Do you want to work in Australia? Well, depending on several factors including the nature of your work and your work experience, there are many different types of Australian visas you can choose from. Indeed, the best way to go to Australia is to get a visa that connects with your profession and work expertise.
In this article, we will learn more about one such visa, called the skilled independent visa. The skilled independent visa is a visa which gives you an opportunity to work and live as a permanent resident in Australia. To learn more about this visa, then continue to read.
Disclaimer: The information posted here is based on the personal experiences shared by the OFW in the video below. Please let this post serve as a guide only. If you have specific questions, you may ask the OFW by commenting on their video on their accounts.
Getting a Skilled Independent Visa to Work and Live in Australia
The information presented in this video comes from a YouTube video from the channel RSE BOX. In this video, the OFW vlogger mainly talks about how you can apply for the skilled independent visa. Before that, though, she also discusses about what the qualifications are before you can even begin to apply. If you are interested in watching the full video, then click on the link below:
What is Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189)?
The skilled independent visa is an Australian visa that allows you to work and live permanently in any place in the country. It is only available for invited workers. In summary, with a skilled independent visa:
- A sponsor or nominator is not needed
- You should be invited
- You should be less than 45 years old
What Can You Do with a Visa 189?
You can do any of the following with a skilled independent visa:
- You can work and study anywhere in Australia
- You can sponsor your qualified relatives to live in Australia as permanent residents
- You can become an Australian citizen if you are eligible
What You Need to Qualify for a Visa 189
In order to qualify for a skilled independent visa, you must have the following:
- Have a job that belongs to the skilled occupation list
- Meet the suitable skills assessment needed for the job you are applying in
- As mentioned above, you have to be invited to apply
- Satisfy the points test
Getting Invited to Apply
As mentioned above, you have to be invited by the Immigration office of Australia to be qualified for this visa. The very first thing you need to do is submit an expression of interest. This can be done through SkillSelect, an online platform where you complete your EOI as an initial step towards qualifying for a visa application.
Depending on the profession you want to apply in, you may have to undergo a Skills Assessment, which is issued by a skills assessing authority. After completing your EOI in SkillSelect, it will stay there for a validity of 2 years.
While creating your EOI, you will be making claims there about your work experience, educational background, and others. At this step, you need to provide proof of your claims by gathering corresponding documents.
These are the things you need to remember when gathering documents:
- You need to ensure that the information you put in is accurate. There will be consequences, like not being granted a visa and others, if you don’t do so.
- You need to provide identity documents,
- Relationship documents
- Character documents
- Competent English documents
- Partner documents
- Dependents under 18 documents
- Dependents over 18 documents
- Skills assessment documents
- Expression of Interest documents
All of these documents should be clear scans or photos. To learn more about these documents, visit the immigration website page.
Applying for the Visa
Once you receive an invitation to apply, you can now proceed. Take note that you have only 60 days from receiving the invitation to process the visa application.
What are the steps in applying for this visa? Well, here they are:
- In your SkillSelect account, click “Apply for visa.” This leads to your ImmiAccount.
- Create an account in ImmiAccount.
- Attach your documents in your ImmiAcccount.
- Pay your application charge.
- Take note of your TRN (transaction reference number).
You will be informed when the authorities have received your application. By this time, you will have to constantly check your ImmiAccount since they might ask you to provide more information.
Here are some of the important things you need to remember:
- Wait for a written document that says you have been granted the visa before you leave for Australia.
- You may need to take health examinations.
- You might also be required to take biometrics
- If you made a mistake in your application, inform them immediately. You will have to complete a form that notifies them that you have incorrect answers.
Getting Help with Your Visa Application
According to Australia’s immigration website, only people from immigration assistance can help you with your visa application. They can help you by doing the following:
- Help you prepare the documents you need to apply for the visa
- Give advice about matters related to getting your visa
- Represent you or help you prepare when you need to be in a court or a review authority
A person is only qualified to help you with immigration assistance if they are either of the following:
- Registered migration agent
- Legal practitioner
- Exempt person – basically someone who is not a migration agent but is a close family member, your nominator or spouse, and others. They should not charge you with a fee for their help.
A Points-Tested Visa
The vlogger reemphasizes that you don’t have to find an employer for this visa. After submitting your EOI, you will get a score based on your claims, and you need to have a minimum of 65 points so that you qualify.
This point system is based off of the following categories:
- Language proficiency
- Marital status
In terms of age, the points are divided into the following bracket. Essentially, there is no age limit, but if you are older than 45 years, then you get no points for age. That is, a certain age has corresponding points:
- 18 – 25 years old – you get 25 points
- 25 – 33 years old – you get 30 points
- 33 – 40 years old – you get 25 points
- 40 – 45 years old – you get 15 points
When it comes to English language skills, the points come in three levels. These levels are the following:
- Competent – you get 0 points
- Proficient – you get 10 points
- Superior – you get 20 points
To prove your English proficiency, you need to take any of the following 5 English language proficiency tests recognized by Australia’s immigration branch:
- Toefl iBT
- PTE Academic
- Cambridge (CAE)
If you get the following scores, you will only be labeled as competent in English proficiency:
- IELTS – all 6s in listening, reading, writing and speaking
- TOEFL iBT – 12 in listening, 13 in reading, 21 in writing and 18 in speaking.
- PTE (Academic) – all 50s in listening, reading, writing and speaking
- OET – All Bs in listening, reading, writing and speaking
- Cambridge (CAE) – All 169s in listening, reading, writing and speaking
Basically, you need to score higher than the above mentioned points if you wish to fall under a higher category of English proficiency.
The following are the scores needed if you want to fall under the proficient level for English proficiency:
- IELTS – all 7s in listening, reading, writing and speaking
- TOEFL iBT – 24 in listening and reading, 27 in writing and 23 in speaking
- PTE Academic – all 65 in listening, reading, writing and speaking
- OET – All B’s in listening, reading, writing and speaking
- Cambridge (CAE) – all 185 in listening, reading, writing and speaking
The following are the scores you need if you want to have a superior evaluation in the English language
- IELTS – all 8s in listening, reading, writing and speaking
- TOEFL iBT – 28 in listening, 29 in reading, 30 in writing and 26 in speaking
- PTE Academic -all 79s in listening, reading, writing and speaking
- OET – All As in listening, reading, writing and speaking
- Cambridge (CAE) – all 200s in listening, reading, writing and speaking
Point System for Skilled Employment Experience
For this category in the points system, what matters is your work experience in the profession you wish to work in in Australia. For example, the vlogger mentioned that as a teacher, she worked for 1 year in the Philippines. Then, she worked as a teacher in Thailand for 8 years.
Here is a breakdown of the number of points you can get for skilled employment experience:
- Less than 3 years – 0 points
- At least 3 but less than 5 years – 5 points
- At least 5 but less than 8 years – 10 points
- At least 8 years – 15 points
In addition, Immigration has a very specific definition for being employed. That is, you are employed if you have an occupation, and you’re getting paid for it, and that you are working on that job for at least 20 hours per week.
In addition, only closely-related occupations count. For example, if you are applying to be a teacher, then your teaching experience counts. In some cases, an assessing authority will determine whether some of the jobs you do are closely-related to the profession you wish to apply to in Australia.
Finally, the maximum number of points you can get from work experience is 20. It is possible that your actual work experience exceeds that, but this cap limits it.
Point System for Education
Provided that your degree is recognized by the authorities, the following point system is put in place:
- Doctorate – 20 points
- Bachelor/Masters – 15 points
- Diploma – 10 points
- Recognized Universities – 10 points
The question now is, how are your educational qualifications recognized? Well, each profession has an assessing authority, and their main task is to determine if your qualifications can be compared to their Australian equivalent.
If you want to figure out what the assessing authority is for your profession, then go to the home affairs website by clicking on this link: Immigration Home Affairs.
Scroll down and you will see a search box under “Skilled occupation list.” Type your profession, and beneath it select, from a dropdown menu, “Skilled independent (subclass 189) – Points-tested”. A table will emerge below the page showing a list of occupations in one column and the corresponding assessing authority in another column.
The following are examples of common professions and their corresponding assessing authorities:
- Accountant (General) – CAANZ, CPAA, IPA
- Engineer – Engineers Australia
- Bricklayer – TRA
- Cardiologist – MedBA
- Science-related jobs – VETASSESS
VETASSESS (Vocational Education Training and Assessment Services), in particular, can assess your educational level and give an opinion on whether it compares with the Australian standards or not. In particular, it will compare your level against the AQF, which stands for Australian Qualifications Framework.
A lot of professions have VETASSESS as their assessing authority. In addition, if your skills assessing authority cannot provide you with an opinion on your qualification, then you can try to contact VETASSESS for their advice.
Point System for Marital Status
When it comes to marital status, being single is an advantage because you will get automatic 10 points. If you are married or if you have common law partner, you will get 10 points.
Having a spouse or a common law factor means that they too must apply for this visa. Moreover, you will get 10 points if your spouse or common law partner meets the criteria for the following:
- English proficiency – should have competent English
- Skill – a suitable skills assessment from the relevant assessing authority
- Skill occupation – the same as your nominated skilled occupation
- Age – should be under 45 years old at the time of applying for this visa
There you have it. Have you already computed your estimated points? If you have done so and you get 65 points or above, then you are qualified to apply for this Australian visa.