Australian Skilled Migration 186 189 and 190 Visa Options

Explanation of the differences between the Australian Skilled Migration Visa Options.

With points rising from 60 to 65 in subclasses 189 and 190 on the 1st of July 2018, here is a reminder of the difference between subclass 186, 189 and 190 Australian resident visas.

Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186):

This visa is designed for people who already have an employer in Australia that wants to hire them.  You need to be nominated by an employer, under 45 years of age, meet skills, qualifications and English language along with the requirements specific to the stream you apply under.

  • Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream:
    • If you hold either the TSS (482) or 457 visas for Australia.
    • Have worked for your employer full-time for at least 3 out of the previous 4 years in the same position or 2 out of the previous 3 years and your application is subject to transitional arrangements.
  • Direct Entry (DE) stream
    • If you do not meet the requirements under the TRT stream (for example, because you have never, or only briefly worked in Australia), this stream may then be available if your employer still wishes to sponsor you for permanent residence.
  • Labour Agreement (LA) stream
    • This stream may be available if your employer wishes to sponsor you for permanent residence and has entered into a labour agreement with the Department that provides for a permanent residence pathway.
    • Regardless of which stream you apply under you need to check first with the employer that they are willing and able to sponsor you for the 186 visa application.

Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)(Points-tested) stream:

This visa is designed for people who are not sponsored by an employer or state/territory and you are applying based on your own skills and experience.  You need to be under 45 years of age, meet skills assessment, meet the minimum points benchmark of 65 and English language requirements.

Firstly, you need to find out if your current occupation is on the Skilled Occupation List,

To be able to apply for this visa you need to meet a minimum of 65 points, this is based on your age, relevant work experience, English language capabilities, qualifications recognition, partner skills qualifications.  There are other areas where you can gain more points.  You need to have a Skills Assessment done so that it can be provided with your Expression of Interest.

The Expression of Interest is lodged with the Department of Home Affairs and is open for 2 years.  Within this time frame your name can be selected and you will be invited to apply for the visa, they give you 60 days to lodge the application.

Only once you have been selected to apply do you lodge the visa application itself, you need to provide confirmed of your selection with your visa application.

Skilled Nominated Visa (subclass 190):

This visa is basically the same as the 189 visa, with one major difference, it’s State/Territory nominated.  You still need to be under 45 years of age, meet skills assessment, meet the minimum points benchmark of 65 (of which 5 points are given for the nomination) and English language requirements.

You will need to go through the Expression of Interest for this visa as well, with the major difference being it is the State/Territory that will select you.  Apart from that, it’s basically the same process as the 189 visa application.

Once your visa has been approved you do need to remain living and working in the nominating state for at least 2 years.


Talk to us

If you need further assistance or just want to make sure you are on the right track, book a consultation with us.

or email our Australia Visa Advisor Sue Ellis.

Ph 0064 9 281 3372

Please note that although we strive to provide accurate information at all times, immigration policy and regulations change. Therefore, this information should not be used to confirm your eligibility for any specific visa. Please speak with us prior to considering lodging a visa application so we can assess your unique circumstances and visa options.


Click HERE if you are just starting out and seeking helpful information to get started!

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