Apply For Skilled Independent Visa 189 To Get Your PR In Australia

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The Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189 is an Australian skilled migration program visa that allows an overseas skilled worker to stay and work permanently in Australia. In addition to skilled workers, eligible New Zealand citizens can also apply for this visa to gain permanent residency rights in Australia. The eligibility criteria and entitlements are different for the two streams. Hence, it will be vital to decide the correct stream and then proceed with the application. This blog provides a detailed guide on how you should apply.

The Two Streams of the 189 Visa

The two designated streams under this visa are designed for two different types of applicants. Go through the descriptions to understand the difference.

Points-tested Stream

This visa is for workers who have specific skills that are required by the Australian job sector. The stream is called points tested because you can only apply for this visa once you have reached or crossed the threshold mark of the required points of 65. 

New Zealand Stream

As the name suggests, this stream allows New Zealand citizens who have been living in Australia over a specific period and have demonstrated their contribution and commitment to Australia. The minimum required period of stay is 5 years.

The basic eligibility criteria for the 189 Visa

To obtain the 189 skilled visa successfully, you have to meet the 189 Visa Eligibility criteria. Before starting with the application, make sure you meet the stream-specific criteria as discussed here.

Points-tested Stream

  • You have first to submit an expression of interest. After making an assessment of your EOI against that of other applicants, the Department of Home Affairs will send you an invitation to apply.
  • As this is a 189 skilled migration visa, you have to demonstrate that you have the required skills in your nominated job position. A relevant authority will conduct the skills assessment. The skills assessment document should not be older than 3 years.
  • Your age should be less than 45 years.
  • As this stream is points-based, you will need to score 65 or more on the points’ test. These points are calculated against specific qualifications.
  • A competent level of English will be required.
  • You must meet specific health and character requirements. This condition can apply to even the family members who are excluded from the application.
  • Neither you nor your family members should have any outstanding debts to the Australian government.

New Zealand Stream

  • First of all, you have to fulfil the income requirement. Your taxable income should meet the minimum income threshold specified on the Australian Taxation Office Notice of Assessment. You must show that you have satisfied the minimum income threshold for a minimum of 3 completed financial years. 
  • There are some cases where you can claim an income exemption. These options include family court or parenting plan exemption, compensation claim exemption, parental leave waiver, and COVID-19 income exemption.
  • To be eligible for this stream, you must hold the New Zealand Special Category Subclass 444 Visa at the time of application. If you include your family members in the application, they should also have a valid visa. They can also hold a Bridging Visa A (Subclass 010), a Bridging Visa B (Subclass 020), or a Bridging Visa C (Subclass 030).
  • A 5-year continuous stay in Australia is mandatory for the visa application. This continuous stay of residence should be from at least 19 February 2016.
  • Like the Points-tested Stream, all the applicants included in the application should meet the health and character requirements. 
  • Neither you nor your family members should have any outstanding debts to the Australian government. 
  • As this visa is designed for New Zealand citizens, there will be no English language requirement associated with it.
  • For both streams, you should have no records of visa cancellation or refusal.

Step-by-step application procedure for the 189 Skilled Visa

Once you meet all the 189 Visa requirements, you should now go for the application. Here we provide a detailed account of the application steps that you should follow.

Step 1: Before you apply

There are some procedures to be done before starting with the application. For the Points-tested Stream, you have to submit the Expression of Interest first. After receiving the invitation to apply, you must go for the next steps. 

An EOI is not required for the New Zealand Stream, and therefore, you should only check whether you satisfy the income and 5-year residence criteria. But for both the streams, you have to go through health examinations and, if required, hire a professional immigration agent from Perth. 

Step 2: Gather your documents