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An Overview of Australia's Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visa

Australia's Skilled Independent Subclass 189 visa is a permanent visa. It is one of the three General Skilled Migration Visas. There are two streams; one is for eligible New Zealand Citizens. The second is the points-tested stream.

Crispin Aranda

An Overview of Australia's Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visa

One advantage in applying under the points-tested stream of Subclass 189 visa this stream is that you may work and study anywhere in Australia. You are not tethered to live in any state or territory.

Under the points-tested stream, you do not require sponsorship by a family member, state, or territory. You must, however, meet the current threshold of points as set by Australia's Department of Home Affairs.

As of August 2019, the cut-off is currently 65 points.

An Overview of the Process for the Points-Stream of the Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visa

Australia's Department of Home Affairs, or DHA, oversees the selection of applicants through its SkillSelect system. SkillSelect is Australia's online system used for some immigration programs such as those for skilled workers or business people. 

The process is simple, involving five steps:

  1. Check if you are eligible under your occupation and other migration factors.
  2. Submit an Expression of Interest, or EOI, in the SkillSelect system
  3. Wait for the Invitation to Apply
  4. Collate Your Documents and Credentials
  5. Apply for Subclass 189 Visa within 60 days upon being issued the Invitation to Apply.

An Expression of Interest, or EOI, will remain in the SkillSelect system for two (2) years.

The Department of Home Affairs, or DHA, reviews the EOIs in the SkillSelect system every two weeks and issues higher-scoring applicants an Invitation to Apply.

The process seems simple enough, but you must be careful with your application.

  • For one, you will be allowed to submit an EOI even if you don't meet the pass mark. Your application will remain in the system for two years, and you will not be eligible to apply for the Subclass 189 visa.
  • The SkillSelect system accepts all applications, including incomplete EOIs. Again, you might spend the next two years of your life waiting for an EOI that will not arrive.
  • You are responsible for updating your information at any time during the two years if there are changes in your:
    • Work experience
    • Academic qualification
    • English language ability, particularly if you retook a Secure English Language Test
    • Family members or civil status.

The last case for updating your EOI is important because one of the conditions that might be attached to your visa is that you "must not marry or enter into a de facto relationship before entry." Therefore, report any changes in the make-up of your immediate family while your EOI is still in SkillSelect. 

While your EOI will remain in the SkillSelect system for two years, DHA can remove it anytime if you receive:

  • Two Invitations to Apply but didn't lodge a visa application, or
  • Your Subclass 189 visa already. 

Authors & Contributors

Crispin Aranda

Crispin Aranda

Crispin R. Aranda is an established International Visa Conselor and Immigrant Advocate. He is the president of IVC and is in several migration radio programs.

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