The Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) is a permanent residency visa designed for skilled workers who are not sponsored by an employer, a state, or a family member. This visa allows individuals to live and work anywhere in Australia permanently, providing a pathway to Australian citizenship.

Eligibility Criteria:

  1. Occupation: The applicant must nominate an occupation from the relevant skilled occupation list and meet the skills assessment criteria for that occupation.
  2. Age: The applicant must be under 45 years old at the time of invitation.
  3. English Language Proficiency: Satisfy the English language requirements through IELTS, PTE, TOEFL, or Cambridge tests.
  4. Skills Assessment: Obtain a positive skills assessment from the relevant Australian assessing authority for the nominated occupation.
  5. Expression of Interest (EOI): Lodge an EOI through the SkillSelect system, indicating the intention to apply for the subclass 189 visa.
  6. Invitation: Receive an invitation to apply for the visa based on the points score, which is calculated considering age, English language proficiency, skills, and other factors.
  7. Health and Character Checks: Undergo health examinations and provide police clearance certificates.
  8. Points Test: Score at least 65 points on the points test, which assesses various factors including age, qualifications, work experience, and language proficiency.

Application Process:

  1. Lodge EOI: Create an EOI in the SkillSelect system, providing details about skills, qualifications, and work experience.
  2. Invitation: If selected, receive an invitation to apply for the subclass 189 visa. Invitations are typically issued based on the applicant’s points score.
  3. Lodge Visa Application: Complete the online application, attaching all necessary documents and paying the application fee.
  4. Skills Assessment: Obtain a positive skills assessment from the relevant assessing authority for the nominated occupation.
  5. Health and Character Checks: Undergo medical examinations and obtain police clearance certificates.
  6. Visa Grant: If the application is approved, the subclass 189 visa will be granted, allowing permanent residency in Australia.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

  1. Is the subclass 189 visa a points-based visa?
    Yes, applicants are assessed on a points-based system considering various factors such as age, education, work experience, English language proficiency, and more.
  2. Can family members be included in the application?
    Yes, applicants can include their spouse/partner, dependent children, and, in some cases, other dependent relatives in the application.
  3. Are there specific occupation requirements for the subclass 189 visa?
    Yes, applicants must nominate an occupation from the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) or the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL).
  4. What is the processing time for the subclass 189 visa?
    Processing times can vary but are generally updated on the Department of Home Affairs’ website. It’s advisable to check the current processing times before applying.
  5. Can the subclass 189 visa holders access government services and benefits?
    Yes, subclass 189 visa holders are eligible for Medicare, Australia’s public health care system, and can access various social and government services.
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