Can I Apply for an Australian Skilled Visa 189 Without Work Experience?


The Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189 is a point-based visa designed to select a group of skilled people from outside of Australia for work in various Australian states.

This Visa Subclass 189 allows skilled workers to move and live in Australia without requiring any sponsorship of a family member or nomination by the territory government or the state of Australia.

Streams under the Skilled Independent Visa

There are three streams under the 189 Visa in Australia, they are:

  • Points-tested stream
    This visa stream allows invited workers with the required skills to live and work permanently anywhere in Australia.

Processing time

The processing time for this stream are:

    1. 25% of the applications are processed in 59 days.
    2. 50% of the applications are processed in five months.
    3. 90% of the applications are processed in thirty-five months.
  • New Zealand stream

    This visa allows eligible New Zealand citizens who have shown commitment and contribution to Australia to permanently live and work in the country.

Processing time

The processing time for the New Zealand stream are:

  1. 25% of the applications are processed in 18 months.
  2. 50% of the applications are processed in 18 months.
  3. 90% of the applications are processed in 24 months.
  • Hong Kong stream

    Under this visa stream, eligible Hong Kong and British National passport holders who have shown commitment towards Australia can reside permanently in this country.

    Processing time
    The 189 Visa Processing Time for this stream is not properly specified. The applications are assessed on a case by case basis, and the actual processing times will vary depending on individual circumstances.

    What is the Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List (MtSSL)?

    This is a relatively new version of Australia’s skilled occupation list. For the 189 Skilled Visa, you need to have your occupation listed on this list or else you will not be allowed to make a valid application for this type of visa. Over 170 occupations are there on this list.

The English Language Requirement

For this visa, you need to have competent English language ability, and this can be satisfied if you have:

  • An IELTS test score of at least 6 in all the test components, including speaking, reading, listening and writing. 
  • An OET test score of at least B in every speaking, writing, reading, and listening test component. 
  • A TOEFL iBT test score with at least 18 in speaking, 21 in writing, 12 in listening and 13 in reading. 
  • If you hold a passport from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Ireland, you do not need to show evidence of competent English.

Invitation To Apply

Your Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189 will not be officially processed by the Department of Home Affairs until you receive an invitation from them to apply for this particular visa. An invitation is necessary for you to get your visa application processed by the concerned authorities.

Under 45 Years

The skilled migration program is only for the main applicants under 45 years of age before they receive the invitation to apply for the visa. This indicates that your age is not locked in when you start the visa application process but only when you have a valid application with the Department of Home Affairs.

Whether they are married or are in a relationship, either member of a couple can be the main applicant, so if you are above 45, you need to apply using your partner or spouse if they can fulfil the necessary criteria.

The age of the secondary applicants for the Skilled Independent Visa does not matter in the visa application. Only the age of the primary visa applicant does in this case.

189 Visa Requirements (Work)

The necessary work requirements are as follows:

  1. You need to work for at least 20 hours every week in your nominated skilled occupation or other closely related occupations.
  2. You need to be paid for the work, and it cannot be a voluntary one.
  3. Skilled employment will only be counted if the work was undertaken after the applicant at least meets the entry-level requirement that is set by the assessing authority for the specific occupation.
  4. The date when the applicant becomes ‘skilled’ may be different from the date when the assessing authorities find that the individual meets the requirement for a specific skills assessment.

Educational Qualifications

  • If you have various recognised qualifications, you will only be able to count points for any one of your recognised qualifications. For instance, if you have completed a Bachelor’s Degree and a Diploma degree, you will only receive points for the Diploma degree.
  • The relevant skills assessment body will decide whether the qualifications earned outside of Australia are standard and comparable to the Australian qualification for Subclass 189 in Australia.
  • You might receive points for a qualification not linked to your nominated occupation.

Australian Study Requirements

The above conditions indicate that you may be awarded one or more degrees, diplomas or trade qualifications through a course or courses taken at an Australian educational institute.

Your course or courses must fulfil the following requirements:

  • Your course must be registered through the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Course for Overseas Students (CRICOS).
  • It needs to be completed.
  • The course should have resulted in you receiving a degree, trade or diploma qualification.
  • The course needs to be completed in at least 16 calendar months.
  • It needs to have been completed due to at least two academic years of study.
  • It should have been completed when you were physically in Australia.
  • The course needs to have been completed when you held a visa authorised you to study in Australia.
  • It can be counted only once towards the Australian study requirement.
  • You will need to fulfil all the basic Visa 189 requirements above for being able to start the visa application process.

Final Words

If you want to live, study and work in Australia, you need to apply for the 189 visas and meet all the basic requirements for the visa. You must hire a migration agent in Adelaide; due to their experience and expertise, they can help you fill out application forms and inform you about all the documents needed for the 189 visa.


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