189 vs 190 visa

Top 189 vs 190 Visa Differences to Understand in 2023

Australia, renowned for its flourishing economy, breathtaking landscapes, and high living standards, remains a top destination for immigrants. The Australian government offers various avenues for skilled workers to attain permanent residency, with the Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189) and the Skilled Nominated Visa (Subclass 190) being among the most popular choices. Understanding the difference between 189 and 190 visa is key to knowing your choices. Here is everything you need to know about 189 vs 190 visa differences. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricate details of the 189 vs 190 visa, the benefits they offer, and how to select the one that aligns with your immigration objectives. Making an informed decision is your initial step towards embarking on the journey to becoming a permanent resident of Australia.

Features of the 189 Visa

The Subclass 189 Visa, known as the Skilled Independent Visa, is tailored for skilled workers who aspire to reside and work in Australia without requiring sponsorship from an employer, a state or territory government, or a family member. Here are the principal features of this visa:

  1. No Sponsorship Required: Unlike the Subclass 190 Visa, the 189 visa does not necessitate nomination by a state or territory government or a family member. It is an independent visa that provides the flexibility to live and work anywhere in Australia.
  2. In-Demand Occupation: To qualify for the 189 visa, your occupation must be listed on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL). This list comprises professions in high demand across Australia.
  3. Points-Based System: The 189 visa is subject to a points-based system, evaluating your eligibility based on factors such as age, qualifications, work experience, English proficiency, and more. A minimum of 65 points is required for eligibility.
  4. Permanent Residency: One of the most significant advantages of the 189 visa is that it grants you permanent residency in Australia. This means you can access essential services like Medicare, and after meeting certain criteria, you can also apply for Australian citizenship.

Features of the 190 Visa

The Subclass 190 Visa, also known as the Skilled Nominated Visa, is intended for skilled workers who are nominated by a specific Australian state or territory government. Below are the primary features of this visa:

  1. State/Territory Nomination: Unlike the 189 visa, the 190 visa mandates nomination by a state or territory government. Each state or territory in Australia may have its specific requirements and occupation lists.
  2. In-Demand Occupation: Applicants must have an occupation listed on either the MLTSSL or the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL). The specific list depends on the state’s requirements.
  3. Points-Based System: Similar to the 189 visa, the 190 visa is also subject to a points-based system. A minimum of 65 points is required for eligibility.
  4. Permanent Residency: The Subclass 190 Visa leads to permanent residency in Australia, offering the same advantages as the 189 visa, such as access to Medicare and the pathway to Australian citizenship.

Key Differences Between 189 vs 190 Visa

The primary distinction between the Subclass 189 vs 190 visa lies in the requirement for state or territory nomination. Here’s a more in-depth exploration of this difference and other key factors:

Nomination Requirement:

  1. 189 Visa: Independent of state or territory nomination.
  2. 190 Visa: Requires nomination by a specific state or territory government.

Geographical Flexibility:

  1. 189 Visa: Allows you to live and work anywhere in Australia.
  2. 190 Visa: Ties you to the nominating state or territory, with specific residence requirements.

Occupation Lists:

  1. 189 Visa: Requires the occupation to be on the MLTSSL.
  2. 190 Visa: May require the occupation to be on the MLTSSL or STSOL, depending on state requirements.

Competitive Advantage:

  1. 189 Visa: A competitive visa with no state or territory constraints.
  2. 190 Visa: May offer a competitive edge with state or territory nomination.

Benefits of 189 and 190 Visa

Subclass 189 Visa

  • Flexibility: Choose where you want to live and work across Australia.
  • Independence: Not tied to a specific state or territory’s requirements.
  • Permanent Residency: Access to all benefits of permanent residency, including healthcare and citizenship eligibility.

Subclass 190 Visa

  • State Nomination: Nominated by a state or territory, potentially offering an advantage in the competitive immigration process.
  • Permanent Residency: The pathway to permanent residency and all associated privileges.
  • Community Integration: Opportunity to integrate into a specific state’s community.

The Migration: Get Expert Consultation before you decide your future

Selecting between the Subclass 189 and 190 visas can be a pivotal decision in your immigration journey. The Migration, with its team of experienced migration agents, is here to provide expert guidance tailored to your unique circumstances. Contact us today to set your path to permanent residency in Australia into motion.


Australia’s skilled migration program presents an array of opportunities for individuals seeking to make this diverse and vibrant nation their home. The choice between the Subclass 189 and 190 visas hinges on your preferences, career goals, and where you envision your future life. 

By understanding the subtle yet impactful differences between these visas, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your aspirations.


Q1. Can I apply for the 189 or 190 visa if my occupation is not on the MLTSSL or STSOL?

A1. No, to be eligible for these visas, your occupation must be listed on one of these skilled occupation lists.

Q2. What is the processing time for the 189 and 190 visas?

A2. The processing times can vary, but in general, you can expect a visa grant within 8 to 11 months from the date of application.

Q3. Can I change my nominated state or territory after receiving the 190 visa?

A3. In general, the location is fixed after the visa is granted. However, you can contact the respective state or territory government for guidance on exceptional circumstances.

Q4. Do I need to maintain a specific residency in my nominating state for the 190 visa?

A4. Yes, the 190 visa typically requires you to live in your nominating state for a specified period. The exact duration and conditions may vary depending on the state or territory’s requirements.