189 Visa

Skilled Independent Visa

Subclass 189

Skilled Independent visa

The Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) is a popular choice for international students in Australia. Why? It offers a clear way to stay and work in the country after finishing studies. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Freedom: With this visa, you can live and work anywhere in Australia. No need for a specific job or place.
  • Opportunity: Use your skills and what you learned in Australia to start your career.
  • Future: This visa can help you make Australia your long-term home.

At Pathway to Aus, we know how important the 189 visa is. But, getting this visa can be difficult, especially if English is not your first language. Our goal is to make the process easier for you. Let’s work together to make your dream of staying in Australia come true.

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International Students

Benefits of the 189 Visa

The Australia Visa 189 is a comprehensive pathway for individuals seeking a fulfilling and stable life in Australia.

This visa is particularly attractive because it grants permanent residency, allowing you to live, work, and study in the country without time limitations. This long-term stability is a significant advantage for anyone looking to build a career or start a family.

Speaking of careers, the 189 visa offers unparalleled freedom in your professional life. There are no restrictions on the type of work you can do, giving you the liberty to explore various career paths or even start your own business. Additionally, the visa provides access to a wide range of social benefits, including healthcare through Medicare and certain social security advantages.

It’s not just an individual opportunity; the visa allows for the inclusion of family members, making it ideal for those planning to move with loved ones. Moreover, you’re not tied to a specific location, so whether you’re drawn to urban centers like Melbourne or prefer the tranquility of rural areas, the choice is yours.

Permanent Residency

One of the most significant advantages of the 189 visa is that it grants permanent residency. This means you can live, work, and study in Australia indefinitely, providing stability and long-term prospects.

Freedom to Work

With the 189 visa, there are no restrictions on the type of work you can do. Whether you’re keen on joining a multinational company, starting your own business, or diving into research, the choice is yours.

Access to Benefits

As a permanent resident, you’ll have access to many of the same benefits as Australian citizens, including healthcare through Medicare, certain social security benefits, and the ability to apply for Australian citizenship in the future.

Education Opportunities

If you wish to continue your education, having a 189 visa allows you to study at any Australian institution, potentially at domestic student rates. Plus, your Australian qualifications can further boost your career prospects.

Include Family Members

If you have family, the 189 visa allows you to include certain family members in your application. This means your loved ones can join you in Australia and also enjoy the benefits of permanent residency.

No Location Restrictions

Unlike some other visas, the 189 visa doesn’t tie you to a specific region or state. Whether you dream of living in bustling Sydney, artsy Melbourne, or the serene countryside, the choice is entirely yours.

How long does visa 189 take to process?

189 Visa processing time

Navigating the Australian visa landscape can be intricate, especially when it comes to understanding timelines and initial steps. For international students keen on the 189 visa, two critical aspects to grasp are the processing time and the Expression of Interest (EOI). Here’s a straightforward breakdown:

1) 189 Visa Processing Time

The time it takes to process the 189 visa can vary based on several factors, including the accuracy of your application, the volume of applications received by the Department of Home Affairs, and any additional checks that may be required. On average:

  • 75% of applications: Processed within 8 months.
  • 90% of applications: Processed within 11 months.

It’s essential to ensure that your application is complete and accurate to avoid unnecessary delays. Regularly checking the official Department of Home Affairs website can provide the most up-to-date processing times.

2) Expression of Interest (EOI)

Before you can apply for the 189 visa, you must first submit an EOI through SkillSelect. This online system allows you to express your interest in applying for a skilled visa to the Australian government. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Details: In the EOI, provide information about your skills, work experience, education, and other relevant details.
  • Points Test: Your EOI will also include your score from the skilled migration points test.
  • No Fee: Submitting an EOI is free.
  • Waiting Period: After submission, your EOI enters a pool where it’s ranked based on the points you’ve claimed. If your skills and points are in high demand, you may receive an invitation to apply for the visa.

Remember, an EOI is not a visa application but a crucial first step in the 189 visa journey. Ensure your details are accurate and up-to-date to increase your chances of receiving an invitation.

The Application Process

Here’s a simplified process for Skilled Independent Visa. In case of questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.


Check requirements


Submit your EOI


Receive Invitation to Apply


Apply for Visa


How Much It Costs?

What are the requirements for the 189 visa?

If you’re an international student considering the 189 visa, it’s essential to know if you meet the necessary requirements. Here’s a clear and combined list of what you need:

Occupation List:

Ensure you have a Positive Skill Assessment for a job or skill on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).

Age Limit

You should be between 18 and 45 years old.

Expression of Interest (EOI)

Before anything else, submit an EOI. It’s your way of expressing interest in this visa to the Australian government.

English Proficiency

You need Competent English skills. This means a minimum score of 6 in IELTS or holding approved passports. This requirement is especially crucial for those where English isn’t the first language.

Health & Character

Stay in good health and have a clean legal record.

Points Test

Achieve at least 65 points in the skilled migration points test. However, remember that just reaching this score doesn’t guarantee an invitation to apply for the visa.
Each of these steps is vital. Ensure you meet all these criteria to boost your chances of success. If any part seems confusing, don’t hesitate to seek guidance.

Submit Your Expression of Interest (EOI)

Like any General Skilled Migration visa, the 189 visa is a points-tested. This means that you will need to submit an EOI and total at least 65 points. On the EOI you will receive points for things like:

  • Your Age
  • Your Education Qualifications
  • English Level
  • Work Experience
  • Relationship Status
  • Regional Nomination
  • + Many more,

Please note, just obtaining 65 points does not guarantee you will be invited the apply for the visa. The higher the points, the better the chance you will receive an invitation to apply for the visa.

Receive Invitation to Apply

Every month immigration issues invites to apply for the Skilled Independent Visa. The number of invitations issued varies month to month. Immigration will usually invite the applicants with the highest points total.

Please note, just obtaining 65 points does not guarantee you will be invited the apply for the visa. The higher the points, the better the chance you will receive an invitation to apply for the visa. Currently applicants receiving an invitation are obtaining at least 85 points or more.

If you cannot reach the required points, you may want to consider the State Nominated – Subclass 190 or Skilled Work Regional – Subclass 491

Apply for Visa

Once you have received an invitation to apply for the visa, you will then be able to lodge the visa application through your (or your migration agents) immigration portal. You have 60 days to lodge the visa from receiving the invitation.
When lodging the application you will need to provide documentation supporting your work experience, education and personal documentation.
Please note if you do not receive an invitation to apply for the visa from the Department of Home Affairs, you cannot lodge the visa.

How Much It Costs?

The Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) is a valuable pathway to permanent residency, but it’s essential to be aware of the associated expenses to plan your finances accordingly.

Primary Applicant Fee

The main applicant is subject to the base application charge. As of the last update, this fee is AUD 4,765. However, it’s crucial to note that visa application charges can change, and it’s advisable to check the official Department of Home Affairs website for the most recent fees.

Additional Applicants

If you’re including family members in your application, additional charges apply. For adult family members (18 years and older), the fee is approximately AUD 2,385. For children under 18, the charge is around AUD 1,195.

Subsequent Temporary Application Charge

If you or any family members have previously applied for an Australian visa while in Australia, you might be subject to an additional fee of AUD 700.

Other Potential Costs

Apart from the visa application charges, there are other potential costs to consider:

  • Skills assessment fees
  • English language test fees
  • Health examinations
  • Police checks
  • Translation and certification of documents


It’s essential to understand that visa application charges are typically non-refundable, even if your application is unsuccessful or you decide to withdraw.

Payment Methods

The Department of Home Affairs accepts various payment methods, including credit cards. A surcharge might apply to card payments.

Our Success Stories

Jose is a client of Pathway to Aus who we assisted transition from the Student visa to Graduate Work visa to General Skilled Migration (Subclass 189).

He studied Masters of Engineering for 2 years at Griffith University on The Gold Coast and now works as a Project Engineer.

Meet Jason

Jason was originally an Indian national and came to Australia to study commercial cookery in Brisbane. Before coming to Australia, Jason had no professional work experience or education as a chef.

On his 485 visa, Jason undertook the Job Ready Program where he had to work as a chef for 12 months. This allowed him to gain a full skill assessment which allows him to apply for different General Skilled Migration Visas.

Jason was fortunate enough to be invited for the Skilled Independent – Subclass 189.

Jose from Venezuela - Testimonial or Pathway to Aus
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Tips for Navigating the 189 Visa Process

Tips for Non-Native English Speakers

For international students and applicants who are non-native English speakers, understanding the intricacies of the 189 visa application can pose additional challenges. Here are some tailored tips to help you sail through the process with confidence:

Preparation is Key

Before diving into the application, familiarize yourself with the visa requirements and processes. Read through official documents multiple times to ensure understanding.

Practice English Regularly

Since English proficiency is a requirement for the 189 visa, make it a habit to practice regularly. Engage in conversations, watch English shows, or take up language courses.

Seek Professional Help

Consider consulting with one of our migration agents, who speaks your native language or has experience assisting non-native English speakers.

Prepare for the IELTS/English Test

If you need to take an English proficiency test like IELTS, invest time in preparation. There are numerous resources, both online and offline, tailored to help non-native speakers excel.

Double-Check Everything

When filling out your application, take your time. Review each section multiple times to ensure there are no misunderstandings or errors. Or reach out to our migration agents who will double check your application.

Stay Updated

Immigration rules and processes can change. Regularly check the official Department of Home Affairs website or subscribe to newsletters to stay informed.

Ask Questions

If you’re unsure about something, don’t hesitate to ask the PTA team.

Stay Positive

The visa process can be lengthy and sometimes challenging. Stay positive, be patient, and remember that every step brings you closer to your Australian dream.


In case of questions, feel free to reach out to one of our experienced Registered Migration Agents.

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189 Visa for Australia | Requirements, Processing time & Cost was last modified: July 1st, 2024 by PTA