Skilled Independent, Subclass 189

The Skilled Independent visa, subclass 189 is for skilled workers who are:

  • Aged under 45 for the points tested stream (no age limit applies for the New Zealand stream), and
  • Who are not sponsored by an employer or family member, and
  • Who are not nominated by a State or Territory Government.

A subclass 189 visa allows the visa holder to live and work in Australia as a permanent resident.

Key requirements when considering the subclass 189 points tested visa pathway are that you must:

  • Have an occupation that appears on the Australian Department of Immigration’s list of eligible skilled occupations.
  • Obtain a migration skills assessment {link to Migration Skills Assessments} from the independent assessing body in Australia that is given the authority by the Department of Immigration to assess your nominated occupation.
  • Demonstrate a minimum level of English language competency. For those with certain passports (notably the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Canada, the US, or New Zealand) there is an assumption that English language is adequate, but for those without a passport from one of these countries an English language test will need to be attended and a satisfactory result achieved. It should be noted that a requirement to have English language competency is applied by certain migration skills assessment bodies as well as by the Department of Immigration to the visa application – and that the assessing body’s competency requirement can be higher than for the visa application.
  • Secure at least 65 points (from the 1st of July, 2018) under the skilled visa points test.
  • Lodge an Expression of Interest with the Department of Immigration in Australia. This is not a visa application, but – as its name implies – is an expression on the part of the intending migrant of a wish to migrate to Australia.
  • Accept an invitation from the Department of Immigration to lodge a visa application, and lodge documentation to support the details provided in the Expression of Interest.

Under the New Zealand stream of subclass 189 applicants must:

  • Hold a Special Category Visa (SCV), subclass 444.   The SCV is granted automatically to New Zealand citizens when they enter Australia.
  • Have been  usually resident in Australia for a continuous period of five years immediately prior to lodging the visa application, and have commenced that period of usual residence in Australia on or before the 19th of February, 2016.
  • Save for a limited number of circumstances, have a taxable income in Australia at or above an income threshold for each income year in the four years prior to lodging the visa application.  The income threshold for tax years 2013/14 to 2016/17 inclusive has been A$53,900.

Under the points tested stream it should be noted that the Australian Department of Immigration issues invitations to individuals who have lodged Expressions of Interest based on:

  • Points claimed in the EoI, and
  • The date the EoI was lodged where points claimed are equal.

In addition, there is no guarantee that an Expression of Interest will progress to a visa invitation.

Where points are overclaimed in an EoI – claims will be verified by a Department of Immigration case officer when the application progresses to an invitation and requested documents are provided – there is a significant risk of the application being refused with the loss of monies paid to the Department of Immigration in respect of their Visa Application Charges.

An issue which causes particular concern in this regard is the number of years claimed for skilled work experience.

Because of these risks many individuals who are applying for a visa under subclass 189 decide they should appoint an experienced firm of migration advisors.

GM Skilled – a division of Go Matilda Visas – is your ideal partner for guidance and advice on a skilled visa strategy.

We work with our clients on the basis of fixed fees, and a wish to have a long term relationship based on our expertise, trust and a quality service.

If you would like help with an Australian skilled visa application under subclass 189 please contact your nearest GM Skilled office or complete the form on this page for a no obligation free initial discussion.

We look forward to hearing from you.