189 Skilled Independent Visa

The Skilled Independent (189) Visa aims to attract skilled migrants with qualifications and professional experience in occupations that are critical to the Australian job market and economy. The Australian government has created a points-based system to rank potential visa applicants.  Candidates are ranked based on their points and the highest ranked candidates are invited to apply for a Skilled Independent 189 Visa each time the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) runs an invitation round.  A Skilled Independent Visa (189) provides the applicant and their family unit with Permanent Residency rights from the moment the visa is granted and does not require any form of business sponsorship.

There is also a special 189 Visa option for New Zealand Passport Holders.

Why choose Immigration Gurus for your 189 visa

  • We prepare your whole 189 visa application

  • Quality, expert advice on 189 regulations

  • Hundreds of successful 189 visa applicants

  • High Success rate

  • network of 189 eligible employers

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With the Skilled independent visa, you can:

  • Work and study in Australia
  • Access Australia’s medical health care services
  • Sponsor your eligible family members to come and live with you in Australia permanently
  • Travel to and from Australia for 5 years (after 5 years, apply for Resident Return Visa (RRV))
  • Eventually apply for Australian citizenship if you are eligible


You must:

  • Have an occupation on the relevant Skilled Occupation List
  • Have a suitable skills assessment for your occupation
  • Be under 45 years of age
  • Be invited to apply for the visa
  • Satisfy the points test
  • Have competent English skills
  • Meet the health & character requirements

189 Skilled Independent Visa - Steps

Meet all the eligibility requirements

Obtain a Skills Assessment

You must obtain a suitable Skills Assessment for your occupation.  To do this you will need to submit your qualifications and evidence of professional experience with an authorised skills assessing authority. Your skills assessment will need to be obtained less than 3 years before the date of your invitation.

Submit an Expression of Interest through Skill Select

Once you are certain that you meet the eligibility criteria and that you hold at least 65 points, you will need to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) with Skill Select.  Once submitted your EOI will be seen by the Australian authorities as well as available to Australian employers seeking someone with your qualifications. Your EOI will remain valid for selection up to 2 years.

If your EOI is selected by the DHA you will be issued with an invitation to apply for your Skilled Independent (189) visa application.  The invitation will be based on the information contained in your EOI, so it is critical that this is correct at the time that the invitation is issued. You will have 60 days to lodge your 189 Visa application form the date that your invitation is issued by Skills Select.

Apply for the Skilled Independent Work Visa (subclass 189)

Within 60 days of receiving your invitation form Skills Select you will need to submit your 189 Visa Application with the DHA.  It can take many months for the DHA to consider and grant your visa application. In 2021 the average processing time for a 189 Visa application was 24 months.

On the day your visa is granted, you will automatically become a Permanent Resident of Australia. This permanent visa will allow you to live and work in Australia for an unspecified time. If eligible, you will be able to apply for Australian citizenship.