Are you a skilled professional exploring non-employer-sponsored work visa options that allow you to live and work in Australia permanently? Or is your business reviewing its options to engage skilled migrants that have already secured Permanent Residence? There are two different streams within the 189 Visa – the Points-tested stream and the New Zealand stream. The Points-tested stream allows invited workers with skills needed in Australia to live and work permanently anywhere in Australia, including Melbourne, whereas the New Zealand stream allows eligible New Zealand citizens to migrate to Australia if they have demonstrated commitment and contributed to Australia. Here’s what you need to know about the 189 Visa Points-tested stream.
Not all work visas require employer sponsorship. Skilled professionals may be interested in migrating to Australia independently, whereas businesses may wish to engage Independent Skilled 189 Visa holders, who have already obtained Permanent Residence in Australia by meeting a points test set by the Government. Independent Skilled 189 Visa holders have been approved for Permanent Residence by meeting several Points-tested requirements based on their age, English language ability, work experience, and qualifications in an eligible skilled occupation. Eligible occupations on the Skilled Occupation List for this visa can change from time to time to represent skills in shortage in the Australian economy.
The ‘Points-tested stream’ is a points-tested visa that can only be applied for after receiving an invitation from the Government.
Here’s a summary of the process:
Generally, the minimum score to receive an invitation for Independent Skilled Visas is 65 points, however, this does vary according to the occupation a person is applying under. The Expression of Interest process is highly competitive and you may need even more points than the minimum required for your occupation if others apply with more points than you. Invitations are issued based on points rankings. Applicants must declare that they have a suitable skills assessment and provide this when they lodge their application. They will also need to achieve a ‘competent’ level of English and be under 45 at the time they receive the invitation. After receiving an invitation to apply for a 189 Visa, you can proceed with preparing the visa application.
Like many other visas, the Department of Home Affairs requires the main applicant and any dependent family members who apply for a 189 Visa to meet specific health and character requirements. The applicants may need to have health examinations to prove they meet the health requirement. To prove that the applicants have good character, the Department of Home Affairs may also request documents such as police certificates. The visa applicant will also need to pay any debts to the Australian Government if funds are owed. All applicants who are 18 years or older must also read and sign the Australian Values Statement. Applicants who have had a visa cancelled or refused may be ineligible for this visa – you may wish to seek professional migration advice if so.
189 visa applicants can include their spouse and/or dependent children in the application at the time of lodgement or before the visa decision is made by the Department of Home Affairs. Conditions and age limits apply. Applicants can be onshore or offshore when the visa application is lodged.
Once the 189 Visa is granted, it allows the visa holders to stay in Australia indefinitely as this is a permanent visa. Therefore, they can live, work and study in Australia, enrol in Australia’s public healthcare scheme, Medicare, sponsor eligible relatives to come to Australia, and apply for Australian citizenship if eligible. They can also travel to and from Australia as many times as they like for 5 years from the date grant this visa is granted and apply for a Resident Return Visa after 5 years if they want to travel after the initial 5-year travel provision. International travel restrictions during the pandemic may apply.
Our migration agents would be happy to assess your eligibility for Permanent Residence through a 189 Visa or other Independent Skilled Visa options. We begin by reviewing a copy of your resume including your skills, experience, and qualifications and then advise on the options available and the requirements for applying. During a consultation, our migration agent will also provide advice on how you can maximise your points and any visa conditions that you may need to be aware of so you can make a more informed decision. After the consultation, you can choose to engage our services to manage your visa application and receive ongoing advice on how to prepare the evidence requirements.
If you would like to understand your options to migrate to Melbourne or anywhere in Australia through the 189 Visa or Independent Skilled Visa pathways, we encourage you to get in touch with Interstaff’s Registered Migration Agents on 03 8319 0902 (Melbourne Office), 1800 449 858 (Free Call Within Australia) or +61 8 9221 3388 for International clients.
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