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Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (Subclass 186)

Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (Subclass 186)

The subclass 186 Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS) visa is a permanent visa pathway for skilled workers to work and live in Australia. It is the natural transitional pathway for most Australian 457 Temporary work visa holders to gain permanent residency but can also be applied for directly either on-shore or off-shore.

There are three streams under which applicants can lodge their nomination and visa application through the ENS pathway.

  • Temporary Residence Transition Stream
  • Direct Entry Stream
  • Agreement Stream

ENS consists of 2 distinct stages:

  • Stage 1 – Nomination by an employer; and
  • Stage 2 – Nominee’s application for a visa.

Nomination by an Employer

To nominate a position under the Employer Nomination Scheme the employer must:

  • Be actively and lawfully operating in Australia
  • Have a genuine need for a paid employee to fill a position in the employer’s business
  • Have a satisfactory record of compliance with immigration law and workplace relations law
  • Have a commitment to training existing Australian employees

The position in the employer’s business must:

  • Be full-time and available for at least 2 years
  • Be in accordance with the standards for working conditions provided under Australian industrial laws
  • Correspond to an occupation on the list of eligible skilled occupations
  • Attract a base salary that is in line with the market rate for the occupation

On 1 July 2017, changes have been made to the list of eligible skilled occupations and these changes form part of a package of reforms to the Australian temporary work visas (subclass 457 visa) program announced on 18 April 2017.

The occupations available for the subclass 186 and 457 visa programs are the same. See

Visa Requirements

Visa Applicants Must:

  • Have been nominated by an approved Australian employer
  • Be under the age of 50 at the time of application, if you are applying under Temporary Resident Stream, or are under 45 years of age if you are applying under 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,
  • Meet health and character requirements;
  • Meet the requirements of the stream in which you apply for the visa.

Tip. You must submit all required documents at the time of application including “Genuine Need”.

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