189 – Australia Skilled Independent visa
Is your occupation in short supply in the Australian job market? The Skilled Independent visa is a permanent residence visa for highly qualified individuals who would like to relocate to Australia.
Applicants are not required to be sponsored although you must be able to demonstrate that you possess qualifications and skills of an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL).
You must also pass a points test – the minimum score required to be eligible for a Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa is 60 points.
- Visa Applicants
- Visa Holders
This visa is suitable for people under 50 years of age and who have competent English language skills and the skills and qualifications assessed as being the Australian standard for an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL).
What a Skilled Independent visa lets you do
If you are granted this visa you and any secondary applicants who have been included in your visa application will be permitted to live in Australia as permanent residents.
As an Australian permanent resident you may:
- live and work in Australia permanently
- study in Australian schools, the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector, or universities
- benefit from subsidised healthcare provided by the Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)
- receive certain social security payments, subject to waiting periods
- be eligible to apply for Australian citizenship, subject to meeting residency eligibility criteria
- sponsor others for Australian permanent residence
Age: At time of application for this visa you must be under 50 years of age. Your age on the day you make your application for this visa will determine your eligibility for points.
Points Test: 60 points is the points test pass mark for this visa. You may be awarded points for:
- English language ability
- Australian skilled employment
- overseas skilled employment
- educational qualifications
- Australian study requirement
- completion of a Professional Year
- credentialed community language
- partner skills
- state or territory nomination and designated area sponsorship
You can claim points for employment in your nominated occupation or in a closely related occupation, gained over the past ten years either in Australia or overseas.
You can combine points for skilled employment gained in both Australia and overseas as long as the employment was undertaken in the last 10 years.
The maximum number of points that you can claim for Australian or overseas employment or a combination of Australian and overseas employment is 20 points.
Points awarded: Skilled employment in your nominated occupation or a closely related occupation gained in Australia.
English language ability
The English language threshold is at the competent English level which is equal to a minimum score of six in each of the four components of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test or other language test and score specified by the Minister.
No points will be available for competent English however if you meet the English language threshold you may apply for a visa if you meet the other threshold visa requirements.
Passport holders and citizens of the following countries will meet the English language threshold of competent English:
- New Zealand
- Republic of Ireland
- United Kingdom (UK)
- United States of America (USA)
You will be required to complete a relevant English language test and obtain the necessary score if you wish to claim points for either proficient or superior English language ability.
Your test must have been completed before your visa application is lodged and must no more than two years old when you make your application.
Which English language test should I sit?
Generally, you will be required to take the general training test of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). In some circumstances a higher level of English is required for specific occupations where it forms part of the skills assessment application. In those circumstances the skills assessing body may require you to take the academic test.
Secondary applicants who need to show they have functional English may use an IELTS test if the secondary applicant sat the test no more than 12 months before the visa application was lodged.
It’s compulsory for you and any secondary applicants to undergo a health examination. The purpose of this examination is that it protects the Australian community from any health risks.
To be considered risk free, you and any additional applicants must be free from diseases or conditions considered to be health risks.
The health examination is critical because it:
- helps reduce and constrains public spending on health and community services, which also affects social security, pensions and allowances
- reduces the threat of the Australian community being exposed to potential health risks and illnesses
- improves access to health care and community services in short supply
Generally all visa applicants must meet the health requirements, and sometimes their dependents must also meet the requirements, regardless of whether they are migrating to Australia.
In certain cases where a condition or disease has been identified which requires a follow up medical check, you may be required to sign a Medical Officer of the Commonwealth (MOC). In this case you will need to sign a Health Undertaking to meet the health requirement.
Every visa applicant is required to meet the character requirements set out by the Department of Home Affairs before entering Australia.
Character requirements for temporary and permanent migration
To be considered good of character, you will be asked to provide police clearance certificates for every country that you have lived in for 12 months or more in the last 10 years since turning 16 years of age.
Please refer to Australia visa costs and fees.
Skilled Independent visa application guidelines
A certified copy of a full birth certificate for the main applicant and each secondary applicant must be included in your application.
If birth certificates are not available in your country of birth, other evidence to confirm birth details include, but are not limited to the following:
- baptism certificate
- court documents that verify your date of birth
- copies of military service records or discharge papers
- family book showing date of birth
- hospital birth records
- ID document issued by your government
- school records
No conditions or limitations apply to this visa.
The only requirement is that you and any additional secondary applicants conform to all Australian laws – failure to do so may have repercussions on your ability to remain in Australia. You may live and work in any part of Australia, and you may engage in any type of employment.