The requirements and application process for the SkillSelect Independent (subclass 189) visa

Publish Date: Dec 01, 2012

For interested overseas applicants who wish to apply for a visa, the first step is to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) application through the SkillSelect site, which can be done outside of Australia.

However, applicants must fulfil the following requirements in order to be eligible:

  • the applicant must be invited to apply for the visa;
  • the applicant must be below 50 years of age when invited to apply;
  • the applicant must nominate the appropriate action that matches their skills and qualifications while also having relevance to the skilled occupation list;
  • the applicant must have their skills assessed by a relevant assessing authority, suitable to their nominated occupation such as the Australian Institute of Management (AIM) or the Australian Pharmacy Council (APharmC) for example;
  • the applicant must have a minimal standard of competence in English;
  • the applicant must have a score of at least 60 on the points test;
  • the applicant must meet the Department health and character requirements.

The application process for the Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa

Any applicant wishing to apply for the visa must submit their online application upon receiving an invitation, and the application can be lodged outside of Australia.

Invitations are granted on the basis of the person’s EOI, and any applications should also conform to the information provided on the EOI, which must then be supported by relevant evidence.

A person who receives two invitations without submitting a visa application will have their EOI removed from the SkillSelect database.

How are applications for the Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa lodged?

Applications are lodged through SkillSelect with an initial application fee of $AU3060 which must be paid for by credit card. Any secondary charges will only apply to dependents 18 years of age or older included in the application, have less than functional English, and the fee must also must be paid before a visa is granted.

Finally, any person lodging an application must agree to the Australian Values Statement found in the Life in Australia book.

What documents are required to prove claims made in the Expression of Interest?

The Department requires anyone undergoing the application process for the visa to provide the relevant documents to demonstrate the claims made on the EOI are true. The documents required by the Department can be found in the Document Checklist, with the checklist providing further information in regards to the documentation needed and whether original or certified documents are required.

Understandably, many documents may not be in English and in such a case, a translation of the document must be provided by a person who is part of an accredited organisation, such as the National Accreditation Authority for Translations and Interpreters (NAATI) for example.

In the event that more information must be provided, the Department will inform the applicant and all documents provided in support of an application. Finally, all supporting documents must be scanned and uploaded as well.

Can family members be included in the Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa application?

The following family members can be included in the application:

  • a partner of the applicant;
  • any dependent children of the applicant or partner;
  • any dependent relatives of an applicant or partner.

It should be noted that any family members included within an application must also provide evidence to support claims of either a marriage or de facto relationship via the appropriate documentation as required by the Department.

What conditions and obligations are attached with the Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa?

The general entitlements attached with the visa allow the applicant and any family members to:

  • live and work on a permanent basis in Australia;
  • study in Australia;
  • be eligible for Medicare;
  • have access to various social security payments, subject to any attached conditions such as waiting periods;
  • apply for Australian citizenship;
  • sponsor family members for permanent residency.

The visa allows a person to travel to and from Australia for five years beginning from the date that the visa was granted.  

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