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The Skilled Independent Visa allows Points-tested skilled workers who have not received sponsorship from an employer or family member or have not been nominated by a state or territory government to live and work in Australia as a permanent resident. An expression of interest has to be submitted for this stream.

New Zealand citizens may be eligible to apply for the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) (New Zealand) stream.


  • have a relevant occupation on the 189 occupation list (MLTSSL)
  • have a suitable skills assessment for the occupation
  • Lodge an EOI and be invited to apply
  • meet the points test pass mark of 65 points (as of 1 July 2018)
  • Be aged between 18 and 44 inclusive
  • Have Competent English
  • Be invited to apply
  • Meet health and character requirements

To see the latest 18th of March 2018 changes and how they affect this visa please click here.

Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) via SkillSelect with details of your nominated occupation, skills and qualifications. From here, SkillSelect will:

  • Estimate a points score and rank you against other intending migrants
  • Be invited to apply for the visa if you are ranked high enough and there are places available for your nominated occupation
  • Once invited, you have 60 calendar days to apply for the visa

Your occupation must be on the list of approved skilled occupations and requires a skills assessment, revealing that you have the skills and qualifications to work in that position

Points score

On your invitation letter, you must be able to meet the points score. As of the 1 July 2018, the points score has been set at a minimum of 65 points or more.

The score on your invitation letter is based on the information in your EOI.

At the time you are invited to apply for your visa, you have to meet the points score eligibility.

For everyone seeking an application invitation for the visa must submit an EOI. All applicants will then be ranked against other intending applicants, to then possibly be invited to apply for the visa (your EOI will stay in the pool for up to 2 years). There is no cost to submit an EOI.

The points table

Use the points table to calculate your test score.

Points information (Check if you can get points for):

  • English language ability
  • Skilled employment
  • Qualifications
  • Australian study requirement
  • Specialist education requirement
  • Other factors
Can I Apply in Australia or Overseas?

You can be in or outside Australia when you submit your EOI and when you apply for a Subclass 189 Skilled Independent Visa. To be eligible to lodge from within Australia, you need to hold a substantive visa or a Bridging A, B or C visa. Once having applied from within Australia, all applicants will receive a bridging visa, which allows you to remain in Australia while your visa application is being processed. If your current visa is refused or cancelled, you may not be eligible to apply for the 189 visa while in Australia.

Assessing authorities

Use the assessing authority listed against your nominated occupation in the specific list of eligible skilled occupations.

What you can do with a 189 visa

This visa allows you to:

  • Stay in Australia indefinitely
  • Work and study in Australia
  • Enrol in Medicare, Australia’s scheme for health-related care and expenses
  • Sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence
  • Travel to and from Australia for five years
  • Apply for Australian citizenship, if eligible

From AUD 3,755

Additional costs may be included.


You can be in or outside Australia when you apply for your visa.

How long does the visa last?

This is a permanent visa and lasts indefinitely.

The visa starts on the date it has been granted.


Your partner and/or your partner’s child or step-child can be included in your application.

Family members who are granted the visa have the same rights and conditions as you.

Your obligations

You and your family members must comply with Australian laws and your visa conditions.


After the visa is granted, you can travel in and out of Australia as many times as you want for five years.

For any further information needed about your visa options, our experienced team at eMigrate can help you with:

  • Obtaining your skills assessment
  • Preparing your relative sponsorship application
  • Lodging and monitoring your visa application
  • Correspondence with skills assessing authorities and the Department of Immigration until grant
  • Managing your bridging visas for yourself and family members

Call us today to arrange an immigration consultation for a personalised eligibility assessment of your Skilled independent Subclass 189 visa application.