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This stream is for Points-tested skilled workers who are not sponsored by an employer or family member or nominated by a state or territory government. It allows you to live and work in Australia as a permanent resident.

For the Skilled Independent (Points-tested) stream you need to submit an expression of interest.

If you are a New Zealand citizen you 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


The process

Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) via SkillSelect with details of your nominated occupation, skills and qualifications. SkillSelect will estimate a points score and rank you against other intending migrants. More information about EOIs, including invitation rounds and occupation ceilings, is available.

If you are ranked high enough and there are places available for your nominated occupation, you will be invited to apply for the visa.

If you are invited, you have 60 calendar days to apply for the visa.


Your occupation must be on the relevant list of eligible skilled occupations.

You must have a skills assessment that shows you have the skills and qualifications to work in that occupation.

Points score

You must be able to meet the points score on your invitation letter. This score will be 65 points (as of 1 July 2018) or more.

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

You must be able to meet the points score eligibility at the time you are invited to apply for the visa.

Check how many points you might get.

Everyone who wants to be invited to apply for the visa must submit an EOI. When you submit your EOI you will be ranked against other intending applicants and might 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.


Can I Apply in Australia or Overseas?

You can be in or outside Australia when you submit your EOI. You can either be in Australia or overseas when you apply for a Subclass 189 Skilled Independent Visa. To be able to lodge from within Australia, you would need to hold a substantive visa or a Bridging A, B or C visa. Once you apply from within Australia, you will receive a bridging visa allowing you to remain in Australia during processing of your visa application. If your current visa is refused or cancelled you might not be eligible to apply for the 189 visa while you were in Australia.


Assessing authorities

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

What you can do with a 189 visa

This is a permanent visa. It lets you:

  • 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

You might have to pay additional costs: SKILLED VISA APPLICATION COSTS IN AUSTRALIA

Below is a General Guide Regarding the Government Costs Involved in Making a Skilled Visa Application (effective July 2018)

There is no government fee to lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI).

The Skilled 
489, 189 and 190
AU$ 3755
Fee for Main visa applicant.
The Skilled
489, 189 and 190
AUS $1875
Fee for Spouse of the Main visa applicant.
The Skilled
489, 189 and 190
AUS $945
This fee is per child of the Main visa applicant.
OTHER COSTS If Applicable)
Medical Examination
 Depending upon the type of Medical Test and Examination required
This fee is payable for each person included in your application and must be paid directly to the doctor conducting your examination.
Character Clearance (Police Check)
see details
This fee is to be paid directly to the police authorities in the countries where you have lived for 12 months or more.
Certification/Translation of Documents
case by case
To pay directly to Translator
The Skilled
489, 189 and 190
$3,950 – $5,950

Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485)-DIBP Fees

Application $1,535
Additional applicant Charge $765
Additional applicant Charge -18 $385


You can be in or outside Australia when you apply for the visa and when a decision is made.

How long the visa lasts

This is a permanent visa – it lasts indefinitely.

The visa starts on the date it is granted.


You can include your partner and your or your partner’s child or step-child in your application.

Family members who are granted the visa have the same rights and can do the same things as you.

Your obligations

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


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

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