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Subclass 189 (Skilled Independent) Visa 2021: A complete guide on the PR visa of Australia

Point-based Skilled Permanent Residency Visa Work in Australia with this PR work visa, a points-based visa for skilled workers who are not sponsored by an employer, a state or territory, or a family member. Read on.

Quick Enquiry

The Skilled Independent Visa is a points-tested stream that invites skilled professionals to live and work in Australia permanently. This visa is for workers who are not sponsored by any territory or employer or a family member living in the country.

The visa makes you eligible to:

  • Live & work anywhere in Australia
  • Become an Australian citizen
  • Enrol in the public healthcare scheme
  • Sponsor skilled family members for PR

Points Requirement for Skilled Independent Visa

The application for this visa is by invite only. To receive the invitation, you must:

  • File the Expression of Interest(EOI) document
  • Have experience in an occupation listed in Australia's Skilled Occupations List
  • Be less than 45 years of age
  • Have sufficient English language skills
  • Satisfy the character and medical conditions and
  • Meet the minimum cut-off score of 65 under the points stream.

As per the information filled in the EOI, your profile will be awarded points on the criteria as follows:

1. Age 

This visa program is only for applicants under 45 years and over 18 years when receiving the Invitation to Apply.

Age

Points

18-25 years

25

25-33 years

30

33-40 years

25

40-45 years

15

 

2. English Skills

You must have sufficient English language skills measured by your score in the OET, PTE, TOEFL or IELTS test.

 

English

Points

Competent

0

Proficient

10

Superior

20

 

3. Education

The points under education are awarded based on your highest qualification in comparison to the relevant Australian qualification.

 

Qualification   

Points

Doctorate

20

Bachelor/Master's Degree

15

Diploma

10

Award or Qualification for Skilled Occupation

10

 

4. Experience

Your experience can also fetch you points if it is relevant to the occupations list.

Skilled Employment Overseas

Experience

Points

Less Than 3 Years

0

3-4 Years

5

5-7 Years

10

At Least 8 Years

15

 

OR

Skilled Employment in Australia

Experience

Points

Less Than 1 Year

0

1-2 Years

5

3-4 Years

10

5-7 Years

15

At Least 8 Years

20

 

5. Partner Skills

The Australian government can consider your spouse's/partner's skills for rewarding you an additional 5 points if your partner:

  • Is under 45 years of age,
  • Has competent English language skills,
  • Is assessed and found to have skills related to their nominated occupation under SOL,
  • Is accompanying you to the country and
  • Is not a permanent residence holder or citizen of Australia.

Processing Time for Subclass 189 Visa

You will have sixty days to apply for the visa after receiving the ITA. After applying, the Department of immigration will start processing the application. The average duration for processing the visa is eight months for 75% of applications.

Application Process for Subclass 189 Visa

There are 4 steps in the application for the visa. Let us explore them in detail:

  • Step 1: To validate the occupation you wish to work in, it must be officially assessed by an authorised body as per the occupation. The assessing authority can take over three months to decide on the outcome.
  • Step 2: After receiving a positive outcome from the assessment authority, you must submit the Expression of Interest to the Department of Home Affairs to apply for the visa.
  • Step 3: When you receive the Invitation to Apply (ITA), you must pay the visa fee, submit your documents and go through police & medical checks.
  • Step 4: After receiving the letter, you must have your first entry into Australia by the date given to activate your visa.

Documents Required for Subclass 189 Visa

Documents play a vital role in receiving the Subclass 189 visa. Here is a checklist of documents required to apply for the visa:

  • Subclass 189 visa application form
  • Two coloured passport-sized photographs
  • Proof of identification
  • English skills test scores
  • Educational qualification documents
  • Skill assessment report
  • Document to prove the skills
  • Reference letter from employer(s)
  • Character certificate from the police
  • Medical check certificate
  • Australian study requirement proof & documents to show proof of study (if applicable)
  • Partner's English proficiency proof
  • Proof of relationship status
  • Any other documents as requested during the process

 

Cost of Subclass 189 Visa

The Skilled Independent visa cost can differ based on the number and age of dependents included in the application.

Immigrant

Fees (in AUD)

Main Applicant

$4045

Partner

$2020

Additional Dependent (Under 18)

$1015

 

Note: There can be additional factors to the cost like Spouse's English skills, health examination and more. Moreover, the fee can change without any intimation.

Occupation List for Australia Skilled Independent Visa

Any aspirant wishing to apply for the Subclass 189 visa must choose an occupation related to those under the Skilled Occupation List.

This list is updated annually by Australia's Department of Home Affairs based on the latest demands in the country's labour market.

Here is the updated list of occupations that are currently in-demand in the Australian labour market.

Things to Do Before Applying for a Skilled Independent Visa

Before you apply for the Subclass 189 visa, you must:

  • Ensure you meet the cut-off score for eligibility (65 points),
  • Check your occupation with Skilled Occupations List,
  • Get your skills assessed with the relevant authorities and
  • Check that you meet the other eligibility criteria.

Benefits of Australia's Skilled Independent Visa Program

Australia is a developed and beautiful country with a welcoming environment for everyone coming to the country. Here are the benefits you can reap while holding the Subclass 189 visa:

  • You can work and study in Australia,
  • You and your dependents can enrol in Medicare,
  • You can enter and exit Australia multiple times,
  • You can sponsor a family member to get PR,
  • You can apply for citizenship, if applicable, and

You can reside in Australia permanently.

What to Do After Getting the Visa invitation?

When you receive the Invitation to Apply (ITA) from the Department of Home Affairs, your application is about 90% through the process. At this stage, you have to:

  • Undergo health checks,
  • Provide biometrics, if requested,
  • Provide additional documents, if needed,
  • Add members of your family and

Update your information (if any).

Medical Requirements for Skilled Independent Visa

Australian citizens enjoy some of the world's health standards. To maintain these standards, all PR applicants must meet the minimum medical requirements for a visa.

Here are the Australia PR medical tests required for the applicant, their partner and dependents.

Age

Tests Required

Under 2 Years

Medical Examination

2-11 Years

Medical Examination

TB Screening Test

11-15 Years

Medical Examination

Chest X-Ray

15 or More Years

Medical Examination

Chest X-Ray

HIV Test

Reasons You are Not Invited For Subclass 189 Visa

Australia is a popular choice for people wanting to move to another country. Moving to the country with a PR visa has many benefits. 

However, not all applicants are accepted for the PR program. Here are the reasons why some PR applications are rejected:

  • Failing to meet application conditions
  • Violating condition of previous visas
  • Providing incomplete or false information
  • Failing to meet health requirements
  • Lacking sufficient funds
  • Failing to meet character requirements
  • Scoring low on English test
  • Failing to clear verification

Partner/ Family Requirements for Subclass 189 Visa

Your partner's skills can be an added advantage to your visa points score. You can claim the additional 5 points under 'Partner Skills' if your partner is:

  • Included in the same visa application as the applicant
  • Not an Australian citizen or PR holder
  • Assessed by an authority for an occupation under SOL
  • Competent in English
  • Experienced in a skilled

Other Important FAQs

Why Opt for the Skilled Independent Visa?

The Skilled Independent visa is designed to select a predefined set of qualified foreign nationals required in Australia's different states.

It allows them to live and work in the country without being sponsored by a relative or nominated by a province or employer.

Is Subclass 189 A Permanent Visa?

Yes. The Skilled Independent Visa is a stream for permanent residency for all professional workers with the skills required by Australia's labour market.

Are 85 points enough for the Skilled Independent visa?

Yes. The minimum cut-off score set by SkillSelect for the Subclass 189 visa is 65 points. However, do remember that the higher your points score, the higher your chances are of getting the Skilled Independent visa.

Are 75 points enough for the Subclass 189 visa?

Yes. As mentioned above, the minimum cut-off score for the Skilled Independent visa is 65 points. However, scoring above 80 points can ensure that you get invited sooner.

How long is a Skilled Independent visa valid?

The Subclass 189 visa is a permanent visa. With this, you can live in Australia indefinitely. It enables you and your family members to live, study, work and travel in the country and access its healthcare programs.

What is an Expression of Interest?

The Expression of Interest (EOI) is an applicant's intimation to the Australian government about their willingness to live in the country as a permanent resident. Any candidate willing to apply for the Subclass 189 visa must file an EOI through SkillSelect. There are no fees required for creating and submitting an EOI.

What are the Subclass 189 visa requirements for chefs?

Professional chefs and cooks are very high in demand in Canada. To apply for the visa as a chef, you must:

  • Have an educational or trade qualification equal to Australian standards.
  • Have at least 3 years experience post qualification.
  • Have worked in the same field for at least one year.

What are the Subclass 189 visa requirements for nurses?

Nurses are very much in demand in Australia. The most common occupation under SOL used by nurses when applying for the Subclass 189 visa is 'Registered Nurse NEC'.

To migrate to Australia as a nurse under the Subclass 189 visa, you must:

  • Meet the English language requirement.
  • Have a current registration certificate in India.
  • Have proof of experience in the field for over a year.

What are the Subclass 189 visa requirements for doctors?

Australia has, for a long time, been a popular destination for doctors looking to migrate overseas. To apply for the Subclass 189 visa as a doctor, you must:

  • Have registered as a general or specialist physician with the Australian Health Practitioners Regulation Authority (AHPRA).
  • Be under 45 years of age.
  • Meet the required cut-off score in the points stream.

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