The Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) is a permanent work visa for individuals who have the qualifications and skills required to fill Australia’s skill shortages.
Skilled Independent visa (Subclass 189) applicants are required to obtain a minimum of 60 points on a point assessment. The assessment is such that applicants are required to be under 50 years of age and be able to demonstrate that they have a qualification and/or skills in an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL). Applicants for the Skilled Independent visa (Subclass 189) do not require sponsorship.
The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has set specific basic requirements that all applicants must meet in order to apply for a visa in the General Skilled Migration program.
To qualify for a Skilled visa, applicants (or their partner) must be able to satisfy the basic visa requirements related to age, English language ability, occupation, skills, qualification, health and character.
In addition, applicants for a Skilled visa must also pass a points test. Points can be claimed in areas related to age, English language ability, specific work experience, spouse skills and other bonus categories.
The current pass mark for the Skilled Independent visa (Subclass 189) is 60 points.
On 1 July 2012, the skilled migration program switched to a new online system called “SkillSelect” which will require prospective skilled migrants to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). Once an EOI is submitted, these details can be viewed by Australian employers, state and territory governments and by the Australian Government who have the ability to extend an invitation to lodge a visa application.
There is no guarantee that submitting an EOI will result in an invitation to apply for a visa. If an invitation is received, there will be a prescribed timeframe within which the visa application must then be formally lodged with DIBP.
Successful applicants and holders of an Australian Skilled Independent visa (Subclass 189) become permanent residents of Australia. Australian permanent residents are entitled to live, work and study in Australia on a permanent basis. Additional benefits of Australian permanent residence include access to government-subsidised healthcare (Medicare), certain social security benefits and the ability to apply for Australian citizenship.