Employer Nomination Scheme Subclass 186 Visa

The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) results in a permanent visa for the sponsored employee. While it has been a common way for 457/TSS visa holders to qualify for permanent residence, it does have a higher skill level than the 457/TSS visa.

ENS Stages
There are two stages to the ENS subclass 186 application:

  • Nomination: involves review of the business operations as well as the position offered to the employee. Employers will also be required to contribute to the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy, which is $3,000 or $5,000 depending on turnover. Immigration has an expectation that some Labour Market Testing will be undertaken for ENS nominations – read our blog here for more information.
  • Visa Application: there are three possible pathways, though all must have Competent English, as well as provide health and police checks. If nominating a licensed occupation, the applicant must hold a full licence in order to meet the skill requirements.

Application Pathways
There are three possible application pathways for an ENS visa:

  1. Direct Entry Stream: Applicants will need to provide a formal skills assessment in their occupation and show that they have worked in their occupation for 3 years. Applicants must also be under the age of 45 years, be nominating an occupation on the Medium Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), and have competent English.
  2. Temporary Residence Transition: In this case no skills assessment is required however, unless Concessional Provisions apply (see below), applicants need to be under 45 years of age at the time of lodgement, have worked with the nominating employer on a 457 and/or TSS visa for at least 3 years, and nominate an occupation on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).
  3. Agreement Stream: where the employer has a Labour Agreement with permanent positions available. Requirements are set out in the Agreement.

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