Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)

Australia Visa Overview

When it comes to moving to Australia, one of the most confusing aspects is the vast myriad of visa options you can choose as a basis for your Australia Visa application. One of these visa options is the Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) and to assist our visitors we have provided a high-level summary of this visa class below.

Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) Overview

The Skilled Independent (Permanent) (Class SI) Subclass 189 visa is a permanent resident visa for points-tested skilled workers who want to work and live in Australia.


  • You may be in or outside Australia to lodge a valid visa application.
  • This visa allows you to work, study and live in Australia.
  • There are 2 different visa streams: Points-tested and New Zealand.
  • This is a Permanent resident visa and allows you to stay in Australia indefinitely.

Key Eligibility requirements – Points-tested stream

  • You must be under 45 years of age.
  • You must have a skilled occupation on the relevant Medium and Long Term Strategic Skilled List (MLTSSL).
  • You must be able to demonstrate ‘Competent English’.
  • You must have a positive skills assessment from the relevant skills assessing authority in relation to your nominated occupation.
  • You must obtain the minimum score on the Points Test at the time of invitation to apply for the visa.
  • You must obtain an invitation to apply for the visa. To be invited you will need to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) in SkillSelect and meet the required points test on a competitive basis.
  • You must satisfy certain Public Interest criteria and Special Return criteria.
  • You must meet health and character requirements.

Key Eligibility requirements – New Zealand stream

  • You must hold a Subclass 444 (Special Category) visa.
  • You must have been a usual resident in Australia for a continuous period of at least 5 years immediately before the date of the application. This continuous period of usual residence must have started on or before 19 February 2016.
  • Unless you are exempt, you must demonstrate that for the 4 most recently completed income years, your taxable income is not less than the minimum amount prescribed by the Minister.
  • You must satisfy certain Public Interest criteria and Special Return criteria.
  • You must meet health and character requirements.

Post in our Forums if you would like to know more about this visa or have questions about making your own move Down Under.

Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) – Is this Visa type for you?

If you are considering applying for a Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) we would love to hear from you. Tell us about your journey in our comments below. If you have any questions we encourage you to post these in our forums. You can access our community forums by Clicking Here.

Please note this is only a high-level summary of the Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) visa

The above is not an exhaustive list of requirements for the Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189). This content on this page is provided for Getting Down Under visitors as general information purposes only, it is not immigration advice and must not be construed as such. While due care has been taken to ensure that the content is kept-up-to-date and correct, the accuracy of the information cannot be guarantee due to the frequent changes in migration law. Please view our Disclaimer for more information. Post Last Updated: 2020-10-12 10:35:48

13 thoughts on “Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)

  1. Denise says:

    Hi Mark, we want to imigrate un 2022, given the covid situation, how are visas looking at the moment? I’ve spoken to a few immigration companies, some are congratulating us on being eligible to start the 189 application, others are saying that they are not taking any new clients until there is more clarity regarding the covid situation ? Not sure what the story is? I’m sceptical of the company saying they can start the application when others are point blank saying no, not due to eligibilty, just due to covid, uncertainty etc ? Any advise please ?

      • Denise says:

        Hi Mark, thanks for the reply. I would be applying through my husband. He’s a carpenter. We also have 2 kids age 2 and 4. In general are visas still being issued ? Thanks a mil

  2. Rodney Mes says:

    Hello Mark,

    How about those once for seasonal work like fruit picking jobs and etc..?

    How do they go about in applying for seasonal work and visa?

    Appreciate your reply.

  3. Hossam says:

    Dear Mark,
    I hope you are doing well .
    We are a Syrian family, we try to immigration to Australia. but unfortunately we have a problem, because we are still living in Syria we cannot prove our English language skills because we don’t have a valid language test results. We can’t do IELTS or TOEFL test in Syria as there are no competent authorities or organizations that grant an English language test certificate. In addition to that we can’t do the IELTS or TOEFL test in the countries surrounding us, because this countries refuses to grant us permission to enter its lands. Knowing that My wife speak English fluently, as she hold a BA in English Language Literature from Damascus University, and she is working as an English teacher, and I speak English fluently too.
    P.S : you have previously mentioned in an article that ” You can also demonstrate that you have functional English abilities by providing evidence of one of the following: Completion of a degree, higher degree, diploma or trade certificate that required at least two years of study in English medium, so is my wife Bachelor’s degree in English Language Arts that she obtained from Damascus university is a suitable evidence to solve our problem?
    Kindly, advise us.

    • Mark says:

      Hello there and thanks for your question.

      Just to double check, there is no where in Syria to take the test, as part of my research to help answer your question, i happened upon this website which would suggest there are quote a few places where the test can be taken? (Scroll down the page for the list of cities).

      With regards to my commentary around demonstrating functional English by completion of a degree requiring Study in an English Medium. This refers to the way in which the degree was taught rather than the subject. If, during the course of your wife’s degree, all teachings and instructions were in English, then this could be used however, it may be difficult to prove as I would imagine, English is not the native language used to teach.

      If the website link I provided isn’t accurate, then the British Council (who run IELTS) has a Syrian branch that can be contacted via their webform here.

      There website suggests they will be able to provide feedback within a few days so if this doesn’t help, hopefully the British Council in Syria can assist.

      Please let us know how you get on as your question (and experience) may help others seeking similar assistance or advice in the future.

      Best wishes


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