Visa. Applications can be made either inside or outside of Australia, and the visa can be granted regardless of where you are based at that time.

Are you eligible to apply?

If you have received an invitation to apply (ITA) for this visa, then you are eligible (so long as you also meet these conditions):

  • Have the right job: This is seen as any occupation that appears on the relevant skilled occupation list, along with education/qualifications to support this position.
  • Exhibit the right skills: These are measured through a points-based skills assessment test for your specific occupation. Your results on the test must comply with the amount of points specified in your letter of invitation for the visa. 60 points minimum are required for eligibility.
  • Be the right age: Applicants must be over 18 and under 50 years old.
  • Speak English efficiently
  • Meet health and character requirements
What does this visa allow you to do?

On the skilled independent visa, you are able to work in Australia with full working rights, study in the country and live here permanently. You will have access to Australian healthcare coverage and benefits. You also have the option to sponsor eligible family members (partner, children, dependent relatives) to migrate to Australia. For up to five years after your visa is granted, you will be able to leave and re-enter the country as you wish. After this time allotment is up, you have the option to apply for Resident Return Visa as an extension to 189 Visa. This visa also puts you in a pathway to apply for Australian citizenship.