Skilled Independent Visa - To work and live in Australia permanently

skilled independent visaThe skilled migrant visa for Australia is referred to as the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189). It falls within the general skilled migration category.

This visa is for you if:

  • You want permanent residency in Australia.
  • You want to work in Australia on your arrival.

About the Skilled Independent visa

The skilled independent visa is a points-based visa for individuals:

  • who do not have a job offer;
  • with a relative to sponsor them; and
  • who wish to work and live in Australia permanently.

What are you allowed to do while on the Skilled Independent visa?

The Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) is a permanent residency visa and allows you and your family members to:

  • Stay in Australia for an indefinite period of time.
  • Travel for a period of 5 years after the visa has been granted (both to and from Australia).
  • Enroll in Australia's Medicare scheme.
  • Work and/or study in Australia.
  • Apply for Australian citizenship, if you're eligble.
  • Sponsor eligible relatives with their own permanent residency applications.

Important points to note

You must meet the following basic criteria to qualify for a skilled independent visa:

There a number of other considerations, but if you do not meet the criteria above, your application will not be successful.

The Skilled Independent visa application process

The application process must comply with the skill select process and can be broken down into four steps:

01

Pre-expression of interest assessment

This step judges your potential application against a points-based assessment. You must get a minimum of 65 points to move on to the next stage.

As you will see from the information below, it is imperative that the assessment is carried out thoroughly by an expert, so that you can explore every avenue and make an informed choice.

02

Expression of Interest

This is when you demonstrate your interest in a specific Australian visa. It is essentially an application which details:

  • The visa subclass and stream you intend to apply for;
  • Whether you're seeking sponsorship from a state or territory government; and
  • If you are open to residing in specific states or territories.

The Expression of Interest also judges your application on a points basis and against other Expressions of Interests received. A decision is then made whether or not to invite you to make a visa application.

It is therefore essential you know exactly what the best visa option is for you or you may face a negative response as well as wasted application fees if you apply for the incorrect visa.

03

Invitation to apply

If your Expression of Interest is selected, you will receive an invitation to apply for a Skilled Independent visa. Invitations are issued during most months. It will details who is being invited as well as the time frame within which the application must be made.
04

Making an application

This is a time-driven process, as per the details within the Invitation to Apply. Your application itself, in essence, now provides all the required materials facts and supporting documentation to validate the information given on the Expression of Interest (including the assessment).

Should you get assistance with your application?

Our advice? Yes, absolutely!

The reality is that Australian immigration rules are complex and detailed. A mistake at the first stage , i.e. the assessment, will come back to haunt you.

For instance, you may have passed your assessment, successfully submitted your Expression of Interest and subsequently received an invitation to apply.

However, your application will be refused if the points score is less than the claimed score in your Expression of Interest, even if you are able to pass the points test or meet other criteria.

In short, you will be denied a visa and lose all the money you spent.

Important information

The Australian Government's Department of Immigration and Border Protection is very clear about who may provide you with assistance. They state on their website:

'Under the Migration Act 1958, it is against the law for an individual in Australia, who is not a registered migration agent with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority, to provide immigration assistance.

Using unregistered migration agents could leave you at risk of being given incorrect or misleading advice. Also, as you will not have the benefit of consumer protection, an unregistered agent might take your money without providing an adequate service or even any service at all.'

In short, use a registered migration agent. Registered migration agents appear on the MARA website, so if the company and agent are not on the site, do not use their services.

You can view the credentials of our licensed immigration adviser, Katrin Maja O'Flynn, here.

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