What Are The Primary Criteria For The Subclass 189?
Below we have listed the main or ‘primary’ criteria for the grant of this visa. We have paraphrased and simplified the legal clauses to make them easier to understand.
- A positive skill assessment for an occupation that is on the Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) – Migration Regulations 1994 (CTH) Sch 1 Item 1137 4B & 4C
- Meet or surpass the minimum English language requirement – Migration Regulations 1994 (CTH) Sch 2 reg 189.223
- Receive an invitation to apply from the Department – Migration Regulations 1994 (CTH) Sch 2 reg 189.221
- Be less than 45 years of age when the invitation is issued – Migration Regulations 1994 (CTH) Sch 1 Item 1137 4B (3)
- Which means that you have at least 65 points in your skilled points test – Migration Regulations 1994 (CTH) Sch 2 reg 189.224 (1)
We’ll go through each of the sections below.
What Is The Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)?
Besides being quite a mouthful to say, this is the newest version of Australia’s skilled occupation list.
For the subclass 189, your occupation must be on this list and this list alone or you would not be allowed to make a valid application for this visa type.
Just over 170 occupations exist on the list, which you can read through on our MLTSSL list here.
Understanding the occupations on the list
How do I determine if my qualifications and experience matches the occupations stated in the MLTSSL?
Usually, most of the occupations will be pretty self-explanatory just from their title, however you might sometimes encounter certain occupations that are a bit harder to classify.
In this instance you will need to search for that particular ANZSCO and look at the tasks listed.
Too complicated? Let’s refer to an example:
Civil Engineer is on the MLTSSL. A quick search and you will find Civil Engineer (233211) code, click on the link and you will notice that the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) list the tasks a qualified Civil Engineer is expected to complete.
You will need to complete a similar group of tasks as compared to what is written there – 60% or more is usually enough.
The English Language Requirement
You need to have ‘competent’ English language ability which is satisfied if you have:
- An IELTS test score of at least 6 in each of the four test components of speaking, reading, writing and listening; or
- An OET test score of at least B in each of the four test components of speaking, reading, writing and listening; or
- A TOEFL iBT test score with at least the following scores in the four test components: 18 for speaking, 13 for reading, 21 for writing and 12 for listening; or
- A PTE Academic test score of at least 50 in each of the four test components of speaking, reading, writing and listening; or
- If you hold a passport from the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Ireland of New Zealand
Please note that this is the minimum English language requirement that all primary visa applicants need to satisfy.
If you are counting points on the basis of your English language ability, then you still need to satisfy the relevant requirement in order to gain those points.
Invitation To Apply
We’ll talk about this later in the guide, but in essence your visa is not officially being processed by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) until you have received an invitation from them to apply for the visa programme.
Under 45 Years Old
The skilled migration program is only for main applicants under the age of 45 before at the time when they receive the ‘invitation to apply’ mentioned above.
That means your age is not locked in when you start the process, but only when you have a valid application with the Department of Home Affairs.
Either member of a couple (married or defacto) can be the main applicant, so in the case of one being above 45, you can apply using their partner or spouse instead – as long as they fulfil the criteria mentioned on this page.
It doesn’t matter how old the secondary applicants are, only the main applicant needs to be under 45 years old to qualify.
The 65 Points Requirement
As of July 1st 2018, the minimum points threshold for make a valid application was adjust to 65 points (previously it was 60 points).
The rationale behind the change was that it better aligned with the points score that most people could realistically get selected at because they felt that applicants were rarely getting selected at 60 points in recent years.
Your points are made up from various factors such as your age, English language ability and others, which you can see in the table below.
Please see some explanatory notes below on some of the key items in the table above.