The skilled migrant visa for Australia is referred to as the Skilled Independent Visa (subclass 189) and falls within the General Skilled Migration category.
Who should read the information below?
If you are seeking permanent residency in Australia, and wish to work in Australia on your arrival, then the skilled independent visa is one option worth considering.
The skilled independent visa is a points-based visa for individuals:
- who do not have a job offer;
- with a relative to sponsor them;
- that wish to work and live in Australia permanently.
What the Skilled Independent Visa allows you to do
As a permanent residency visa, the Skilled Independent Visa allows you and any family members to:
- Remain 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.
- Where eligible, apply for Australian citizenship.
- Sponsor eligible relatives with their own applications for permanent residency.
Important points to note
In order to be qualify for a skilled independent visa you must meet the below basic criteria:
- Be under the age of 45.
- Possess at least competent English.
- Have an occupation that is on the skill shortage list.
There are 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 4 elements:
- The pre-expression of interest assessment – This step judges your potential application against a points based assessment. A minimum of 60 points needs to be obtained to move on to the next stage. As you will see from the below, it is imperative that the assessment is carried out thoroughly by someone of knowledge, so that every avenue is explored and an informed decision is made.
- The expression of interest application – Simply put, an expression of interest is an applicant demonstrating their interest in a specific Australian visa. It is essentially an application which details which visa subclass and stream you intend to apply for; whether you are seeking sponsorship from a state or territory government; and are open to residing in specific states or territories. It judges your application on a points basis and against other expression of interests received. A decision is then made whether to invite you to make a visa application or not. 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.
- The invitation to apply – Based on the information that has been provided in the expression of interest, you may receive an invitation to apply for a Skilled Independent Visa 189. Generally speaking, invitations to apply are issued most months. The invitation will detail the person who is being invited to apply as well as the time frame within the application must be made.
- Making an application – As per the details within the expression of interest, this is a time-driven process. The application itself, in essence, now provides all the required material facts and supporting documentation to validate the information given on the expression of interest (including the assessment).
Why you should get assistance
The reality is that Australian immigration rules are complex and detailed. A mistake at the first stage (assessment stage) will come back to haunt you. For instance, you may have passed your assessment, successfully submitted your expression of interest and subsequently been invited to apply. However, on receipt of your application it will be refused if the points score is less than that claimed in the expression of interest, even you are otherwise able to pass the points test or meet other threshold criteria.
In short, you will be turned down and lose all of money you spent.
Who can help you?
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. You can view more details here on how to identify a registered agent, the benefits of doing so and how to avoid ‘scams’.
You can also access Intergate Emigration’s registered migration agent’s details here on the official Migration Agents Registration Authority website.
Simply put – if the company and individual are not the MARA site, do not use their services.
Getting the process started
At Intergate Emigration, as licensed immigration agents, we always take a step-by-step approach to the Skilled Independent Visa. We start, at the start, with a thorough and comprehensive assessment (if you meet the basic criteria as detailed above).
This approach means you do not falsely invest your money or aspirations into something that may not even be an option for you.