189 Skilled Independent Visa Summary
- this points-based visa is for skilled workers who are not sponsored by an employer, a state or territory, or a family member
- a visa holder can live and work permanently anywhere in Australia
- certain family members can be included in the application
How this visa works
To be able to lodge a valid application for this visa you need to first submit an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect. You can do this from Australia or from any other country.
There are basic requirements you must meet to apply for this visa. You must:
- be invited to apply
- be younger than 50 years of age when you are invited to apply
- nominate an occupation that matches your skills and qualifications and is on the relevant skilled occupation list
- have your skills assessed by the relevant assessing authority as suitable for your nominated occupation
- have at least competent English
- score at least 60 on the points test
- meet the health and character requirements
Visa application process:
If you are invited to apply for this visa, you will then have 60 days in which to lodge your online application. Your invitation letter will explain the lodgment process you should follow. You can be in or outside Australia when you lodge your application.
Invitations are based on claims made in your Expression of Interest at the time you are invited to apply. Your application must reflect the information provided in your Expression of Interest, and be supported by relevant evidence.
If after receiving two invitations to apply for a visa you do not make a visa application your Expression of Interest will be removed from SkillSelect.
Provide relevant documents
You must provide documents that prove the claims you made in your Expression of Interest. These are identified and explained in the Document Checklist. This checklist also explains additional requirements and whether you need to provide original documents or certified copies.
Any document in a language other than English must be accompanied by an English translation that has been done by a translator who has been accredited by an organization such as National Accreditation Authority for Translations and Interpreters (NAATI). Translations done by a translator not accredited by NAATI must include that person’s full name, address, telephone number, and details of their qualifications and experience in the language being translated.
All supporting documents should be scanned and uploaded with your application.
The department will notify you if they need more information and/or documentation.
Include family members
You can include the following family members in your visa application:
- yours or your partner’s dependent child
- yours or your partner’s dependent relative
These family members must meet certain requirements. Please read the ‘Including dependent family members’ in your application and ‘proof of dependency’ for more details.
Make use of helpful information
Information to help prepare your application has advice on certified documents, statutory declarations, translating documents, communicating with the department, using a migration agent, authorizing another person to receive information from the department, and receiving assistance with your application.
Applications are by invitation only. To be invited to apply, a person must:
- submit an Expression of Interest
- have an occupation that is on the relevant skilled occupation list
- have a suitable skills assessment for that occupation
- be less than 50 years of age when the invitation is issued
- meet the English language requirements
- be able to score at least 60 on the points test
Requirements after applying for visa
Priority processing arrangements apply to this visa. They determine the order in which the department considers applications regardless of when they have been lodged.
After you have lodged a valid visa application, you will receive a letter of acknowledgement. Your application will be allocated to a case officer and be assessed according to the priority processing arrangements. You will be informed that you have a case officer and be provided with an email address for all future correspondence.
The department may make a decision on your application, based on the information you provide. They may also request additional documentation. Any requested documents must be attached online.
If you lodged an application for this visa and a case officer has not told you that processing has begun, refer to the current allocation dates.
Provide more information:
Meet health requirements
You and all members of your family unit must meet certain health requirements.
The department will tell you when to arrange health examinations.
Meet character requirements
You and all members of your family unit must meet certain character requirements. This means you and each of your dependants (whether migrating or not) who are aged 16 years or older must provide police certificates. These need to be obtained from each country you and your family members have lived in for 12 months or more over the last 10 years or, in the case of those younger than 26 years or age, since each person turned 16 years of age.
The department will tell you when to arrange police certificates.
You may be asked to provide biometrics (a scientific form of identification) as part of your application. Countries and visa subclasses included in the biometrics program has more information.
Provide a comment, if required
If the department receives adverse information that could result in you being refused a visa, you will be given the chance to comment on that information.
If you are invited to comment, you must do so by a set date. After that date, the department can continue processing your application and make a decision based on information already provided.
Withdraw your application
You can withdraw your application at any stage during processing.
To do this, you must send the department a letter of withdrawal including your full name, date of birth, date of application and file reference number/transaction record number (if known).
Everyone in the application who is 18 years of age or older must sign the letter of withdrawal.
Obtain a bridging visa to travel outside Australia
If you apply for this visa while you are in Australia, you may be eligible for a Bridging visa that allows you to stay in the country lawfully while your application is processed.
If you want to travel outside Australia while your application is being considered, you may need to apply for a specific Bridging visa that allows you to leave and return to Australia.
People who already have a valid visa that allows them to travel to and from Australia will not need to do this.
Receive a visa decision
If your visa application is approved, the department will send you a letter with the:
- visa grant number
- visa conditions (including a specified initial entry date)
- details of what you must do next
If your visa application is not approved, the department will send you a letter stating:
- why the visa was not approved
- your review rights, if any
- a time frame for lodging an appeal, if applicable
Conditions and obligations for holders of visa subclass 186
This information explains what is required of you (and any accompanying dependent family members) after you are granted a permanent Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189).
If you are outside Australia when this visa is granted, the department will specify the date by which you must enter Australia.
This visa allows you and your accompanying family members to:
- live and work permanently in Australia
- study in Australia
- enroll in Medicare, Australia’s scheme for health-related care and expenses
- access certain social security payments (subject to waiting periods)
- apply for Australian citizenship (subject to residency criteria)
- sponsor family members for permanent residence
If you travel out of Australia
This is a permanent residence visa. It allows you to travel to and from Australia for five years from the date it is granted. If you want to continue such travel after the visa expires, you must get a Resident Return visa. You can also apply for citizenship.
Comply with visa conditions and Australian laws
You and your family must comply with all visa conditions and Australian laws.