International students who graduated from an Australian school can apply for permanent residency in Australia. Such international graduates can apply for permanent residency through Australia’s SkillSelect migration program.

SkillSelect is an online platform that allows applicants migrants to submit an online Expression of Interest (EOI). The EOI contains information about their professional and academic skills, which will be assessed through a points test (resulting in a competitive points score). Once an EOI is lodged, applicants may be invited to submit a skilled visa application.

For information about other visa options that create pathways to permanent residency for international students, visit the SkillSelect section of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

The specific visa that would apply to international graduates is called the Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189.

Requirement for Skilled Independent Visa

(Subclass 189)

Invitation to Apply Applicants must submit an EOI through SkillSelect and be invited to apply for a visa.
Age Applicants must be younger than 50 years of age when you are invited to apply.
Occupation: Applicant must nominate a skilled occupation that matches their skills and qualifications and is on the relevant Skilled Occupation List (SOL). Applicants are required to obtain a suitable skills assessment for your nominated occupation before making an EOI.
English Requirements Applicants must provide evidence that they have competent English in the form of English language tests.
Financial Cost: The Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) application costs start at AUD$4,115. Applicants who are bringing eligible family members to live with them in Australia should note that an additional applicant charge applies..
Health Requirement  Applicants may be required undergo a medical examination and meet minimum health requirement.
Criminal History Applicant must be able to prove that they are of ‘good character’. Applicants are required to sign an Australian values statement and provide police certificates and other relevant documents.


The application program is very competitive. Even if an applicant is fully qualified and satisfies all the requirements, the application for a permanent residence might not be accepted since only the top candidates are selected from everyone competing. However, some years might be less competitive than other years depending on the number of applicants in that specific year.

The competitive factors that may impact the evaluating a for this visa include: age, education, work experience, if there is a valid job offer, language skills, and cultural adaptability. The competitive evaluation favours higher education, more work experience, economic or family ties to Australia, and a suitable age for starting a life here

Procedure To Obtain Skilled Independent Visa in Australia:

  1. Preparation: Before applying, applicants must have all the necessary documentation and have complied with the applicable requirements as listed in this article. Applicants should have all their documents, ID, family documents, proof of English skills, and health records for submission.
  2. Complete Expression of Interest: The next step before applying is to complete the Expression of Interest. Applicant’s can do this from inside or outside Australia. It is important that all information be accurate and true. False information can lead to a cancellation of the application and revoke your right to apply in the future. After you have submitted your application, the portal will inform you if anything is missing or needs to be added, such as additional health exams, biometric information, information regarding family, and any corrections to mistakes you made on the application. Once you submit the EOI, your submission will be evaluated. If it is satisfactory, applicants will be given an invitation to apply for the visa.
  3. Application for Visa: Once you have been invited to apply for the visa, you will have 60 days to make a valid visa application. If you don’t submit the application with 60 days of the invitation, then the invitation will expire. The application process is online and costs AUD $3,755 for the main applicant. There is also a charge for each family member who applies for the visa. Total application time can take 2 months to more than 2 years.
  4. Receive Visa: Once you have completed your application, you will be given results within 10 days to 6 months. Denied visas are not given refunds for application charges. If a student visa is granted, then the applicant will receive a visa grant number, the date the visa expires and the visa conditions. These conditions will relate to your obligations as a student and the extent to which an applicant can find lawful employment. One received the visa will be digitally linked to the applicant’s passport.

Disclaimer: This information is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. The information and facts referred to herein may be amended, removed or otherwise changed by the applicable government authority. As such, the information contained herein is provided with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.

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