Subclass 189 - Skilled Independent visa

Points-tested stream

About this visa

The Australian Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) is a permanent residency visa for skilled workers not sponsored by an employer, a state, or a family member. Applicants must be under 45, have a positive skill assessment in an occupation on the Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List, and demonstrate competent English. A minimum score of 65 points on the skilled points test is required. The application process involves submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) and receiving an invitation to apply. The visa allows holders to live and work in Australia indefinitely, and includes family members, subject to certain conditions.


  • Age
    Applicants must be under 45 years of age at the time of receiving an invitation.
  • Points Test
    A minimum score of 65 points on the skilled points test.
  • Skills Assessment
    Positive skills assessment in an occupation listed on the Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).
  • English Proficiency
    Must demonstrate competent English through approved tests or holding a passport from certain English-speaking countries.
  • Health and Character
    Fulfill health and character requirements.
  • Expression of Interest (EOI)
    Submission of an EOI and receiving an invitation to appl.


Step 1

Submit the EOI

Through the SkillSelect online system, including information about qualifications, work experience, language proficiency, etc.

Step 2

Receive an Invitation

After submitting the EOI, it will be ranked based on the points score, and the applicant may receive an invitation to apply.

Step 3

Visa Application

Applicants have 60 days to submit a visa application after receiving an invitation​​.


Visa Application Fee
Primary Applicant: AUD $4,640
Secondary Applicants  (18 and over) : AUD $2,320
Dependent Children (under 18) : AUD $1,160

The visa fee is subject to the latest pricing set by the Australian Department of Home Affairs.

Processing time

50% processed in 3 months
90% processed in 11 months

The Australian Department of Home Affairs handles visa applications, and it’s essential to provide all required documents with your application. Please note that incomplete applications may result in longer processing times than the estimated duration. Additionally, processing times are subject to change and should be used as a general reference only.


  • Work for Australian companies.
  • Pursue further studies or enroll in courses.
  • Sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residency in Australia.
  • Apply for permanent residence in Australia if you meet the eligibility criteria.
  • Access Medicare, Australia’s public healthcare scheme.
  • Enjoy multiple entries to and exits from Australia for a period of up to five years.
  • Become eligible to apply for Australian Citizenship.

Stay Period

This is a permanent visa, allowing you to reside in Australia indefinitely. The visa includes a travel component that remains valid for five years from the date of visa grant.

You attain permanent resident status on the day when:

  • The visa is granted if you are in Australia.
  • You enter Australia on this visa if you are outside the country.

For the purpose of Australian citizenship eligibility, your permanent residency commences on the day:

  • The visa is granted if you are in Australia.
  • You arrive in Australia on this visa if you are currently outside the country.


The Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) allows you to include the following family members in your visa application:

  1. Spouse or Partner: This includes your legally married spouse or de facto partner (opposite-sex or same-sex).
  2. Dependent Children: You can include your dependent children in the application. Dependent children are generally unmarried and under the age of 18. In some cases, dependent children over 18 but financially dependent on you may also be eligible.
  3. Other Dependent Relatives: In certain circumstances, other dependent relatives can be included in the application, such as elderly parents or financially dependent siblings. However, specific requirements and limitations may apply.

It’s important to note that all family members included in the application must meet the eligibility criteria and provide the necessary documentation to support their inclusion. Additionally, each family member must be listed in the visa application form, and their details and relationship to the primary applicant must be accurately declared.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the key eligibility criteria for the Subclass 189 Visa? 
A: Applicants must be under 45 years, score at least 65 points, have a positive skills assessment in an occupation listed in the MLTSSL, demonstrate competent English, meet health and character requirements, and be invited to apply after submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI).

Q: How can I check if my occupation is eligible for Subclass 189 Visa?
A: Your occupation needs to be on the Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), which is regularly updated by the Australian Government to reflect the demand for skilled workers.

Q: What is the minimum points score for Subclass 189 Visa?
A: While the minimum required points are 65, higher points may be necessary for certain occupations due to competition and application ceilings.

Q: What is the cost of the Subclass 189 Visa?
A: The Visa Application Charge is approximately AUD 4,640, with additional fees for each accompanying family member.

Q: How do I apply for the Subclass 189 Visa?
A: The process involves submitting an EOI through SkillSelect, receiving an invitation, and applying for the visa within 60 days of the invitation.

Q: What is the processing time for the Subclass 189 Visa?
A: It typically takes 2-3 months, but this can vary based on individual circumstances and application complexity.

Q: How do I prove my English proficiency for this visa?
A: You must demonstrate at least Competent English, with additional points awarded for Proficient or Superior English levels.

Q: Can my family join me on a Subclass 189 Visa?
A: Yes, you can include your spouse/partner and children in your application. All must meet health and character requirements.

Q: Is 80 Points Sufficient for a 189 Visa?
Yes, having 80 points is more than enough to qualify for a 189 visa. The minimum requirement to apply for a Skilled Independent Visa is 65 points. However, if you score 80 points or more, it will greatly enhance your chances of success.

Q: How Many Points Are Required for a 189 Visa?
To be eligible for a 189 visa, you must achieve a minimum score of 65 points in the points test. Additionally, you need to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect. The points you are awarded in your EOI will be indicative of your eligibility. If you fail to reach the 65-point threshold, the Department of Home Affairs will not extend an invitation to apply for a 189 visa.

Q: What Is a 189 Visa in Australia?
A Skilled Independent Visa 189 is designed for highly skilled workers who are invited to apply by the Department of Home Affairs. This visa category is available to New Zealand citizens and eligible passport holders from Hong Kong or British National Overseas status.

The 189 visa is a permanent visa, granting you the privilege to live, study, and work in Australia indefinitely.