What is Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) visa?

The current situation of on-going skill shortages across a number of industry sectors has resulted in Australian employers seeking suitably qualified personnel from overseas or highly skilled temporary residents currently in Australia to fulfil existing contracts or to meet new business commitments. Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) grants permanent residence to overseas workers who are sponsored by their Australian employer.  With this visa an individual can only come to Australia if they are a skilled worker and are nominated by the employer in Australia to work in a field or area where there is a shortage of skilled workers

Who can get Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) visa?

Eligibility requirements:

  • under the age of 45
  • have required skills, qualifications, and/or licences or registrations to fulfil the position.
  • meet English language requirement, exempt from the English requirement if you are a passport holder of the following countries: United Kingdom, United States, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland
  • business must be actively and lawfully operating in Australia
  • must have a genuine need to fill a skilled position
  • full-time employment contract for at least two years
  • pay market rate salary
  • business has no adverse information
  • meet health and character requirement
  • meet additional criteria of the stream in which you are applying for

After the nomination has been approved, the visa application must be lodged within six (6) months. This visa allows the applicant and any dependent family members included in the visa application to live as permanent residents in Australia.

What are the Streams under Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) visa?

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

Direct Entry stream

You can apply outside Australia or onshore if you hold any other visa like Work and Holiday 462, Working Holiday 417, or a student visa. For  Direct Entry Stream the applicant must:

  • Be under 45 years of age
  • Meet English requirement
  • Be employed in the nominated occupation for at least 3 years on a full-time basis, where nominated occupation is listed in the Medium to Long Term Skill Shortage List (MLTSSL) or the Regional Occupation List (ROL) which is for employers located in the regional areas of Australia.
  • Be nominated by an approved Sponsor/employer
  • Have a skills assessment

​Transition stream

There are two types of applicants who may apply through the Transition stream: those who had applied for or held a 457 visa before 18 April 2017, and those who applied for a 457 or 482 visa after 18 April 2017. Applicants must:

  • Be under 45 years of age
  • Meet English requirement
  • Be nominated by the employer who sponsored your temporary work visa
  • Sponsored by your current employer for whom you have worked full-time on Subclass Subclass 482 visa for at least 3 of the 4 years prior to nomination for Subclass 186 visa.
  • Have required skills – the Department may ask you to obtain a skills assessment to demonstrate that you have the skills.

Labour agreement stream

Labour Agreement stream might be for you if you currently work, or will work, for an employer who is party to a labour agreement. For Labour Agreement Stream the applicant must:

  • Be under 45 years of age
  • Meet suitable English language skills as per the Labour agreement
  • Currently work or will work for an employer under the Labour agreement
  • Be nominated by an approved Australian sponsor/employer
  • Must hold a 457 or 482 visa under the Labour Agreement if in Australia

What Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) visa allows you to do in Australia?

The entitlements available to an individual with an Employer Nomination Scheme 186 visa are:

  • The 186 Visa Australia is a permanent category visa that allows the individual to stay in Australia for an indefinite period.
  • With this visa subclass, an individual will also be allowed to work or study in Australia.
  • This visa entitles an individual with the ability to enrol in an Australian public health care scheme.
  • With this visa, an applicant can also sponsor their eligible relatives to visit Australia.
  • With this Australian visa an applicant will be allowed to travel to and from Australia for the period of initial 5 years from the date of visa validity.
  • If found eligible, an individual can also apply for Australian citizenship with a visa subclass 186.

How long to process Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) Visa?

The processing time is between 3-12 Months depending on the stream. The Department of Home Affairs assesses each application on a case-by-case basis, and the processing times can change due to individual circumstances.

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