Independent Skilled Visas

Australia manages its Skilled Independent Migration Visa Application Program, through an Expression of Interest (EOI), points based, "SkillSelect" program (subclass 189 and 190 visas).

The SkillSelect program is aimed at migrants who meet the requirements in respect of their qualifications and work experience in specific listed occupations. Individual visa applicants are invited based upon a Points Test, with applicants selected from the pool generally in relation to their score and EOI date. DIBP and the individual States and Territories have specified lists of occupations in demand (MLTSSL, SSTOL lists and the State Migration Plans).

The demand for each occupation is monitored and quotas are set for each occupation. Several popular occupations are offered on a pro-rata basis targeting higher scoring applicants. Therefore, strategies and tactics may be useful when considering making an EOI.

Please complete the Points Calculator or contact us, sending a copy of your resume, if you would like an initial overview of your eligibility for these visas or the options that may be open to you.

The SkillSelect system means that DIBP, unlike previously, are no longer required to process all applications that meet the required number of points. Rather the new scheme provides DIBP with control of the ability to select who it invites to apply for visas based upon a combination of the individuals skills combined with occupation quotas to ensure certain occupations are not over-represented. The program was changed to ensure the skilled migration program addressed the needs of Australia.

The consequence for applicants is that just passing the points requirement may not result in a visa grant. The competition with other applicants as well as other factors influence the likelihood of being invited to apply for a visa. Depending on an individual's intentions and skills, tactics can be considered aimed at increasing the likelihood of selection.

Skilled Independent Migrants

It is no longer possible to apply directly for a skilled independent visas. Prospective applicants are now first required to submit an Expression of Interest, detailing how they fit the criteria for application. The individual criteria provide each applicant with a points score. Applicants with scores (currently) over 60 are eligible to make an Expressions of Interest.

You can check your experience against the required points with the Points Calculator.

Expressions of Interest are placed into a pool for up to two years. Individuals are selected from the pool based on the top-ranking scores (this score varies), or other selected criteria such as priority processing. Invitations to apply for a visa are then sent to selected applicants.

The Expression of Interest is not static and an applicant gaining extra points, e.g. for age, can increase their score and therefore the likelihood of being drawn for the pool.


Applicants wishing to commit to living and working for 2 years in a specific State or Territory can also consider the State Sponsorship scheme for a Skilled Sponsored visa.