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189General Skilled Migration

Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) visa checklist

By 15 December, 2022May 31st, 20232 Comments6 min read

189 visa document checklist

The Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) visa is a points tested application (unless applying through the New Zealand or Hong Kong streams) which can lead directly to permanent residence. Although anyone can submit an expression of interest through Skill Select, it is an invitation only application where the Department selects the highest scoring candidates out of the eligible pool.

What are the stages of a Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) visa application?

There are generally three key stages of a Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) visa application:

  1. Skills Assessment, which must be obtained from the relevant skills assessing authority in relation to the nominated occupation;
  2. Expression of Interest (EOI), where the applicant obtains completes a points assessment through Skill Select; and
  3. Visa, where the applicant demonstrates they meet the requirements for the claimed points.

You can read more about addressing the above requirements here.

What are the eligibility requirements of the Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) visa?

Generally speaking, the requirements for a successful application are:

  1. have an occupation on the relevant skilled occupation list (see here);
  2. have a suitable skills assessment for the occupation;
  3. be invited to apply for this visa;
  4. be under the age of 45 if you are invited to apply for the visa;
  5. satisfy the points test (score 65 points or more, though pragmatically the minimum score is higher);
  6. have competent English at the time of invitation; and
  7. meet health and character requirements.

You can read a more detailed summary about the eligibility requirements for the Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) visa here.

What documents are required for the Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) visa?

The specific documents required for a Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) visa application will depend on the individual and their family members unique circumstances. Additional documents may be required for the skills assessment, which are not addressed here.

For a general Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) visa checklist, refer to the table below:

Document required
Primary applicant
Secondary applicants


Relevant change of name documents

Marriage certificates / de facto registration  (spouse)

Birth certificates (children)

Relevant qualification certificates and academic transcripts (particularly in relation to points claimed)

Relevant skills assessment in relation to the nominated occupation)

✔ (if claiming points for your partner’s skills assessment)

Previous employment payment evidence (in relation to points claimed)

Previous employment contracts (in relation to points claimed)

Previous employment references (in relation to points claimed)

Community Credentialed Language certification (if claiming points)

Professional year certification (if claiming points)

Relevant registration or licenses

✔(depending on occupation)

Police clearances from every country you have spent 12 months or more in the past 10 years (since turning 16 years of age)

Health assessments

Evidence of English language proficiency (you will need to demonstrate at least a “competent” level of English but likely more depending on your points claimed)

The above is a general checklist so further information may be required

Who can I include in my Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) visa application?

Your family can be included in your Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) visa as secondary applicants. This includes your spouse or de facto partner, children under 18 years of age, and dependent children 18 years of age or over in certain circumstances.

To include dependents over 18 years of age (up to 23 years of age) who are not your spouse / de facto partner, you need to provide additional evidence that they are financially dependent on you or your partner. ‘Dependency’ refers to your child being substantially reliant on you to meet their basic needs. To demonstrate dependency, your Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) dependent visa document checklist should include evidence that:

  • they live with you (bills / lease agreements);
  • they are a full-time student (course enrolment, payment of fees);
  • you send them money (bank statements)

In limited circumstances a dependent child over 23 years old can be included with your Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) visa (e.g. if they have a recognised disability).

I have lodged my Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) visa – what happens now?

If you are in Australia and have lodged a Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) visa application, you will be granted a bridging visa A (BVA) to allow you to remain in Australia while a decision is made. A BVA application is typically submitted alongside your Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) visa application simultaneously (and automatically). Please note that you will not be allowed to re-enter Australia if you depart on a BVA. You will need to apply for a different type of bridging visa if you wish to travel.

You can learn more about bridging visas and what they mean for your immigration status here.

If you are outside Australia when you apply for your Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) visa application, you will need to wait for it to be granted before entering Australia (or otherwise obtain another visa to allow you to first travel).

Do you require further assistance?

If you require assistance with your Skilled Independent (Subclass 189) visa application, or have any other immigration related queries, get in touch with our experienced team. Contact us by email at [email protected] or by phone at +61 3 9016 0484.

This document does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Please consult an immigration professional for up to date information.

Mihan Hannan

Author Mihan Hannan

Formerly a Senior Associate in one of Australia’s most reputable immigration litigation and review practices, Mihan is solutions focused and well versed in all aspects of Australian immigration law. Mihan also has a subscription addiction, being obsessed with tools to improve the firms immigration work flow.

More posts by Mihan Hannan

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • shamsa says:


    I am interested in applying for a independent skilled subclass 189 PR Visa.

    I already have a positive vetasses for Information and Organisation Professionals nec (ANZSCO Code: 224999) but this is only applicable for skilled 190.
    My current point calculation according to skill select is 70 (excluding state nomination) for subclass 190.

    I have applied for an EOI from Victoria (around Sep 2022), yet there have not been any invitation rounds since November 2022.
    Since rounds have closed up in July 2023, what happens to my EOI? Should I have to reapply in the new year?
    Also, What are the expectations for 2023-2024?

    I work as an analyst (finance department) with a bachelors degree in accounting along with a Masters in Business Administration (general management).
    I only have work experience within my country (United Arab Emirates)

    My goal is to obtain a PR Visa independently. I would like to know the process/requirements, and If I am eligible to obtain a skills assessment that would qualify me for subclass 189.
    Or if there are any other methods that would be more suitable (ones that grant a PR Visa from the get go)

    Do you also offer immigration services? If I an in process with an immigration agency, will this impact my application? Would I have to withdraw and re-apply?

    Thank you.
    kind regards,

    • admin says:

      Hi Shamsa,
      As there’s a number of questions to unpack, one of our lawyers will email you directly to see how we can help.
      Kind regards,
      Hannan Tew

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