Employers can sponsor a qualified employee for permanent residency through the Employer Nominated Scheme for a subclass 186 visa.

As part of the Employer Nominated Scheme or ENS, the employer must first nominate the position. To do this you will need to:

– establish what the need is for an employee to fill the position

– offer a position that is full time, lasting at least 2 years

– pay a market salary rate

– show that you comply with Australian immigration and workplace relations law

How to sponsor a candidate for the Employer Nominated Scheme subclass 186 visa

1. The employer nominates the position from the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).  

2. The employer nominates the candidate from one of these 3 stream:

Temporary Residence Transition stream: This pathway enables you to sponsor an employee who is already a 457 visa holder for permanent residency.

Your sponsored employee must be under the age of 50 years of age 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, carrying out the same occupation with you for at least 2 of those 3 years. We can help you and your employee with the process of transitioning from a 457 visa to a 186 visa.

Direct Entry stream: If your business is looking to sponsor a candidate directly into a permanent position, or sponsor a temporary resident who does not qualify for the Temporary Residence Transition stream.

 You will need to nominate the position for sponsorship for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to approve, meeting the nominating criteria listed above.

The candidate you are sponsoring must under 45 years of age at the time of application.(Some specific exceptions to this age requirement apply).

Your nominated candidate must pass a skills assessment (we can help organise this).

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

3. The Immigration Department approves the nomination.

4. The candidate submits the visa application.

For a candidate to qualify for this 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.

Plan Ahead

From March 2018, employers nominating workers through the Employer Nominated Scheme will contribute to the training of Australians through a Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy. The levy will be payable in full at the time the worker is nominated, and will depend on the size of the business.

For businesses with an annual turnover of less than $10 million, a one-off levy of $3000 applies.

For businesses with an annual turnover of more than $10 million, the one-off level is $5000.


Contact us for a free assessment.

Call Us 1300 794 680