The Employer Nomination Scheme visa (Subclass 186) is an Australian visa that allows overseas skilled workers to work and live permanently in Australia. This is a great visa option if applicants are looking to become permanent residents because permanent resident status is granted immediately after the visa is granted. This visa also allows successful applicants to sponsor family members to come to Australia.

This program requires a nomination from an Australian employer in order to be eligible.

Three types of the Employer Nomination Scheme Visa:

There are three types of visas within the Employer Nomination Scheme. Each type of visa in the Employer Nomination Scheme have mostly the same requirements, however each type requires a different type of nomination. Despite these subtle differences, all three types of the visas give the successful applicant permanent residency status.

Visa Type 1 Direct Entry Stream
Visa Type 2 Labour Agreement Stream
Visa Type 3 Temporary Residence Transition Stream

Requirements for the Employer Nomination Scheme Visa:

The requirements for the three types of Temporary Skill Shortage Visas are all very similar. The primary differences in their requirements relate to the specific skilled occupation list that applies to the applicant. Otherwise the requirements are as follows below:

Age Requirements: All applicants must be under 45 years of age.
Previous Visa Requirements: If an applicant has had a previous Australian visa, the applicant must have complied with it fully. However, there are no additional visas that are required in order to successfully apply for an Employer Nomination Scheme visa. However, if you are applying for the Temporary Residence Transition stream (see above), then applicants will need either a Subclass 482 visa or a related bridging visa A, B or C.
Nomination Requirements: For all types of visas under the Employer Nomination Scheme visas, the applicant must be nominated by an Australian employer.

Labour Agreement Stream: In the special case of applications under the Labour Agreement stream, the employer must have entered into a labour agreement with the government of Australia.

Temporary Resident Transition Stream: In the special case of applicants under the Temporary Residence Transition stream, the employer must have sponsored the applicant for the applicant’s previous visa, which would be subclass 482. The employer must have been employing the employee full time for at least three years prior to the nomination of the Temporary Resident Transition stream.

Skills Requirement: Applicants must prove that they have the skills and experience necessary to perform the nominated occupation. Some applicants must undertake a skills assessment to demonstrate this.
Work Experience: Direct Entry: Unless exempt, most applicants need to have at least 3 years relevant work experience in their occupation.

Applicants who are exempt from the skills assessment requirement are also exempt from the work experience requirement.

Labour Agreement: no explicit work experience requirement, but skills assessment may still be necessary.

Temporary Resident Transition: Applicants must have already worked for at least 3 years full time with their nominating employer.

Health Requirement: Applicants must meet health requirements and may be required undergo a medical examination and meet minimum health requirement.
Criminal History: Applicant must be able to prove that they are of ‘good character’. Applicants are required to sign an Australian values statement and provide police certificates and other relevant documents.
English Requirements: Depending on which of the three programs you decide to apply through, different English proficiency requirements will apply. Applicants must provide evidence that they have met the specific English requirements for their category. Exceptions can be made in certain conditions.

Direct Entry: In the case of the Direct Entry stream, applicant must have competent English which must be proven on any one of various English tests.

Process for Applying to Employer Nomination Scheme:

Step 1 Preparation: Before applying, applicants must have all the necessary documentation and have complied with the applicable requirements as listed in this article. Applicants should have all their documents, ID, family documents, proof of English skills, and health records for submission, skills assessment (if applicable), etc.

Step 2 Employer Submits Nomination Application: Before applying, applicants should find a prospective Australian employer that is prepared to nominate the applicant. The employer must file a nomination application on the applicant’s behalf and collect a “Transaction Reference Number” (TRN) which the applicant must use for their visa application. A new TRN will not be necessary for applicants under the Temporary Resident Transition stream since they are already in Australia and have already been sponsored under a prior visa.

Step 3: Apply for the Visa: Once the employer has submitted the appropriate applications, the applicant can finally submit the visa application. This process is done by registering an ImmiAccount with the Department of Home Affairs website and attaching all the applicable documents. The cost for the Employer Nomination Scheme visa application, regardless of which one you pick, is AUD $4,115.00.

Step 4: After the Application: Once the visa application has been submitted, it can take anywhere between 2 months to 18 months for the application. Direct Entry applications are typically the fastest, while Labour Agreement applications are second fastest, and the Temporary Resident Transition applications are often the slowest. During this processing time, the government of Australia will notify you if there are any mistakes or missing information in the application which can be rectified.

Step 5: Receive the Visa: If the visa is granted, then the applicant will receive a visa grant number, the date the visa expires and the visa conditions. These conditions will relate to your obligations as a visa holder. Once received the visa will be digitally linked to the applicant’s passport.

Disclaimer: This information is provided for informational purposes only and is not legal advice. The information and facts referred to herein may be amended, removed or otherwise changed by the applicable government authority. As such, the information contained herein is provided with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.

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