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Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) (Points-Tested) Stream


This stream is for skilled workers who have not been sponsored by an employer or a family member, or who have not been nominated by a state or territory government. As a permanent resident, you can live and work in Australia.

You must submit an expression of interest for the Skilled Independent (Points-tested) stream.

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


  • Having a job on the 189 occupation list that is relevant (MLTSSL).
  • Assessment of the occupation’s skill set.
  • Submit an Expression of Interest and you will be invited to apply.
  • Attain a passing score of 65 points (as of 1 July 2018).
  • You must be between the ages of 18 and 44.
  • Proficiency in English language.
  • Be invited to submit an application.
  • Comply with all health and character criteria.

The process

Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) via SkillSelect with details of your nominated occupation, abilities, and qualifications. SkillSelect will assign you a points score and compare you to other potential migrants. There is more information on EOIs, including invitation rounds and occupancy ceilings, accessible.

You will be invited to apply for a visa if your ranking is high enough and there are openings in your chosen occupation.

There is a 60-day grace period for those who have been invited to apply for a visa.


If your occupation isn’t on the list of qualified occupations, you won’t qualify.

An assessment of your abilities and qualifications is required.

Points score

You must be able to meet the points requirement specified in your invitation letter. This score will be 65 points or higher (as of July 1, 2018).

The information in your EOI is used to calculate the score for your invitation letter.

When you are invited to apply for the visa, you must be able to meet the points score eligibility.

Check to see how many points you might receive.

In order to apply for a visa, you must submit a letter of intent (LOI). Your EOI will be compared to those of other applicants and you may be invited to apply for the visa (your EOI will stay in the pool for up to 2 years). To submit an EOI, there is no expense associated with doing so.

The points table

Calculate your test score by using the points table.

Points information (check if you can claim points for)

  • Language proficiency in English
  • Skilled Employment
  • Qualifications
  • Australian educational requirements
  • Specialist education is required.
  • Partner Points
  • Other Factors

Can i apply in Australia or overseas?

When you file your Expression Of Interest, you can be in or out of Australia. When applying for a Subclass 189 Skilled Independent Visa, you might be in Australia or abroad. To lodge from within Australia, you must have a substantive visa or a Bridging A, B, or C visa. If you apply from within Australia, you will be granted a bridging visa, allowing you to remain in the country while your visa application is being processed. If your current visa is refused or terminated, you may be ineligible to apply for the 189 visa while in Australia.

Assessing authorities

Identify the assessing authority that appears next to your nominated occupation in the applicable list of qualifying skilled vocations, and contact them.


When you apply for the visa and when the decision is issued, you can be in or out of Australia.

What you can do with a 189 visa

As the name implies, this visa is a permanent visa. It allows you to:

  • Stay in Australia for the rest of your life
  • To work in Australia and study there
  • Enroll in Medicare, Australia’s health insurance programme
  • Permanent residence by sponsoring qualifying relatives
  • For five years, travel to and from Australia
  • If you’re eligible, apply for Australian citizenship.

How long the visa lasts

This is a permanent visa, which means it is valid for the rest of your life.

As soon as it’s granted, the visa begins.


If you want to include your partner and your child or stepchild, you can do so.

It is the same for your family members who also receive a visa.

Your obligations

As well as your family members, you must abide by Australian laws and your visa requirements in order to remain in Australia.

Your visa requirements can be found on VEVO.


After the visa is issued, you have five years to travel in and out of Australia as often as you wish.

When it comes to administering general skilled visa applications, SeekVisa has a lot of experience and can help you in:

  • Acquiring an assessment of your skills.
  • Preparing your relative’s application for sponsorship.
  • Your visa application will be lodged and monitored.
  • Interaction with skills assessment authority and the Department of Immigration until grant is issued.
  • Your family’s and your own bridging visa.

To receive a personalised eligibility assessment of your Skilled independent Subclass 189 visa application, Book An Appointment with us.

189 vs GTI:

Subclass 189 Global Talent
Expression of Interest YES YES
Points Tested YES NO
Skills Assessment YES NO
English Requirement Competent Functional (or payment of 2nd VAC)
Occupation List MLTSSL NO
Target Sectors NO YES
Age Limit 45 55 (unless exceptional value to Australia)
Australian Nominator NO YES
Visa Application Charge (main applicant) $4,045 $4,110
2020-21 Planned Levels 6,500 15,000