Immigration Migrate to Australia

Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) Mini Guide

Last Updated on November 12, 2021 by Christie McEnzie

The Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) is an Australian Permanent Resident Visa for overseas skilled workers who want to work and live in Australia, indefinitely, in an occupation listed on the Skilled Occupation Lists (SOL) provided by the Australian Department of Home Affairs.

The Australian Permanent Residency Visa is allocated for a maximum of 5 years and can be renewed upon expiry for another 5 years indefinitely.

Permanent Resident Visa under skilled migration applicants do not require any sort of sponsorship by an employer, a family member, or do not require to be nominated by a State or Territory Government. And, they can be in or outside of Australia upon application, and also when the visa is granted.

This Permanent Resident Visa (Subclass 189) is a points test based visa and is only open to applicants upon receiving an invitation by the Department of Home Affairs once an Expression of Interest has been lodged.

Eligibility for Subclass 189 Permanent Resident Visa

In order to qualify for Australian Permanent Residency Subclass 189 visa, you must need to demonstrate to the Australian Department of Home Affairs (DOHA) that you meet the following minimum eligibility requirements:-

  • Lodged an Expression of Interest (EOI) and receive an invitation by the Department to apply
  • That you have nominated the occupation from the relevant Skilled Occupation List (SOL)
  • Obtained a suitable skills assessment for your nominated occupation less than three years ago, based on the factors in the points test below:
    • Age
    • English language ability
    • Previous Australian and Overseas skilled work experience
    • International Qualifications
    • Australian study requirements and awards
    • Credentialed community language qualifications
    • Regional Australian Study
    • Spouse skill qualifications
    • Professional year in Australia
  • Have a qualifying score in the skilled migration points test – the current minimum score is 60.
  • That you are younger than 45 years of age when you are invited to apply for this visa.
  • If you do not hold a USA, UK, NZ, Canadian or Irish passport, you must have at least ‘competent’ English language ability at the time you are invited to apply – you will need a score of at least 6 in each component of the IELTS, or equivalent score in any accepted English test.
  • Meet certain health and character requirements.
  • You must have lodged the Subclass 189 visa application within 60 days of your invitation to apply

Subclass 189 Visa Checklist

How Long Does it take to get the Subclass 189 Australian Permanent Residency Visa?

You will have 60 calendar days to apply for your Australian Permanent Residency Subclass 189 visa after being invited to lodge your application for Australian PR under Skilled Migration Subclass 189.

Once received, the Department of Home Affairs (aka Immigration Department of Australia) will then commence processing of your Subclass 189 Visa application.

Note:- While the average global processing time for applications is 75% in 8 months, times may vary as the assessment of eligibility occurs on a case-by-case basis and will vary on the applicant’s circumstances.

It is understandable that there are some circumstances where the processing time of your visa applications will be affected, for which these effects may be out of your control. These include:

  • The time for external agencies (namely health and police services) and
  • The Government to conduct checks and provide supporting information.

While the above circumstances are unavoidable, there are some factors which will ensure faster processing time. These include:

  • Lodging a complete application, attached with all of the necessary supporting documents.
  • Being prompt in responding to any additional information that the Department requests.

Fees & Costs related to Subclass 189 Visa

The cost of Skilled Migration – Australian Permanent Resident Subclass 189 Visa is priced from AUD3,670. Please note this is only the flat rate and you may be asked to pay additional costs to cover requirements such as; health assessments, police certificates, and biometrics.

If you wish to add additional family members to your application, an extra fee will be imposed upon your visa application.

If the additional family member is above the age of 18 and has less than Functional English, you will be subjected to a second instalment fee of $4,885, which is payable after you have satisfied all of the visa requirements listed above.

Steps to be taken pre and post applying for Subclass 189 Visa?

Our team of expert 3rd party migration agents and lawyers will work with you at every step of the way, and we have devised a step-by-step process to ensure that your application is processed as fast as possible without any hassles.

Below are the steps you must take before and after applying your Australia Skilled PR Subclass 189 Visa application:-

  • Schedule a free consultation with our 3rd part extended team of expert migration agents and lawyers, where they will assess and advise you on the best Australian Visa options under various categories such as skilled, business, investment etc that suit you.
  • Conduct an assessment of your English language skills point score. In order to be invited to apply, you will need to score at least 60 points in the Points Test. If you are below this threshold, you will need to sit an International English Language Testing Systems (IELTS) test in Australia, or in your country of origin. At this stage, we will also gather and prepare all of the documentation as well as perform any additional checks that are required to lodge a visa application.
  • Organise a skills assessment within your nominated occupation. This must be performed by the relevant Australian Assessing Authority for your nominated eligible skilled occupation.
  • We will prepare and submit your expression of interest for you through SkillSelect. You will then wait to receive your invitation for applying, from the Department.
  • After receiving your invitation to apply for a Subclass 189 PR Visa from the Department, our 3rd party migration agents, registered with MARA, will then begin preparing your application. You will get 60 days after the invitation to lodge your application. Once the necessary assessments are done, the required paperwork is prepared, and the supporting documentation is gathered, our 3rd party migration agents can then lodge your application in a timely manner. Note:- If you are an onshore applicant you will be granted a bridging visa until your current visa expires. This will entitle you to working rights until the outcome of your Subclass 189 PR Visa is decided.
  • Finally, we will notify you of the outcome. If granted, you will then become a permanent resident and receive the rights as listed below.

Entitlements of the Skilled Independent PR Visa Subclass 189

The Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189 will grant you Permanent Residency in Australia to live here indefinitely. It will allow you and your eligible family members:

  • The right to stay in Australia indefinitely.
  • Work and study rights in Australia.
  • The opportunity to enrol in Medicare – Australia’s scheme for health-related care and expenses.
  • Apply for Australian citizenship once you become eligible.
  • Sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence.
  • Travel to and from Australia for up to five years.

Subclass 189 Visa FAQs

My Subclass 189 visa was refused, what can I do?

If your Subclass 189 visa has been refused, then our 3rd party migration agents and lawyers can review your refusal and from there onwards, they will be able to guide you to further options that may be available to you such as; ministerial intervention.

Can I switch my 457 visa to a 189 visa?

Yes, it is possible to change your Subclass 457 visa to a Subclass 189 visa. Having worked in Australia, you will receive additional points towards your skill assessment. However, additional criteria may apply and a subclass 189 visa is not available to all 457 visa holders.

Does a subclass 189 visa require a medical examination?

It is a mandatory requirement for you to undergo a medical examination when applying for a subclass 189 Australian Permanent Residency Migration Visa. You will also be required to pay a fee which covers the cost of the examination.

The results of the medical examination will be valid for one year, however, due to the potential delay in processing times, it is recommended that you undergo a medical examination prior to lodging your application.

How many points do I need for a subclass 189 visa?

To be invited to apply for this visa you will need to have a qualifying score of at least 60 in the Points Test.

Can family members be included on a subclass 189 visa application?

The Skilled Independent visa allows you to add; spouses, de-facto partners, same-sex partners, dependent children and other dependent family members, such as parents who live with you and are financially dependent, to your visa application.

Avatar for Christie McEnzie

By Christie McEnzie

At we provide up-to-date news on all things related to migrating, studying, working, visiting and settling in Australia and New Zealand through our website, blog, social media accounts, handles, pages, forums, notifications; through our community forums, and through our email updates.

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