The Skilled visa program allows people with qualifications and work experience in demand in Australia to migrate to Australia permanently.

There are a number of different kinds of Skilled visa including the permanent Subclass 189 visa.

To be eligible for a Subclass 189 visa visa you need to be over 18 and under 45 years old, have reasonable English, be accredited in an occupation on the Medium and Long Term Occupations List, pass the visa points test, and be invited to apply for the visa under SkillSelect.

The SkillSelect system allows the Australian Government to manage who can apply for a visa. Under SkillSelect, the Australian Government periodically invites people to apply for a Subclass 189 visa. The higher the points you have on the visa points test, the more likely you are to be invited to apply. If you are not invited to apply for a Subclass 189 visa you could consider applying for a state nominated visa.

With a Subclass 189 visa you and your family are entitled to work in any occupation in any part of Australia, study at Australian schools and universities, access public hospitals and free health services, buy a house, travel between Australia and your country, sponsor family members to move to Australia, and access the social security system including Child support payments and the new home buyer’s scheme.

After living in Australia for four years you can apply for Australian citizenship and a passport. You will not have to give up your original citizenship but can become a dual citizen of Australia and your country. The entitlements reflect the genuine desire on the part of the Australian Government to open the full benefits of citizenship to those who choose to migrate to Australia.

Skilled Independent visa (Subclass 189)

The Subclass 189 visa is a points-tested permanent visa for skilled workers who have an occupation on the Medium and Long Term Occupations List and who are not sponsored by an Australian employer, family member or nominated by a state or territory government.

With this visa, you can

  • stay in Australia permanently;
  • work and study in Australia;
  • enrol in Australia’s public health care scheme, Medicare;
  • sponsor your relatives to come to Australia;
  • travel to and from Australia for 5 years;
  • apply for Australian citizenship after living in Australia for four years.

You may be able to apply for a Subclass 189 visa if you meet the following requirements:

  • Your occupation is on the Medium and Long Term Occupations list;
  • You must have a suitable skill assessment to show that you have the skills and qualifications to work in your chosen occupation;
  • You must lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) and be invited to apply for this visa;
  • You must score a minimum of 65 points to be invited to apply. Please note that invitations are often issued to applicants with more than 65 points;
  • You must provide evidence of at least competent English;
  • You must be under 45 when you receive an invitation to apply;
  • You must meet the health and character requirements.

Processing times are indicative only and may vary depending on individual circumstances or government policy. The latest processing times published by the Department of Home Affairs are as follows:

  • 75% of applications: 6 months
  • 90% of applications: 17 months

The visa costs AUD$4,115 for the main applicant. There is also a charge for each family member who applies for the visa with you:

  • Partner/spouse or additional applicant 18 years old or older: AUD$2,055
  • Children under 18: AUD$1,030
  • To verify the cost of your visa please use the Visa Pricing Estimator.

    Adults over 18 years old who have less than functional English will need to pay an additional fee for English classes after arriving in Australia. The second instalment charge for family members is AUD$4,885.


    The Visa Pricing Estimator does not include the cost of applying for accreditation, English exams, translations, state nomination, police certificates, health checks, or professional fees associated with making your application.

To discover whether you are eligible for Skilled Independent visa (Subclass 189), we invite you to book a consultation with one of our expert migration lawyers.

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