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Independent Skilled Visa

Skills Select is a new name for popular Skilled Visa

The Australian Government announced a major reform on 1 July 2012 to its General Skilled Migration (GSM) visa program and the way that Australia selects their skilled migrants for Skilled Visa. The new reform is known as Skills Select or commonly as Skilled Visa.

The system gives the Government the tools to prioritize prospective migrants in order of merit; selecting the ‘brightest and best’ migrants and/or candidates to fill labour market shortages. It also gives the Australian Government the tools to tweak the type of occupations most needed, curb the occupations where there are too many applications and manage the general mix of occupations accepted in each program year.

The Skills Select model is based on an initial application EOI – Expression of Interest. An EOI is not a visa application, but rather an application to be invited to make a visa applics a Skilled Visa. In an EOI, the applicant selects the type of visa they wish to be considered for.

Independent Skilled visa has 3 options:

Skilled visa – Independent Permanent (Subclass 189)  – this is a points-based visa for skilled workers who are not sponsored by an employer, a state/territory or a family member. People holding this visa can live and work permanently anywhere in Australia.

Skilled visa – Nominated Permanent (Subclass 190) visa – this is a point-based visa for skilled visa workers who are nominated by a state or territory employer. People holding this visa can live and work permanently anywhere in Australia, although visa holders must stay in the state or territory that nominated them for at least two years.

Skilled visa – Nominated or Sponsored (Temporary) (Subclass 489) – this is a points-based visa for skilled visa workers who are nominated or sponsored by an eligible relative living in a designated area in Australia, or in some cases by a state or territory. People holding this visa can live and work temporarily for four years in a specified regional area. This visa can lead to permanent residence once the visa holder has met the visa conditions.

Usually, the process will be as follows:

1. Obtain Skills Assessment and complete English testing
2. Lodge Expression of Interest (EOI) online
3. Receive Invitation from Department of Immigration
4. Lodge Visa application within 60 days


These visas were not very popular for a few years, as they are designed for very well educated, young people with great work experience and a specific occupation (Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List) which was popular at the time. Now, as the database has been cleaned so well, it is becoming easier and faster for applicants to receive EOI.

It is an online process, that is crucial for your application because for each answer you receive points. The number of points gained will determine if you can get into the database and how high in the hierarchy you will be. However, if you score less than 60 points, your application is automatically refused.


If you have more points your application will be available for 3 years in the database, where it can be picked by state, immigration or a sponsor. The more points you have, the better chances you have.

General information:

  • Minimum IELTS score of 6.0
  • Temporary visa 489 has pathway to PR visa after 2 years
  • Popular occupations in state sponsorship are taken within minutes from opening
  • There are new opportunities for designated area sponsorship.