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Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)

The Skilled Independent visa (Subclass 189) is a permanent work visa for individuals who have the qualifications and skills required to fill Australia's skill shortages.

Skilled Independent visa (Subclass 189) applicants are required to obtain a minimum of 60 points on a point assessment. The assessment is such that applicants are required to be under 50 years of age and be able demonstrate that they have a qualification and/or skills in an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL). Applicants for the Skilled Independent visa (Subclass 189) do not require sponsorship.

Basic Requirements
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has set specific basic requirements that all applicants must meet in order to apply for a visa in the General Skilled Migration program.
There are basic requirements you must meet to apply for this visa. You must:

  • be invited to apply,
  • be younger than 50 years of age when you are invited to apply,
  • nominate an occupation that matches your skills and qualifications and is on the relevant Skilled Occupation List,
  • have your skills assessed by the relevant assessing authority as suitable for your nominated occupation,
  • have at least competent English,
  • score at least 60 on the points test, and
  • meet the health and character requirements.

On 1 July 2012, the skilled migration program switched to a new online system called "SkillSelect" which will require prospective skilled migrants to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). Once an EOI is submitted, these details can be viewed by Australian employers, state and territory governments and by the Australian Government who have the ability to extend an invitation to lodge a visa application.


Successful applicants and holders of an Australian Skilled Independent visa (Subclass 189) become permanent residents of Australia. Australian permanent residents are entitled to live, work and study in Australia on a permanent basis. Additional benefits of Australian permanent residence include access to government-subsidised healthcare (Medicare), certain social security benefits and the ability to apply for Australian citizenship.

The selection factors are summarized as follows:

  • Education: Applicants are awarded up to 15 points.
  • Language Skills: Applicants are awarded up to 20 total points.
  • Work Experience: Applicants are awarded up to 15 points for paid skilled work experience acquired in the last 10 years.
  • Age: Applicants are awarded up to 30 points.
  • Adaptability: Applicants are awarded up to 5 points.