Today, I will be talking about the general requirements for 189 visa, probably the most beneficial visa subclass with all the benefits of permanent residency without any limitations. I will try to cover main features, eligibility requirements, the process, occupations and points score applicable to this visa subclass.
The Skilled Independent visa, also otherwise known as subclass 189 visa, is a permanent skilled visa that allows workers with skills to live and work permanently anywhere in Australia. It is based on points-test system and does not require any sponsorship by Australian state/territory governments or relatives in Australia.
There are 2 streams available under this visa:
1. Points tested stream
And the other stream is:
2. New Zealand stream – for NZ citizens
But, today, I will be discussing about the points-tested stream in more-depth, and will try to address issues that are most commonly asked by our clients and registered migration agents and lawyers in migration law.
In brief, the key requirements are:
• Lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) and be invited to apply
• Your occupation must be on a Medium to Long Term Skills List (MLTSSL)
• Have positive skills assessment in your nominated occupation
• Meet the points test pass mark of 65 points or more
• Have competent English (i.e. IELTS score of 6 or PTE score of 50 in each of the four components of the test
– Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening OR an equivalent score in any other official English tests such
as Cambridge Advanced English, Occupational English Test and TOEFL)
• Meet health and character requirements
• Not have had a visa cancelled or a previous visa application refused since your last substantive visa you
held, if you are in Australia
So, once you meet the eligibility requirements, the process is that:
1. Apply for your skills assessment
2. Submit an Expression of Interest
3. Wait for an invitation to apply for the visa
4. Gather your documents
5. Apply for the visa within 60 days of invitation
The important thing is that:
• You must be able to meet the minimum points test mark of 65 at the time you are invited to apply for this
• So, how are these points calculated?
• The main factors from where you can score most points up to maximum of 90 points, though difficult, – such
as your age, work experience in the nominated occupation, English language skills and level of your
• However, it is important to be aware that obtaining a pass mark of ‘65’ does not guarantee an invitation to
apply for a visa. When you submit your EOI, you will be ranked against other applicants and the invitation
to apply for the visa is often granted to the highest ranked clients by points score in a particular
invitation round, which generally happens every month. For each round, quota for invitations is pre-set by
• As per the latest invitation round as of 13 May 2019, those with a minimum point’s score of 80 were invited
to apply for this visa. This is just an indicative score at the moment to help you prepare for this visa as
this score may vary from round to round of invitations to apply.
• So realistically speaking, youwill require a score between 80 and 90 points to expect an invitation to
• So, now the question is how you can possibly increase your score?
Currently, there are various ways to increase the score, of which includes:
• Scoring a higher score for English language requirement, up to 20 points
• ¬Meeting the Australian Study Requirement. This is an important issue as it needs clarity and I will be
talking about this separately.
• Being accredited in a community language
• Partner skills
• Completion of Professional Year in Australia, and
• Australian work experience may also help in increasing the overall score.
Please also note that from16th November 2019, there will be changes to the points test system which will benefit both singles and those who have a skilled spouse, such as:
• more points for having a skilled spouse or de facto partner (an increase from current 5 to 10 points);
• More points for having certain STEM qualifications(i.e. 10 points). STEM means qualifications in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
• points for applicants who do not have a spouse or de facto partner (10 points); and
• Additionalpoints for applicants with a spouse or de facto partner who have competent English (5 points).
Call to Action
Whilst Australian migration has become more challenging, complex and fast-changing, there are still viable pathways for many applicants. If you are determined to relocate to Australia to live permanently, then it’s important you seek professional and trusted advice. At Migration Centre of Australia, our staff are well-trained to handle highly complex matters in various visas including the 189 visa. We have helped hundreds of clients and migration agents. Call our Sydney office at 02 4626 1002 for a quick professional advice or set up initial consultation personally with me. You can also write to us at Thank you.