189 Visa

Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)

This permanent visa allows independent applicants, both onshore and offshore, to migrate to Australia under the SkillSelect program. Introduced on 1 July 2012, it offers two streams: the Points Tested stream and the New Zealander stream.

Overview of Permanent Visa for Independent Applicants

  • Regular stream for applicants seeking to migrate to Australia based on their skills without sponsorship
  • Primary applicants must lodge an expression of interest (EOI), receive an invitation to apply, and submit an online application within the prescribed period
  • Applicants may be in or outside Australia at the time of application and decision
  • Applicants must hold a substantive visa, or a bridging visa A (010), B (020), or C (030) if in Australia at the time of application
  • Age requirement is under 45 at the time of invitation to apply (reduced from 50 on 1 July 2017)
  • Applicants must demonstrate ‘competent English’ proficiency
  • Nomination of a prescribed skilled occupation on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List 
  • (MLTSSL) is required
  • Qualifications must be assessed by a relevant assessing body for the nominated occupation
  • Applicants must have passed the points test with a score no lower than specified in the invitation to apply

New Zealander Stream

  • New Zealanders are granted Special Category (subclass 444) visas (SCV) upon arrival in Australia
  • ‘Eligible New Zealand citizens’ are those who were present in Australia on 26 February 2001 and are treated as ‘permanent residents’ with full access to benefits, including social security and citizenship
  • New Zealanders arriving after 26 February 2001 are regarded as ‘non-protected’ SCV holders and temporary residents, ineligible for benefits available to ‘eligible New Zealand citizens’
  • On 19 February 2016, a ‘special pathway’ to permanent residence and citizenship was announced for certain New Zealand citizens under the Skilled – Independent visa category
  • The ‘special pathway’ provision is called the New Zealand stream and commenced from 1 July 2017

New Zealand Stream Criteria

  • Applicants must have arrived in Australia after 26 February 2001 but before 19 February 2016
  • Continuous residence in Australia for the past 5 years immediately prior to the visa application
  • Health, character, and security requirements must be met
  • Evidence of employment in Australia during the period of residence, with tax returns showing an income at or above the prescribed threshold (set at or above the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT))
  • Some prescribed classes of New Zealanders may be exempt from the income requirement, including those with primary care for a child and a restriction order preventing them from removing the child from Australia, those receiving compensation for an injury where rehabilitation or compensation would be discontinued upon returning to New Zealand, and those on parental or carer’s leave who are likely to resume work within a reasonable period

Applicants through the New Zealand stream pay 20% of the usual visa application charge, with the balance payable before the visa is granted. Once granted, they can apply for Australian citizenship after meeting the usual citizenship requirements.

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0391231145 (Melbourne)

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