TR 485

Graduate Work stream

Skilled Independent Visa

(Subclass 189)



Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) is a permanent points-tested visa, for skilled workers who:

  • have a job on the Skilled occupation list and a suitable skills assessment

  • are not nominated or sponsored by any organisation or any relative

  • are invited to apply for this visa

  • are under 45 years old

You can lodge an application for this visa in or outside of Australia and need to wait around 3 to 15 months for the visa result. The application cost is AUD 4,045.

With a subclass 189 visa, you can:

  • live in Australia indefinitely

  • study and work with the full work rights in Australia

  • enrol in Medicare, Australia’s public health care scheme

  • become an Australian citizen if eligible

  • sponsor eligible family members to come to Australia

  • freely travel in and out of Australia for the first 5 years of the visa

Note: After the first 5 years from the date the visa is granted, you will need a Resident Return visa (RRV – subclass 155 or 157) or become an Australian citizen to re-enter Australia again as a permanent resident.

To be eligible for a 189 visa, you must:

  • be under 45 when lodging the application

  • have an occupation on the Skilled occupation list

  • pass a skills assessment to show your skills relevant to that occupation

  • get at least 65 points from submitting an expression of interest (EOI)

  • get an invitation (through SkillSelect) to apply for this visa

  • have competent English skills (for example at least 6.0 IELTS or 50 PTE score)

  • meet the health and character requirements

  • not be in debt to the Australian government

  • not have a visa cancelled or application refused before

  • sign the Australian values statement

*Eligibility for New Zealand citizens:

  • possess a subclass 444 visa

  • must have resided in Australia for at least 5 years continuously (since or before 19 February 2016)