Employer Nominated Scheme Subclass 186 visa

Employers can nominate an employee for a 186 visa if they are already sponsoring them on a 482 visa.

Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS) subclass 186 visa is a skilled visa that offers permanent residency. Eligible employers can sponsor an employee for permanent residency through the Employer Nominated Scheme.

The 186 visa has 3 streams. Each stream requires the visa applicant to be sponsored by an employer.

Temporary Residence Transition stream: 

This pathway enables employers to sponsor an employee who they have already sponsored for a 482 visa holder through the medium or short term stream.

Your sponsored employee must be under the age of 45 years at the time of application.(Some specific exceptions to this age requirement apply).

They must also show they have been in Australia for 3 years, working for their sponsoring employer , full time in the same occupation for at least 2 of those 3 years.

As of 23rd November, the TRT stream of the ENS 186 visa does not require occupations to be on a skilled occupation list. However, the nominated occupation does need to be listed on the ANZSCO list.

Direct Entry Stream:

Usually applicants applying for the 186 visa through the Direct Entry Stream do so from outside of Australia. However its still possible to apply through this stream inside of Australia if the applicant already holds a substantive visa or a related bridging visa A, B or C.

Employers need to nominate the position for sponsorship to the Department  and meet the nominating criteria listed above.

The candidate being sponsored must under 45 years of age at the time of applying.(Some exceptions apply).

The nominated candidate will then need to pass a skills assessment.

Labour Agreement stream:

Skilled workers could apply via this stream if their employer has arranged a labour agreement with the Australian government.

How to sponsor an employee for a 186 visa

There are four steps:

  1. Establish your business is eligible to sponsor an employee.
  2. The employer nominates the position and candidate to be sponsored.
  3. The Immigration Department approves the nomination.
  4. The nominated candidate submits their 186 visa application through the Employer Nomination Scheme.

Step 1. To sponsor an employee for a 186 visa, your business will need to present:

    • the employment contract,
    • proof your business is actively and lawfully operating a business in Australia,
    • proof your business has a genuine need for a paid employee to fill the position,
    • proof you will pay the annual market salary rate,
    • and pay the Skilling Australians Fund levy when you submit your employer nomination application.

Step 2: Nominate the position and the candidate through the Employer Nominated Scheme. 

The employer nominates the position from the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).  In doing so, the employer must:

    • pay them at least the annual market salary rate (unless the employee will earn more than AUD250,000 a year)
    • demonstrate the applicant is eligible for any license, registration or membership needed at the time the application is submitted
    • establish the business need to fill the position
    • offer a position that is full time and lasting at least 2 years
    • show that your business complies with Australian immigration and workplace relations law

Step 3. The Immigration Department approves the nomination.

Step 4. The candidate submits the ENS 186 visa application. For a candidate to qualify for the 186 visa, they must:

show that they are qualified in the nominated occupation by presenting recognized qualifications and experience and have their trade skills assessed by the relevant assessment authority.

pass English language requirements. For the Subclass 186, this must be the equivalent to an IELTS score of 6. This is not required if the candidate holds a passport issued by the UK, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand or the United States.

pass character and health checks.

How much does it cost to nominate an employee for a 186 visa?

It does not cost anything to nominate an employee for a 186 visa.

However, the government does charge a ‘Skilling Australia Fundy Levy.

How much does the 186 visa cost?

The Government fee for the 186 visa is AUD 540

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