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Expertise

189 Visa: Skilled Independent Visa

Please note that the information provided for skilled visas may be subject to change due to the Federal Budget announcements.

The Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) is a points-based visa for skilled workers who are not sponsored by an employer, a state or territory, or a family member. It is one of the most popular Australian visas.

What is the 189 Skilled Independent Visa?

The key things to know about this visa are:

  • It is a permanent visa
  • It is a skilled visa
  • It does not require sponsorship by an Australian state or territory or relative in Australia
  • It is a points-based visa
  • It has an age limitation

The main requirements of the subclass 189 visa are:

  • Applicants must have an occupation on the relevant skilled occupation list
  • Applicants must have a suitable skills assessment for the occupation
  • Applicants must be invited to apply for this visa
  • Applicants must satisfy the points test
  • Applicants must be aged under 45 when they invited to apply for the visa;
  • Applicants must meet the health requirement
  • Applicants must meet the character requirement

What are the requirements for the New Zealand stream for the 189 visa?

The New Zealand stream of the subclass 189 visa allows eligible New Zealand citizens who have demonstrated commitment and contribution to Australia, live and work in Australia permanently.

The main requirements are:

  • Applicants must hold a New Zealand Special Category (subclass 444) visa
  • Applicants must have lived in Australia for at least the last 5 years
  • Applicants must have a taxable income at or above a specific income threshold for each of the four completed income years prior to lodging an application
  • Applicants must have started living here on or before 19 February 2016
  • Applicants must meet the health requirement
  • Applicants must meet the character requirement

What is the processing time for a 189 visa? 

Processing time for a subclass 189 (points tested stream) visa application ranges between 9 to 14 months. Processing time for a subclass 189 (New Zealand stream) visa application ranges between 12 to 15 months. Information on current processing times can be found here.

Questions about the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)? Speak with one of our immigration lawyers about eligibility and the application process in a free 15 minute consultation. Book online now.

An experienced migration lawyer can make all the difference when you need.

Related Resources

Must Arrive Before Dates – Information for Skilled Visa Holders Outside Australia

If your visa is granted to you whilst you are outside of Australia, the Department of Home Affairs (the Department) will provide you with a date called a ‘Must arrive before date’ on your visa grant notice.