189 – Detailed Process
Before you apply
You must submit an expression of interest (EOI) through SkillSelect to let us know you want to apply for this visa.
Organise health exams
We prefer that you have any health checks before you apply for the visa.
Step 1.1 – Before you submit your EOI
You must submit an expression of interest (EOI) to let us know you want to apply for this visa.
Check your occupation
Your occupation must be on the relevant list of eligible skilled occupations for the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189).
Get your skills assessed
You must have a suitable skills assessment at the time we invite you to apply.
The assessment must be undertaken by an assessing authority listed against your occupation in the list of eligible skilled occupations. You might have to pay for the assessment.
To be eligible for a visa your skills assessment must have been obtained within the 3 years before the date of invitation. If the assessment was for a shorter period, that period must not have passed. We can’t accept a skills assessment issued more than 3 years before the invitation date.
If your skills were assessed on the basis of a qualification you got in Australia when you held a student visa, the qualification must be from studying a course registered on CRICOS.
For medical practitioners we accept evidence of registration issued by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. You must hold either:
- unconditional or general medical registration
- conditional specialist registration – which allows you to practice only in your particular specialty with no further training or supervision requirements
You must show that you hold this registration at the time we invite you to apply.
Barristers and solicitors
A suitable skills assessment for barristers and solicitors is evidence of admission to practice as a lawyer in an Australian state or territory.
The relevant legal admissions authority must have admitted you to practice at the time we invite you to apply.
Check your points
You must be able to obtain at least 65 points on our points test to be eligible for this visa. If you cannot obtain 65 points we will not invite you to apply.
If we invite you to apply for the visa, you must prove the claims you make in your EOI when we assess your application.
Use the points calculator to check how many points you might score
Check you meet the other eligibility criteria
Check that you meet all other eligibility criteria for the visa.
If we invite you to apply for the visa, you will have to prove the claims you make in your EOI. You will also need to show you meet the other eligibility criteria.
See what documents you will need to prove your claims before you submit your EOI in the Gather documents section.
Step 1.2 – Submit an EOI
Submit your EOI through SkillSelect. You can submit it from within or outside Australia.
Your EOI is not a visa application. There is no fee for submitting an EOI.
Select the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189).
You will receive an email confirming your EOI has been submitted.
Step 1.3 – After you submit your EOI
SkillSelect will estimate your points score based on the claims made in your EOI.
You must have an estimated score of at least 65 points to be invited to apply for this visa.
If you score enough points and there are places allocated for your occupation, we might invite you to apply.
An EOI is not a visa application. This means you are not able to get a bridging visa because you have submitted an EOI.
If you are in Australia and your current visa is about to expire, you must apply for another visa to remain in Australia lawfully. We will not process your visa application if you do not hold a substantive visa or a Bridging Visa A, Bridging Visa B or a Bridging Visa C when you apply for the visa.
Make changes to your EOI
Let us know through SkillSelect if:
- you want to apply for a different skilled visa
- your circumstances change – for example, if you change your occupation or your family structure changes
- you could score more points – for example, you have completed a higher qualification or gained new work experience
- your employment circumstances change and you are no longer working at least 20 hours per week in your nominated occupation.
You must be able to meet the points score on your invitation letter if we invite you to apply.
SkillSelect will update your indicative points score when you make changes to your EOI. You can change your EOI at any time before we invite you to apply for a visa.
Step 1.4 – Receive an invitation to apply for visa
We will invite you to apply for the visa if:
- you score enough points on your EOI
- there are places available for your occupation.
We allocate places for the skilled migration program to meet the Australian Government’s migration planning levels.
Once invited you have 60 calendar days to apply for the visa. We can’t extend this time.
You could receive an invitation up to 2 years after submitting an EOI. If we invite you to apply you will receive an email from SkillSelect. Getting an invitation does not mean you will be granted the visa.
The invitation will include an indicative points score based on your EOI claims. When you apply for the visa, you must show that you can:
- meet the points score on your invitation; and
- meet all other eligibility criteria
We will only invite you to apply for the visa twice. If you don’t apply after the second invitation, your EOI will be removed from SkillSelect.
We will not process your visa application if you are 45 at the time of your invitation.
If you can’t show you meet the invited points score or other eligibility criteria
If you can’t show you meet the indicative points score on your invitation or other visa eligibility criteria, don’t apply for the visa.
Your EOI will be frozen if an invitation is issued, but you can update information once the 60-day invitation period has passed. You can also submit another EOI.
Get help with your application
Gather your documents
You will need to provide documents to support the claims you make in your EOI and show you meet the other eligibility criteria
Provide accurate information
Provide accurate information. See what happens you can’t prove your identity or do not provide true information.
Provide the pages of your current passport showing your photo, personal details, and passport issue and expiry dates.
- a national identity card, if you have one
- proof of change of name
Documents that prove a change of name include:
- a marriage or divorce certificate
- change of name documents from an Australian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages, or the relevant overseas authority
- documents that show other names you have been known by
If you are or have been married, widowed, divorced or permanently separated, provide proof such as marriage certificates, divorce documents, death certificates, separation documents or statutory declarations.
If your partner or dependent children are not included in this application, tell us the reason why (for example, they already hold Australian citizenship or are a permanent resident).
Provide an Australian police certificate if you have spent a total of 12 months or more in Australia in the last 10 years since you turned 16.
We only accept complete disclosure National Police Certificates issued by the Australian Federal Police. We do not accept standard disclosure certificates or national police certificates issued by Australian state or territory police.
For immigration purposes, Australian police certificates are valid for 12 months from the date of issue.
- an overseas police certificate from every country, including your home country, where you spent a total of 12 months or more in the last 10 years since you turned 16
- military service records or discharge papers if you served in the armed forces of any country
Competent English documents
Provide proof you have at least competent English at time of invitation for this visa.
We need to see evidence of your partner’s identity and relationship with you.
- identity documents and photos
- character documents
- marriage certificate, if applicable
- documents about other relationships, if applicable
For de facto relationship provide either:
- evidence that your relationship is registered by an Australian State or Territory
- enough documents to prove you have been in a de facto relationship with your partner for at least 12 months before you apply
For both married and de facto applicants you must provide evidence that you are in a genuine and continuing relationship. Evidence can include but is not limited to:
- joint bank account statements
- billing accounts in joint names
- joint leases or mortgages
- documents that show your partner has lived at the same address as you
Proof your partner has functional English
You don’t have to provide any documents to prove functional English if your partner is a citizen of and holds a valid passport from:
- the United Kingdom
- the Republic of Ireland
- the United States
- New Zealand
Otherwise, provide proof your partner has functional English.
If you can’t show us your partner has functional English, you will need to pay the second instalment of the visa application charge when we ask you to.
Dependants under 18 documents
For every dependant 18 years old or younger who is applying with you, provide:
- copies of birth certificates or the family book showing the names of both parents of all your dependent children
- copies of the adoption paper, if applicable.
Parental responsibility documents
You must get consent for any applicant under 18 years of age to migrate to Australia from anyone who:
- has a legal right to decide where the child lives and
- is not coming to Australia with the child
Alternatively, you can show us:
- an Australian court order that allows your child to migrate to Australia, or
- that the laws of your home country allow them to migrate
- an identity document that shows the signature and photo of the person who completed the form or declaration, such as a passport or driver’s licence
- adoption papers or other court documents if applicable
You don’t have to prove that your dependant under 18 years of age has functional English.
Note: If your child is likely to turn 18 while your application is being processed, you will need to provide evidence they are dependent on you. See the section ‘Dependants over 18 documents’ below for further information. A child who turns 18 while your application is being processed and who is not dependent on you cannot satisfy the criteria for this visa.
Dependants over 18 documents
To include your child who is over 18 in your visa application, they must be:
- over 18 years of age but not yet turned 23, and dependent on you or your partner, or
- over 23 years of age and unable to earn a living to support themselves due to physical or cognitive limitations and dependent on you or your partner
If your child is likely to turn 23 while your application is being processed, you will need to provide evidence they are dependent on you due to disability.
- identity documents
- documents about their other relationships, if applicable
You must also provide proof the child is dependent on you.
- proof of your relationship with the dependant such as a birth certificate or adoption papers
- proof of financial dependency such as bank statements, money transfers and rent receipts
- if the child is aged 23 or is likely to turn 23 while your application is being processed, you must also provide a report from a qualified medical practitioner that states they are dependent on you or your partner due to the total or partial loss of their bodily or mental functions
Note: A child who turns 23 while your application is being processed and who does not meet these requirements cannot satisfy the criteria for this visa.
Proof your dependant has functional English
You don’t have to provide any documents to prove functional English if your dependant is a citizen of and holds a valid passport from:
- the United Kingdom
- the Republic of Ireland
- the United States
- New Zealand
Otherwise, provide proof your dependant has functional English.
If you can’t show us your dependant has functional English, you will need to pay the second instalment of the visa application charge when we ask you to.
Skills assessment documents
You must provide documents that support the claims you made in your EOI. Use the points table to check the documents you need. Depending on your claims this could include evidence of your:
- Skills assessment
- English language skills
- Australian and/or overseas skilled employment
- Educational qualifications
- Satisfying the Australian study requirement
- Specialist education
- Accredited community language
- Study in regional Australia
- Partner skills
- Professional Year in Australia
One of these certificates issued by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency:
- unconditional or general medical registration
- conditional specialist registration – which allows you to practice only in your speciality with no further training or supervision requirements
You must be registered at the time we invite you to apply.
Barristers and Solicitors
Proof of admission to practice as a lawyer in the relevant state or territory. You must be admitted to practice at the time we invite you to apply.
Prepare your documents
Have all non-English documents translated into English.
Translators in Australia must be accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters.
Translators outside Australia do not have to be accredited. But on each translation, they must include their:
- full name
- address and telephone number
- qualifications and experience in the language they are translating
These details must be in English.
Note: You do not need to have any documents certified.
Scan or photograph
Scan or photograph all documents (English and non-English) in colour.
The scans and photos must be clear.
If a document is more than one page, save it all as one file
Apply for the visa
When you have your invitation you can apply online. You can be in or outside Australia.
You have 60 days from the date of your invitation to apply for the visa.
If you didn’t have health examinations before you applied, we will let you know if you need them.
We might ask for biometrics (fingerprints and photo). We will let you know if you need to provide them.
We might also ask you to provide more information; however we are not obliged to do so and may make a decision on your application without asking for more documents.
Make sure you stay lawful in Australia by holding a valid visa while we process your application.
When you applied for this visa, you were granted a Bridging visa A (BVA). If your current visa expires before we decide on your application, the BVA will come into effect. You can stay in Australia on the BVA while we process your new visa application.
You can add members of the family unit to your application after you apply but before we decide on your visa.
Family members who apply for the visa must meet our health and character requirements.
If your child is born after you submit your application but before we decide on your visa, you must tell us as soon as possible.
Tell us if things change
Things you need to let us know about after you have applied include:
- changes to your phone number, email, address or passport
- changes to your marital or de facto status
- the birth of a child
- you want to withdraw your application
You can be in or outside Australia when we decide your visa application but not in immigration clearance. We will let you know our decision in writing.
If we grant your visa, we will tell you:
- your visa grant number
- the date your visa starts
- your visa conditions, if applicable
Keep a copy of the decision.
If we refuse your visa, we will tell you:
- why we refused the visa
- whether you have a right to a review of the decision
We will not refund the application charge if we refuse your application.