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Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa

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  • This points-based visa is for skilled workers who are not sponsored by an employer, a state or territory, or a family member.
  • A visa holder can live and work permanently anywhere in Australia.
  • Certain family members can be included in the application.


Applications are by invitation only. To be invited to apply, a person must:

  • Submit an Expression of Interest
  • Have an occupation that is on the relevant skilled occupation list
  • Have a suitable skills assessment for that occupation
  • Be less than 50 years of age when the invitation is issued
  • Meet the English language requirements
  • Be able to score at least 60 on the points test

How this visa works

To be able to lodge a valid application for this visa you need to first submit an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect. You can do this in or outside Australia.

Basic requirements

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
  • Meet the health and character requirements.

Include family members

You can include the following family members in your visa application:

  • Your partner
  • Your or your partner's dependent child
  • Your or your partner's dependent relative

These family members must meet certain requirements. See Including dependent family members in your application and proof of dependency for details.

What the visa costs

The charge for lodging this visa application is AUD3060. This payment covers you and all dependent family members included in your application.

There is an extra charge that applies only to the people on your application who have less than functional English and are 18 years of age or older. The charge is AUD4250 per person. It must be paid before a visa can be granted. The payment covers up to three years of English language instruction through the Adult Migrant English Program.Proof of functional English explains how your dependants can demonstrate their language ability.

You are responsible for any other costs that you may incur in preparing your application, such as those associated with obtaining skills and English language assessments, health examinations and police certificates.

There are limited circumstances in which visa application charges can be refunded. You will not get a refund if you change your mind about applying.


This visa allows you and your accompanying family members to:

  • Live and work permanently in Australia
  • Study in Australia
  • Enrol in Medicare, Australia's scheme for health-related care and expenses
  • Access certain social security payments (subject to waiting periods)
  • Apply for Australian citizenship (subject to residency criteria)
  • Sponsor family members for permanent residence

Applying for this visa

If you are invited to apply for this visa, you will then have 60 days in which to lodge your online application. Your invitation letter will explain the lodgment process you should follow. You can be in or outside Australia when you lodge your application.

Invitations are based on claims made in your Expression of Interest at the time you are invited to apply. Your application must reflect the information provided in your Expression of Interest, and be supported by relevant evidence.

If after receiving two invitations to apply for a visa you do not make a visa application your Expression of Interest will be removed from SkillSelect.

Meet health requirements

You and all members of your family unit must meet certain health requirements.

The department will tell you when to arrange health examinations.

Meet character requirements

You and all members of your family unit must meet certain character requirements. This means you and each of your dependants (whether migrating or not) who are aged 16 years or older must provide police certificates. These need to be obtained from each country you and your family members have lived in for 12 months or more over the last 10 years or, in the case of those younger than 26 years or age, since each person turned 16 years of age.The department will tell you when to arrange police certificates.

Provide biometrics

You may be asked to provide biometrics (a scientific form of identification) as part of your application. Countries and visa subclasses included in the biometrics program has more information.

Enter Australia

If you are outside Australia when this visa is granted, the department will specify the date by which you must enter Australia.

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