The 189 Visa (Skilled Independent Visa) is for people who come to Australia to work without being sponsored by a businesses, state or person. The best part of this visa is that you can work and live anywhere permanently in Australia.
With 43,990 visas planned in total by the Government on being approved in 2017-2018 for the 189 subclass, there are many applicants but not as many winners.
So how do you go about getting this visa?
Step 1 – Research and Requirements for Visa Subclass 189
Doing your research for this visa is essential to understanding what you need to successfully apply.
For research, we recommend looking at the Australian Governments Department of Home Affairs for this visa subclass and follow their instructions religiously to ensure that everything submitted is to the Governments satisfaction. If you need help with your application for this visa, you can also contact us any time. We’re happy to help you.
Are you eligible to apply for this visa? To make sure that you fit the requirements, confirm that you:
- Have a skill that is on the eligible occupations list
- Ensure that you have at least 65 points (Calculate your points)
- That you are applying independently (do not need a sponsor or partner etc.)
- You are below the age of 45 years
- You have a genuine intent to work in Australia and live there permanently
- You have competent here
- You meet the Health requirements
- You have good Character
- You have no debts to the Australian Government
- You have no previous cancelled or refused visas while in Australia (in some instances)
- If you do, please contact us below for further information.
Step 2 – Financial funds for Subclass 189 Visa
All costs are estimated In Australian dollars (costs may vary per person/country/circumstances)
English test (multiple tests accepted) = AUD $330 – $363
Health test (medical exam) = AUD $222.50 – $265.70
Character test (police check) = AUD $42.00
EOI application = free!
Visa Application = AUD $3,670
Step 3 – Calculate your points score for the 189 Visa
The point system is a way for the Australian government to assess your eligibility for the 189 visa, it’s also a way you can check if you are eligible as well before submitting your Expression of Interest (EOI). You will need to make up a minimum of 60 points, though sometimes the Government will require more depending on your circumstances.
Step 4 – 189 Visa and the Skills Assessment
After you have chosen your occupation from the list, you must make sure you are correctly qualified for the position you’ve chosen.
When applying for a skilled position, the Government needs to know that your skills are up to the standard that Australia requires. In doing so, they will need to assess your skills to see if your skills are suitable for the occupation you are entering to work in. You must have the results of your skills test before submitting your EOI.
See who can assess your skills by contacting the relevant assessing authority, In most cases, you will be required to have a form of qualification in your field of work that is of an Australian standard and usually a minimum amount of 2 years experience.
If you do not have an Australian recognised qualification, you might want to consider recognition of prior learning to gain one.
Step 5 – English Test Score for your 189 Visa
Another necessary criteria to completing the requirements for the 189 visa is to provide proof that you have “competent English”. Below is a table that shows you how the government defines “competent English” by English Test and their respective scores.
Step 6 – Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI)
When you have gathered all the necessary documents required by the Government (download our Ultimate Checklist for the 189 Visa here), then you can submit your EOI through SkillSelect.
Creating an account on SkillSelect is free and will take you through a step by step process in submitting your request, you can update your EOI after you have submitted it which is useful when you are waiting on some documentation or your situation has changed (example: you got married, had a baby etc.).
Make sure you have the key elements included in your EOI such as
- Skill assessment results
- Your points (at least 65 points)
- The results of your IELTS exam (at least a score of 6 overall)
Step 7 – Wait for the reply of your EOI
If you submit an EOI in Australia and your current visa is about to expire, you must apply for another visa to stay in Australia. You are not eligible for a bridging visa because the EOI is not a visa application. You are only eligible for a bridging visa after you are invited and apply for this visa.
The invitation process which invites applicants to apply for the visa is conducted in scheduled rounds and happens twice a month check and see when your invitation round will next be here.
Step 8 – Apply for the visa
So you have been sent an invitation now from the Government to apply for this visa? Great!
Make sure that you apply within 60 days of receiving your invitation, as otherwise your invitation will be considered expired, and you will have to go through another process.
You can lodge your visa application on the SkillSelect site using the link that is provided in your letter of invitation, make sure you have the required documents prepared by downloading our checklist here.
Step 9 – Medical Examination
A necessary requirement for the 189 visa application that you (and any dependants) will need to provide are current medical exam results from a clinic recognised or listed by the Australian immigration department, the medical centre will then send your results straight to the immigration department where they will assess them.
Bupa Medical Visa Services – recommended if you are in Australia
See panel of physicians – recommended if you are outside Australia
Undertaking health checks after you lodge your application can cause delays so we recommend getting it done before you submit your visa application.
Step 10 – Wait for your 189 visa decision
Waiting to hear about your visa application results can be lengthy, but the more documentation you add the quicker the process will be, the average waiting time is best described in the table below.
You can keep up to date with the process by contacting the case officer (person handling your application in the Government) or by logging into your SkillSelect account online. If you wish to hire a migration agent for your visa application, they will be contacting the Department of Home Affairs on your behalf and they will let you know of any changes or request for further information. You won’t need to contact the Department yourself. Contact us below if you wish to find out more about this.
If your visa is approved then you will then have a visa grant letter sent with the details of your initial entry date or the deadline date you must enter the country which will activate your permanent residency. You only need to stay a few days if need be just to activate your residency and complete the visa grant letter requirements, and then you can come back and organize the big move!