The Skilled Independent Subclass 189 visa is a permanent residency visa that allows skilled workers to live and work in Australia without needing a sponsor, family member, or state/territory nomination. It’s a points-tested visa, and applicants must meet specific criteria and score a minimum number of points to be eligible. Let’s delve into more details, including its types, fees, and processing times:
Types of Subclass 189 Visa:
- Skilled Independent Subclass 189 (Points Tested Stream): This is the standard Subclass 189 visa for skilled workers who meet the points requirement based on factors like age, English proficiency, skills, and work experience.
- Skilled Independent Subclass 189 (New Zealand Stream): It’s for New Zealand citizens who have demonstrated commitment and contribution to Australia.
Note: The Skilled Independent (subclass 189) (New Zealand stream) visa permanently closed for new applications on 1 July 2023. For more information see Recent changes.
- Skilled Independent Subclass 189 (Hong Kong Stream): This visa is for eligible for Hong Kong and British National passport holders who have expressed commitment to Australia to live and work permanently in Australia.
Key Features of Subclass 189 Visa:
- Permanent Residency: Provides permanent residency status in Australia, allowing you to stay indefinitely.
- No Sponsorship Required: No need for a sponsor or family member to apply, and no state or territory nomination is required.
- Points-Tested: You must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect and meet the minimum points requirement for an invitation to apply.
- Work and Study Rights: You can work and study in Australia without restrictions.
- Access to Medicare: You have access to Australia’s healthcare system, Medicare, providing subsidized medical services.
- Family Inclusion: Eligible family members, such as your partner and dependent children, can be included in your application.
- Path to Citizenship: After meeting the residency requirement, you can apply for Australian citizenship.
Here are some general fee ranges for the Subclass 189 visa:
- Main applicant: AUD4,640.00 (N/A for New Zealand stream)
- Additional applicant over 18 years: AUD $2,020 to $2,445
- Additional applicant under 18 years: AUD $1,015 to $1,225
These fees are subject to change, and it’s crucial to check the official Department of Home Affairs website for the most up-to-date visa fee information.
The processing time for the Subclass 189 visa can vary based on various factors, including the complexity of your case, the number of applications being processed, and whether you have provided all required documentation. As of the last update, processing times for the Subclass 189 visa (points tested stream) were estimated to be around 5 to 8 months on average and 10 to 25 months for New Zealand stream. However, these times can change, and it’s important to regularly check the official Department of Home Affairs website for the latest processing time estimates.
Remember that immigration policies, fees, and processing times can change over time. Always refer to the official Department of Home Affairs website for the most accurate and up-to-date information before making any decisions or applying for the Subclass 189 visa.