Research on continual learning has recently led to a variety of work in unimodal community, however little attention has been paid to multimodal tasks like visual question answering (VQA). In this paper, we establish a novel VQA Continual Learning setting named VQACL, which contains two key components: a dual-level task sequence where visual and linguistic data are nested, and a novel composition testing containing new skill-concept combinations. The former devotes to simulating the ever-changing multimodal datastream in real world and the latter aims at measuring models’ generalizability for cognitive reasoning. Based on our VQACL, we perform in-depth evaluations of five well-established continual learning methods, and observe that they suffer from catastrophic forgetting and have weak generalizability. To address above issues, we propose a novel representation learning method, which leverages a sample-specific and a sample-invariant feature to learn representations that are both discriminative and generalizable for VQA. Furthermore, by respectively extracting such representation for visual and textual input, our method can explicitly disentangle the skill and concept. Extensive experimental results illustrate that our method significantly outperforms existing models, demonstrating the effectiveness and compositionality of the proposed approach.