Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)

 

The Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) is a permanent visa that allows invited highly skilled workers to live in Australia.

Exclusive streams also allow eligible New Zealand and Hong Kong (British National) passport holders access to the Subclass 189 (if considered to be committed and have made a contribution to Australia).

Applicants may also apply for the Subclass 189 onshore or offshore (excluding New Zealand stream applicants who must be in Australia to apply).

 

Key Benefits & Requirements for Subclass 189 Visa Holders

 

Subclass 189 Visa holders can live and work in Australia, and may sponsor family members to join them.

They can also take advantage of Medicare, Australia’s public health care system, and apply for Australian citizenship once eligible.

Visa holders can travel to and from Australia as many times as they like for 5 years.

They will need to apply for a Resident Return Visa (RRV) to continue travelling afterwards.

 

Subclass 189 Visa Requirements

 

Subclass 189 applicants must meet the following requirements:

In addition, applicants must have complied with the conditions of their provisional visa (if applicable).

 

Subclass 189 Streams

 

Applicants may apply for the Subclass 189 Visa through one of the following streams:

  1. Points tested stream;
  2. New Zealand stream; and
  3. Hong Kong stream.

 

1. Points Tested Stream

The Points Tested stream allows invited highly skilled workers to live and work in Australia permanently.

The visa applicant must be skilled in an occupation listed on the Skilled Occupation List. As of 2023, there are over 200 occupations on the list.

Visa applicants must also be nominated by the Department of Home Affairs (Department).

Applicants must meet the eligibility criteria, including the points test, when submitting an expression of interest (EOI) to receive a nomination.

This is an extremely competitive stream due to the high points test required.

We have obtained countless visa invitations and state sponsorships, and can assist applicants with submitting a strong EOI.

Generally, applicants must be under 45 years of age to apply for the Subclass 189 visa, and applicants who turn 45 after receiving an invitation to apply may still apply.

However, applicants who turn 45 after submitting an EOI (and have not yet received an invitation to apply) will not be eligible.

Applicants must also score 65 points or more on the points test and have obtained a suitable skill assessment in the last 3 years.

 

2. New Zealand Stream

The New Zealand stream allows eligible New Zealand citizens to live and work in Australia permanently.

New Zealand stream applicants must hold a New Zealand Special Category (Subclass 444) visa and have been usually resident in Australia for at least 5 years.

Applicants must also have a taxable income above the minimum income threshold ($53,900 as of FY 2021/22) for 3 of the last 5 financial years (including the last completed financial year).

There is no age limit for the New Zealand stream.

 

3. Hong Kong Stream

The Hong Kong stream allows eligible Hong Kong or British National (Overseas) passport holders to live and work in Australia permanently.

Hong Kong stream applicants must hold one of the following visas:

They must also hold a Hong Kong or British National (Overseas) passport and have been usually resident in Australia for at least 4 years.

Generally, applicants must have at least functional English language skills (concessions may apply if the applicant has paid the second instalment of the visa application charge).

There is no age limit for the Hong Kong stream.

 

Contact Us

 

For more information about the Subclass 189, contact Bambrick Legal today. We can confirm your eligibility and help you apply for your visa.

Read more about our Visa and Migration services here.

Related Blog – Changes to South Australia’s General Skilled Migration (GSM) Program for 2023/24

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