The Skilled Independent Visa allows foreign nationals or people residing in Australia to apply for Permanent Residence (PR). This visa comes under the category of subclass 189 and is a point based skilled immigration program. You must have a valid substantive visa meaning a valid non-expiring visa. You could also apply if you have a bridging visa A, B or C which is a temporary visa allotted to immigrants or visitors whose visa is close to expiry and they are waiting for their immigration decision.
You can apply under this category if you are not sponsored by an Australian employer or a family member or nominated by regional state. You need to submit an expression of interest in order to apply for Permanent Residence under this category. If you are invited to apply for this visa, you will receive an invite through SkillSelect and will have 60 days time to apply. It is critical that you ensure that your application is having consistent information and is supported by right evidence.
Eligibility Criteria for the Applicants
To apply you must have an invite through SkillSelect. You need to fulfill the below criteria at the time of invitation:
- You should have nominated an occupation that is there on the relevant skilled occupation list
- You must have undergone skill assessment under suitable assessment authority and obtained desired skill assessment score for that occupation
- Your age must be below 50 years
- You must have achieve the desired score specified in your letter of invitation based on different point based factors
- You must have competent level of communication in English.
- You must meet health and character requirements
- You must not owe any debt to Australian Government
- You do have to sign Australian Value Statement and respect the laws of Australia
Visa Benefits of Skilled Independent Visa – Subclass 189:
Visa granted under Skilled Independent Visa offers you and your family to enjoy the following benefits:
- Live, work and Study in Australia
- Stay in Australia indefinitely
- Avail the benefits of Australian healthcare system by enrolling in Medicare scheme
- If you meet the eligibility criteria you can apply for Australian Citizenship
- Sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence
- Multiple Entries and Exits from Australia for five years (After 5 years you would need a resident return visa or another visa to return to Australia)
Checklist of documents for visa under Skilled Independent Visa- Subclass 189:
When you are applying for visa under Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Subclass 187 you would be require to attach all the relevant documents with the application. It is very important that you provide certified copies of original documents, you may also be asked to submit certain original documents as well. In case the documents are not in English, they must be translated in English by some accredited translators. You are required to submit scans of documents online, physical copies of documents are not required unless asked for specifically.
- While submitting applications under point based systems, it’s very important to ensure all the relevant documents to support point claim are included as evidence.
- Completed and Filled Application Form:
- To apply for Permanent Regional Sponsored Skilled Migration Visa, you need to complete an application form available on the official website of Australian Immigration Authority.
- Include Form 47a or Form 80 for any family member who is dependent on you:
- In case, you have a child or other dependent member whose age is equal to or less than 18 years of age, you need to fill form 47a. If the age of the dependent person other than partner is above 18 years you need to fill Form 80.
- In case you want to take your child younger than 18-23 years of age it is important to submit an evidence of their financial dependence. For each of your dependants aged 18 years or older at the time you apply, one of the following conditions must be true:
- They have functional English.
- If they have less than functional English, a statement indicating that you intend to pay second visa application charge is required.
- Personal Identification Documents:
- Passport Copies: Certified copies of your current passports or travel documents of all people included in your application.
- Name Change Document: If there is a name change or name of any applicant has changed please provide evidence to support name change.
- Identification proof including both parent names: A certified copy of your birth certificate clearly showing names of both the parents. In case you don’t have a birth certificate and cannot show any certified copy of identification pages you must show other certified proofs such as, family book showing parents, court-issued document, identification proof issued by government, etc…..
- Education Qualification and Experience Related documents: While applying for any visa it’s very important to submit all the important documents related to educational qualification and professional work experience. You only need to submit certified copies of original documents unless specifically requested by Australian government for more such documents.
- Relationship Status Information:
- Certified copies of marriage certificates or relationship registrations for you and any other person included in your application is compulsory even if your partner may not be going to Australia with you.
- If you are widowed, divorced, or are permanently separated, submit a certified copy of the death certificate or, divorce documents.
- Character Information:
- Police verification of you and all the other people in your application is compulsory to prove that the applicants have clean criminal records.
- In case you or anyone in your family has worked with armed forces of any country, a certified scanned color copy of military service record or discharge paper is required.
- Proof of age:
- You must submit birth certificate or any other government certified proof of your age in order to apply for visa. You must be under 50 years of age unless you are exempted. Exemption is provided only to high skilled professionals like researcher, scientist, and medical practitioner.
- English Language Eligibility:
- In order to apply for Permanent Resident visa it is very important to meet the language proficiency of English. You can appear for different English qualification tests, but you must meet the minimum eligibility score for that exam. You can give any one of the following listed exams:
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
- Occupational English Test (OET)
- Test of English Language internet Based Test (TOEFL bit)
- Pearson Test English (PTE)
- Cambridge Advanced English (CAE)
Skilled employment proofs are in the 10 years period before you were invited to apply, you need the following supportive documents to prove your claim:
- Employment references
- Contracts, pay slip, tax returns, group certificates,
- Evidence that you are self-employed
- Any other document that you provided to the relevant assessing authority to obtain skill assessment
- Employment references authorized professionals of previous organization
If you are professionals you are required to get your professional experience years recognized by appropriate assessing authorities such as:
- Australian Computer Society
- CPA Australia
- Institute of Chartered Accountants of Australia
- Institute of Public Accountants
- Engineers Australia
- You would need to submit evidences of any degree, diplomas, certificates, completion letters and course transcripts and any other document that was submitted to assessing authority that support your educational qualification.
- Specialist Education Qualification: This is required for people who have completed Post Graduate Degree by Research through a course or courses taken for at least two academic years at an Australian educational institution.
- Once you have all the relevant documents to prove your point based eligibility, you can apply through express interest. Once you receive an invite through SkillSelect, you can submit all documents required to apply for Skilled Independent Migration Visa.
Processing time for visa under Skilled Independent Visa – Subclass 189:
If you have submitted your visa application and are concerned with the amount of time it will take for your application to process, this section offers all the information you need. For all applications under skilled migrations, highest priority is given to application coming though Skill Select Subclass 187, 186, 190 and 489.
According to Australian Immigration Department website, the average processing time for applications filed under Skilled Independent Visa – Subclass 189 is around 3-4 months. But, every case file is unique and the time of processing depends on the information provided by you along with supported documents. You can track your application online on the department website to know your application status.