Apply for Skilled Independent Work Visa


Process for Applying for a Skilled Independent Work Visa

Includes: Visa subclasses 189, 489

This General Skilled Migration program offers permanent visas allowing skilled workers to live and work in Australia without having to be sponsored by an employer or family member.

Here is a brief overview of the process for applying for the Independent Skilled Migration visas:

Step 1 Submit an Expression of Interest through the online Department of Immigration system called SkillsSelect. The information required is quite thorough and is equivalent to 6 pages of information.

SkillSelect requires you to meet a point-test or the system will not process your Expression of Interest. The pass mark is currently 60 points.

Click here to access a free points test. Many people misinterpret the points test criteria and overestimate their score; some underestimate their scores and give up before applying. Contact us for a free Initial Assessment to take the guess work out.

If your Expression of Interest is successfully processed, you will be put on the Australian Department of Immigration database.

Caution: Do not treat your Expression of Interest lightly. There are serious implications for your migration status in Australia if this section is not completed accurately. You only get one shot and you will need to be able to back-up all the claims that you make with the correct paperwork, in a particular timeframe and manner. Your Expression of Interest is a legal document. This is further explained in Step 3.

Step 2 Based on your Expression of Interest, you will have a chance to be nominated by a State/Territory, an Australian employer or the Department of Immigration themselves. If you are selected, you will receive a Letter of Invitation from the Australian Government.

There is still uncertainty at this stage as you have not been granted a visa. You have 60 days in which to apply after being selected. Accordingly, it is important that you have all required documentation prepared to lodge as soon as possible.

Step 3 Apply for your visa:

  1. Lodge your visa application and provide all the required documents in a timely manner in the format required by the Australian Department of Immigration
  2. Pay a Visa Application Charge to the Australian Government to have your visa application processed. Currently the Visa Application Charge is a minimum of $3,520 Australia Dollars. This varies depending on a number of factors.
  3. Your information is then verified and scrutinized by the Department of Immigration and compared to what you wrote in your Expression of Interest.

Caution: If you have incorrectly calculated your points at the Expression of Interest stage or even misinterpreted what the question legally requires from you, you will:

  • Automatically be refused a visa even though you genuinely may have made a mistake
  • Lose your Visa Application Charge fee
  • Possibly be banned from reapplying for 3 years

Given the complexity of the Expression of Interest and its serious legal consequences, we have dedicated Migration Lawyers that can help you prepare your Expression of Interest to give you the best chance to receive a Letter of Invitation. Don?t risk guessing your way through it.


Here are some ways that we can help you with your application:

  • Provide you with a free Initial Assessment
  • Advise you on your eligibility to save you time and money
  • Calculating your points correctly by examining your work experience and CV and asking you the right questions. While the wording seems simple enough, the Expression of Interest uses legal jargon that can be easily misinterpreted. We take the guesswork out.
  • Advising you on your choice of occupation to give you the best chance of success
  • Sorting out State/Territory sponsorship matters
  • Preparation of documents to maximize your EOI score
  • Helping you find the best strategy to migrate permanently to Australia
  • You will NEED a Tax File Number to work in Australia or you will automatically be taxed 48% instead of a rate between 15% to 30% (tax rate depends on how much you earn). Our Tax Team can set you up with a Tax File Number so that it is ready before you start working Australia. Visit Get Your Tax File Number.