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4750 invitations issued - Applicant's minimum score is now 461 points in the latest draw held on 7th Jan 2021 for Canadian immigration     ||     30 invitations issued - Applicants needed to score at least 65 points to qualify for skilled independent category in the latest draw held on 21st October 2020 for Australian immigration

Australia Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)

To be able to lodge a valid application for this visa you need to first submit an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect. You can do this in or outside Australia.

To apply for this visa you must:

  • be invited to apply;
  • be younger than 45 years of age when you are invited to apply;
  • nominate an occupation that matches your skills and qualifications and is on the relevant Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL);
  • have your skills assessed by the relevant assessing authority as suitable for your nominated occupation;
  • have at least competent English;
  • score at least 65 on the Points Test; AND
  • meet the health and character requirements.
Australian Skilled Visa Process

The Skilled – Independent Visa (subclass 189) is based on a 3 stage application process.

  • Stage 1 

    The first stage of the application process involves completing a skills assessment with the relevant government body. Your skills assessment enables the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) to judge if you have the required level of skill in your chosen occupation to practice in Australia.

  • Stage 2 

    Once you have received a positive skills assessment, you will need to submit an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect. You can do this in or outside Australia.

  • Stage 3

    Once you have been issued an Invitation To Apply (ITA), you can continue to the DIBP stage of the application, where you can submit your final, complete application to be approved by DIBP so your visa can be granted. 

Priority processing arrangements apply to this visa. They determine the order in which the department considers applications regardless of when they have been lodged.

Australian Skilled Visa Conditions

A successful applicant is given a 5 year multiple entry visa to live and work in Australia. You only need to live in Australia for 2 of the 5 years to have the visa reissued for a further 5 years. Alternatively, you can spend 4 consecutive years in Australia and be eligible for citizenship.

If you choose not to gain citizenship, however, you must apply for a Resident Return Visa before the original one expires in order to travel to and from Australia. To qualify for this you must demonstrate that you have spent 2 years lawfully living in Australia or that you have significant personal, cultural or business ties to Australia.

Complete an Online Assessment to determine if you can qualify for an Australian Skilled – Independent Visa (subclass 189) as a highly skilled migrant.

The priority processing arrangements enable the department to consider and finalise visa applications in an order of priority that the Minister considers appropriate.

Current Australian Visa Processing Priorities 

Processing Priority Group Group Criteria Processing timeframe
Priority Group 1 Applications from people who are employer sponsored under the Regional Skilled Migration Scheme (RSMS) program or who have applied for a Skilled – Regional (subclass 887) visa. Approx. 5 – 8 months.
Priority Group 2 Applications from people who are applying under the Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS) program. Approx. 5 – 8 months.
Priority Group 3 Applications from people who are nominated by a state or territory government agency for an occupation specified on that agency’s State Migration Plan under visa subclasses 190 and 489. Approx. 6 months.
Priority Group 4 Applications from people who have nominated an occupation on the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) – Schedule 1 in effect since 1 July 2017 Approx. 12 months.
Priority Group 5 All other applications are to be processed in the order in which they are received. Assessment will commence when all cases in priority groups 1-4 are finalised.

The Minister can set priority processing arrangements for certain skilled migration visas. Current arrangements continue to give regional employer sponsored visas the highest processing priority.

Applications for visa subclasses 186, 187, 189, 190, or 489 which are lodged through SkillSelect will be given the highest priority within each priority processing group.

The changes to priority processing arrangements address the needs of industry by targeting skills in demand across a number of sectors, while ensuring that the Skilled Migration Programme is responsive to the current economic climate and the needs of the Australian economy. Priority processing arrangements are subject to changes in response to Australia’s economic situation and do not change visa eligibility criteria.

Priority processing arrangements apply to current applications, including those in the final stages of processing. Departmental case officers must follow the direction made by the minister about priority processing and cannot process applications outside of the set order. Refunds of costs incurred during processing are not available for delays in processing. Applicants are not entitled to a refund of their Visa Application Charge (VAC) or compensation for other costs incurred in making an application.

If you are intrested to immigrate to Australia, fill out our online assessment form.

Start Online Assessment