Skilled Independent Visas

A number of Skilled visas can be applied for independently (do not require nomination by an employer). Partners and dependent children within the main applicants visa application. The skilled visas require you to nominate an occupation on the respective 'Occupation list' for that visa, plus to show that you have the required level of skilled experience for that occupation (qualifications/skilled work experience).

These visas are Points based (Points Calculator as of November 2019). and require you to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) towards applying for a Skilled visa, a points score of at least 65 points is required to submit an EOI. This Expression of Interest is a competitive process, the selection of individuals who will be Invited to apply for visas being prioritised under different criteria, depending upon the visa type (see below). It is important to recognise that there is no guarantee of being invited to apply for a visa.

  • Subclass 189, Skilled independent visa :
    • This visa can be applied for individually based upon your Points score (Nov 2019 calculator).
    • Invitations to apply for a 189 are competitive and are sent to individuals scoring the highest number of points.
    • This is a Permanent Residence visa allowing its holders to live and work permanently anywhere in Australia.
  • Subclass 190, Skilled Nominated visa:
    • Before being eligible to apply for this visa a State or Territory must agree to nominate you for a 190 visa.
    • In exchange for their sponsorship you are required to commit to living and working within that state/territory for at least 2 years after grant or on arrival in Australia.
    • The states/territories select which occupations they may be interested in nominating individuals under plus may have additional requirements to be met when selecting who they wish to nominate.
    • This visa allows its holders to live and work permanently in Australia.
    • One of the benefits of SC190 State/Territory nomination is that 5 additional points are provided.
  • Subclass 489 Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (NB: no further applications after 16th November 2019):
    • This is a points based visa and requires the visa applicant to be sponsored by a State, Territory or an eligible family member.
    • This visa allows the holder to live, work and/or study in specified regions of Australia for up to 4 years.
    • Assuming the eligibility requirements are met this visa can provide a pathway to Permanent Residence where eligible, through the Skilled—Regional (Residence) visa (subclass 887). (NB: 489 visa holders will continue to apply for the SC 887 visa once eligible)
    • One of the benefits of SC489 State/Territory nomination is that 10 additional points are provided.
  • Subclass 491, Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (commences 16th November 2019):
    • This is a points based visa and requires the visa applicant to be sponsored by a State, Territory or an eligible family member.
    • The 491 is a five-year provisional visa.
    • The 491 visa provides a potential pathway to Permanent Residence through the Subclass 191 (Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional)) visa (discussed below) assuming the eligibility criteria are met.
    • One of the benefits of SC491 State/Territory nomination is that 15 additional points are provided.
    • To ensure that 491 visa holders remain in regional areas holders will be restricted, for a period of time, from applying for several other visas including the visa subclasses 189, 190, 186, 820, 124/858 and 132.

Definition of 'Regional'

The introduction of two new Regional visas, Subclasses 491 and 494, are aimed at encouraging migrants to migrate to areas outside the main cities of Australia. In the context of the 491 and 494 visas the Dept. of Home Affairs (March 2019) advised that, except for Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Perth, that all of Australia would meet the definition of 'Regional'. Therefore, 'Regional' includes many large cities throughout Australia.

Pathway to Permanent Residence from the Provisional 489 and 491 visas

Both the 489 and 491 Provisional Regional Visas provide a potential pathway to Permanent Residence assuming that you meet the eligibility criteria which include:

  • Skilled—Regional (Residence) visa (subclass 887: .
    • Eligibility criteria include: that whilst holding a 489 visa the main applicant has lived for a period of at least 2 years and worked for at least 1 year in a specified area, as per the conditions within the visa (Regional/Low Population/Designated Area).
  • Subclass 191 (Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional)):
    • Eligibility criteria include: that whilst holding a 491 visa the main applicant has lived/worked/studied in the specified regional area for at least three years, whilst holding a 491 visa; and
    • have complied with the Conditions of the 491 visa.
    • can show taxable earnings of at least a specified amount (to be set by the Minister) for a period of at least three years whilst holding this visa.
    • this visa will commence on the 16 November 2022 to align with the 3 year minimum regional commitment requirement.

    Skilled Visa Application Charges

    The 2019-20 visa application charges for the 189/190/489/491 Skilled Visas are as follows:

    • $4045 main applicant
    • $2025 spouse (or dependant children over 18 years of age)
    • $1010 children (less than 18 years of age)
    If you are looking for professional assistance with a Skilled Visa Application, feel free to contact us.