Project Description

Skilled independent visa (Subclass 189)

Visa 189, is one of the most common way for skilled individuals and families to migrate to Australia. GSM is a points-based visa system where applicants receive points for their age, English language ability, qualifications, work experience and many other areas as listed bottom of the page.

If you are a New Zealand citizen you may be eligible to apply for the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) (New Zealand) stream.

The Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) is a point-based visa designed to select a certain set of overseas skilled people required in different states of Australia.

It allows skilled workers to move and live in Australia without the need of having a sponsorship of a family member or nomination by the state or territory government.


Key requirements for Skilled independent visa (Subclass 189) are:

To be eligible you need:

to be 44 years old or younger at the time of invitation to apply
have a minimum points score of 65 or higher
have Competent English (IELTS +6 in each band) or higher (especially if you need extra points, points are only given for English scores IELTS +7 in each or equivalent)
meet the health and character requirements

To apply for a Subclass 189 visa you need to:
First lodge an expression of interest (EOI) and be invited to apply
Once you receive an invitation to apply you have 60 days to lodge a valid application.

Points tested stream

Points-tested stream lets invited workers with skills we need live and work permanently anywhere in Australia.

New Zealand stream

This visa lets eligible New Zealand citizens to Australia, live and work in Australia permanently.

  • You must hold a New Zealand Special Category (subclass 444) visa
  • You must have lived in Australia for at least the last 5 years
  • You must have started living here on or before 19 February 2016

189 visa requirements:

• You don’t need a sponsor or nominator
• You must be invited to apply
• You must be under 45 to be invited
• have an occupation on the relevant skilled occupation list
• have a suitable skills assessment for the occupation
• satisfy the points test
• At the time of invitation, you must have at least competent English

  • have a relevant occupation on the 189 occupation list (MLTSSL)
  • have a suitable skills assessment for the occupation
  • Lodge an EOI and be invited to apply
  • meet the points test pass mark of 65 points (as of 1 July 2018)
  • Be aged between 18 and 44 inclusive
  • have Competent English
  • be invited to apply.
  • Meet health and character requirements

This is a points-tested visa.
When you submit your EOI in SkillSelect you will be given an indicative points score based on the claims you have made. If you do not obtain a score of 65 points you will not be invited to apply for this visa.
If we do invite you to apply for the visa, your invitation will state the number of points that you must score when we assess your application for grant of the visa (this score may be higher than 65 points, depending on your claims in the EOI).
When you lodge your application you must provide evidence supporting your claims

It is a permanent visa. It means you may stay in Australia permanently.

Note:  The five year travel restriction only prevents re-entry into Australia after the expiry of the five year period, after which time (in order to re-enter Australia), a Resident Return visa or other suitable visa will need to be obtained. It does not affect holders of this visa who are inside Australia (who are allowed to remain indefinitely).

When your 189 visa is granted, you can:

  • stay in Australia indefinitely
  • work and study in Australia (without restriction)
  • travel to and from Australia for five years from the date the visa is granted
  • enrol in Medicare (Australia’s universal health care scheme)
  • apply for Australian citizenship (subject to eligibility)
  • sponsor eligible relatives for a variety of temporary and permanent Australian visas

When you are looking to obtain 189 visa, this is a process you will have to go through

Step 1: Get a skills assessment and pass English test.

Skills recognition is one of the most important steps, where your work experience and qualifications will be tested as if suitable for Australian standards.

Step 2: Submit an expression of interest (EOI) via Skill Select

Lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) to register your interest in skilled migration with the Department of Home Affairs through SkillSelect. The EOI is not a visa application and is only an indication that you will like to be considered for a skilled visa.

Step 3: Lodge application

You may include family in your 189 visa application.

  • include family members in your application when you apply
  • add family members to your application after you apply but before we decide on your visa

For 189 visa, your family members are:

  • your partner
  • your dependent child or stepchild
  • your partner’s dependent child or stepchild
  • the dependent child or stepchild of your or your partner’s dependent child or stepchild

You can include members of the family unit in your application if they currently hold an eligible visa. You must include each family member who is eligible to apply for this visa at the time you lodge your application.  You can’t add family members after you have submitted your application.

You can include family members who no longer meet the standard definition of member of the family unit provided they hold an eligible visa that was granted on the basis that they were a member of your family unit. This provision would apply, for example, if you want to include a child in your application who has turned 23 years of age since they were granted an eligible visa

Family members who apply for the visa with you must meet our health and character requirements.

Family members who do not apply for the visa with you might also have to meet the requirements.

You can be in or outside Australia​ when you are loading your 189 visa application. Application lodged in Australia, will give you a bridging visa. Keep in mind EOI is not an application. To get bridging visa you must be invited and apply for visa application.

How much cost visa to Australia

Second instalment

You will need to pay an extra charge called a second instalment for any family member aged 18 years or older who:

  • applies for the visa with you, and
  • has less than Functional English

If you need to pay the second instalment for a family member, they will be eligible for English