Key criteria to quality for a 189 Visa

The key criteria for the 189 visa is that the occupation nominated must be listed on the Skilled Occupation List (SOL) at the time of applying.

The first thing anyone must do before applying for a 189 visa is to obtain a positive skills assessment in their occupation. This skills assessment must be for ‘migration purposes’ – ie. It cannot be the same skills assessment that was given for a 485 visa only.

To obtain a positive skills assessment, you must apply to the relevant skills assessing body. The relevant body for your occupation is listed alongside your occupation in the SOL.

Each occupation has its own specific requirements as to what is needed to obtain a positive skills assessment. Most occupations require some level of work experience as well as certain qualifications. Some occupations like Accountants, Engineers and Nurses do not require work experience to qualify.

Age and English

The applicant must be under 50 years of age and have ‘Competent English’ (IELTS 6.0).

Points Test

To qualify for a 189 visa you must achieve at least the minimum threshold points for General Skilled Migration. The points required depend on the demand for your occupation. Most occupations currently require 60 points.

The Process to Apply

The 189 Visa consists of 3 stages:

  1. Apply to the Skills Assessing Body for a positive skills assessment
  2. Complete an Expression of Interest in SkillSelect
  3. Apply to the Department of Immigration for approval of the visa

Public Interest Criteria

Like almost all visas, the 189 Skilled Independent visa carries these general requirements for Health, Character, Debts to the Commonwealth, and Australian Values Statement.

If you are unsure of meeting any of these criteria you should contact a professional to assess your ability to overcome any potential refusal on these grounds. Migration agents can prepare submissions on your behalf to give your application every opportunity for approval.

Period of Visa

The Skilled Independent Visa (189) visa is a permanent visa valid for 5 years.

Work Rights

The 189 visa carries full work rights for both the applicant and the family members.