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Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186)

About the Visa

This visa is a permanent residence visa for skilled workers. It allows the grantee to work in Australia under one of three streams:

This visa is a permanent residence visa for skilled workers. It allows the grantee to work in Australia under one of three streams:

  • The Temporary residence transition stream

The Temporary Residence Transition stream is for subclass 457 visa holders who have worked for at least two out of the three years (before the nomination is made), while holding a subclass 457 visa, in the same occupation with their nominating employer (who is not subject to a labour agreement and who has lodged a valid nomination with us under the Temporary Residence Transition stream), who wants to offer them a permanent position in that occupation.

  • The direct entry stream:
    • people who have been nominated by their employer under the Direct Entry stream
    • people who have never, or only briefly, worked in Australia, or
    • Temporary residents who do not qualify for the Temporary Residence Transition stream.
  • The agreement stream

The Agreement stream is for people sponsored by an employer through a negotiated formal labour agreement.

Who are eligible (Eligibility and requirement)

The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) allows overseas workers or temporary workers in Australia to be sponsored for permanent positions that the employer has been unable to fill from within the Australian labour market or through their own training efforts.

You might be able to get this visa if you:

  • have been nominated by an approved Australian employer within the six months before you apply
  • are under the age of 50 at the time of application, if you are applying under the Temporary Residence stream, or are under the age of 45 if you are applying under the Direct Entry stream
  • have the required skills and qualifications for the position (at time of application lodgement you must have the required skills and qualifications for the position you have been nominated for – you must hold any mandatory registration, license or professional membership, or you must already be fully assessed as suitable by the relevant body)
  • have appropriate English language skills (at the time of application lodgement)
  • meet health and character requirements
  • Meet the requirements of the stream in which you apply.

The Employer Nomination Scheme visa application process is made up of two important stages:

  1. Nomination by the employer
  • The Australian employer must obtain sponsorship status. To obtain sponsorship, the employer must:
  • prove that they are actively and lawfully operating in Australia
  • pledge to train existing employees
  • Once the employer has demonstrated they satisfy the sponsorship criteria, the position to be filled (or nominated) must also meet certain requirements. For example, the position must be full time for at least 3 years and be on the gazette list of approved occupations for this category.
  1. Visa application

The visa application must be lodged within six (6) months after the approval of the nomination. The visa application must be lodged at the same Business Centre of Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) as the corresponding nomination, even if the nominee is outside Australia. To qualify, prospective applicants must be below 49 years of age, meet the prescribed English language criteria and hold the necessary skills and qualifications for the nominated position. In some cases, applicants may access exemptions for the age, skills and English language criteria depending on the occupation, salary and past work experience for their particular case. All applicants are required to satisfy certain health and character requirements in order to meet the visa criteria.

In cases where an applicant does not have a sponsor, there is the ability to lodge an Expression of Interest through the DHA SkillSelect database. This step allows prospective employers and also the state/territory governments to view applicant details and offer sponsorship.

What visa lets you do?

  • You can stay in Australia indefinitely
  • You can work and study in Australia
  • You can enroll in Medicare, Australia’s scheme for health-related care and expenses
  • You can apply for Australian citizenship (if you are eligible)
  • You can sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence
  • You can travel to and from Australia for five years from the date the visa is granted (after that time, you will need a resident return visa or another visa to return to Australia).


From AUD 3670

This visa is paid in two parts, called instalments:

  • Pay the first instalment when you lodge your application.
  • Pay the second instalment when department tell you to. You will not be granted the visa unless it is paid.

There is also a fee for additional family members who are coming to Australia with you.

Processing time

8-10 months

Link: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/employer-nomination-scheme-186

* This is the DIBP prescribed cost of the application. This does not include Migration agent’s fees. To obtain the current fees, kindly refer to the above link or DIBP website.

Consult migration agent in your area

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