Everything You Need to Know About the Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189)

The Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189) is separated into three different streams: invited workers (also known as the Points Tested stream), eligible New Zealand Citizens, and eligible Hong Kong or British National (Overseas) passport holders. This visa is designed for the purpose of providing eligible people within these streams that have the skills Australia needs, to live and work permanently anywhere within Australia. There are a number of eligibility requirements that pertain to each stream, and as registered migration agents in Melbourne, we know that this process can be a confusing and challenging one to navigate. That’s why you may need the services of an expert visa consultant. Keep reading to find out all you need to know about the Skilled Visa 189, and where to find visa help when you need it.

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An Overview:

With this visa, you can:

  • stay in Australia permanently
  • work and study in Australia
  • enrol in Medicare, Australia’s public health care scheme
  • sponsor relatives to come to Australia
  • travel to and from Australia for 5 years
  • Become an Australian citizen, if eligible

How Long You Can Stay:

  • This is a permanent visa, so it lets you stay in Australia indefinitely

How Much Does it Cost?

  • The cost of the visa is AUD4,240.00 for the main applicant
  • There is an additional charge for each family member who applies for the visa with you
  • You can use the Visa Pricing Estimator to help you to work out what the cost will be.

Points Tested Stream


For the Points Tested Stream of the Skilled Visa 189, you must be invited to apply. You can submit an expression of interest (EOI) to make it known that you would like to apply for this visa. Once you have submitted an expression of interest (EOI), you will be ranked against other intending applicants, and you will find out if you have an invitation through SkillSelect.

You also must:

  • Have a Suitable Skills Assessment:

In order for your application to be valid, you must declare that you have a suitable skills assessment at the time of invitation.

You will need to provide a copy of your skills assessment with your application. This assessment must have been obtained in the 3 years before the date of your invitation.

  • Be of a Certain Age:

You must be aged under 45 years of age when you are invited to apply for the visa. This means that you can apply for the visa if you turn 45 after you are invited to apply. However, you will not be invited to apply for the visa if you turn 45 after you submit your EOI but before you receive an invitation.

  • Be Able to Score 65 Points or More:

As this is a points-tested visa, your EOI in SkillSelect will be given an indicative points score. If your score is not 65 points or above, you won’t be invited to apply for the visa. Before you submit your EOI you can use the points calculator to help calculate how many points you may score.

  • Meet the Skills Requirement:

To be eligible to apply for the Skilled Visa (subclass 189) points tested stream, your occupation must be on the relevant list of eligible skilled occupations.

In addition to the above requirements, to be able to apply for this visa, you must meet the following eligibility requirements too:

New Zealand Stream

This stream of the visa is for eligible New Zealand citizens who have demonstrated commitment and contribution to Australia, permanently live and work in Australia.

Please Note: The Skilled Independent (subclass 189) (New Zealand stream) visa is currently closed to new applications and will permanently close to new applications on 1 July 2023.

According to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, this is “in support of the new direct pathway to Australian citizenship for New Zealand citizens.” This new pathway will mean that from 1 July 2023, New Zealand citizens will no longer be required to be granted a permanent resident visa before applying for Australian citizenship.

Hong Kong Stream

This stream of the visa allows eligible Hong Kong or British National (Overseas) passport holders who have demonstrated commitment to Australia, permanently live and work in Australia.


For the Hong Kong stream of the Skilled Visa (subclass 189), you must:

  • Have an Eligible Visa:

At the time that you make your visa application, you must hold an eligible visa and you must have held that visa for at least 4 years prior to that date.

  • Hold a Hong Kong or British National (Overseas) passport at the time your visa application is made
  • Have Lived in Australia for 4 Years:

It is a requirement that you have been usually resident in Australia for a continuous period of at least 4 years immediately before the date of your visa application.

  • Have Complied with Conditions of Your Eligible Visa

Further to the above requirements, to be eligible for this stream of the Skilled Visa (subclass 189) you must ensure that you meet the following requirements too:

The Application Process:

The process of applying for the Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189) involves many detailed steps. Below is a brief overview of the steps involved in the application process for the Points Tested Stream. The application process for the Hong Kong stream of the visa is slightly different.

Step 1: Before You Apply

You must submit your Expression of Interest (EOI) so that it is known that you want to apply for this visa.

Step 2: Gather Your Documents

You will need to gather all the documents required to support the claims made in your EOI in order to demonstrate that you meet the other eligibility criteria.

Step 3: Apply For the Visa

When you receive an invitation, you may apply for the visa online.

You have a maximum of 60 days from the date of your invitation to apply.

Step 4: After You Apply

You will be notified that your application has been received.

Step 5: Visa Outcome

You will be informed of the outcome of your visa application in writing.

Do You Need a Registered Migration Agent in Melbourne?

Look no further than AIVS. Our registered migration agents in Melbourne have the detailed knowledge and expertise to help you with all your immigration and visa needs. Applying for a visa can be a challenging and confusing process – that’s where AIVS steps in. Whether your application is for the Skilled Visa 189, a Family Visa, or another type of visa, one of our consultants can help you.

Contact us today via our website, or via phone: +61 430 534 697 for all your visa needs!