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ENS - Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186)

What is ENS 186 visa?

The ENS 186 visa is a sponsored based work visa. It is relevant to applicants who want to work and live in Australia on a permanent basis. ENS 186 offers three streams: 

  • The Direct Entry (DE) stream is relevant for an applicant located overseas and holds an occupation within the specific occupation list for the ENS visa. The applicant must hold a minimum of three years for similar or closely related experience to the nominated position applying for.

  • The Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream provides a transitional pathway for 457 / TSS 482 visa holder who has been working with their 457 / TSS 482 employer in Australia for three out of the last four years immediately before lodging their ENS visa application.

  • The Labour Agreement (LA) stream is relevant for an overseas worker who is nominated in the occupations listed within a labour agreement signed between Australian employers and the Australian Government.

Who can apply for this visa type?

Depending on the streams above, an applicant for an ENS 186 visa must be an overseas skilled worker holding an occupation within the relevant 186 visa occupation list (for a DE stream) or an Australian work experience with the current employer for at least three years (for TRT stream).

In all streams, the employer must nominate the applicant for a position.

Members of the family unit can join the ENS visa application of the primary applicant.

What are the steps to get an ENS 186 Visa?

The ENS visa involves a two-step process:

  • Step 1:  Nomination application for a skilled position by the employer.

  • Step 2:  Applying for 186 visa.

 

 

Nomination

The potential employer is required to gain approval from the Department of Home Affairs (‘The Department’) to nominate the applicant before applying for the visa.

For the nomination application to be approved, the employer must comply with the following conditions:

  • The employer is a fully and lawfully operating business in Australia and can offer to pay you at least a market salary rate for a position in his business.

  • There is a genuine need for the skilled worker that can’t be filled by a local candidate.

  • The offered position must be for at least two years, without further future employment conditions guaranteed.

  • The position must be included in the list of eligible skilled occupation for ENS at the time of the nomination. (DE stream).

  • The tasks to complete in this role, match the occupation outlined by ANZSCO.

 

186 Visa

Eligibility criteria for Direct Entry (DE) stream applicant

  • You must work in your nominated occupation, or a related field, for at least three years before applying to this stream.

  • You must apply for your visa earlier than six months from the approval of your nomination application.

  • You should be under the age of 45 years at the time of applying for this visa unless you are exempt.

  • You must hold a positive skills assessment by the relevant assessing body, unless you are exempt. Most skill assessment are valid for three years unless specified differently.

  • Some occupations are also required to maintain a mandatory registration, licence or professional membership while applying for their visa.

  • You must demonstrate having at least a competent English level. Exemption will be provided to applicants holding a passport from the following countries - USA, Canada, NZ or the Republic of Ireland.

  • You must be able to meet the health requirements and character requirements.

Eligibility criteria for Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) applicant

  • You must be nominated for the same position and for the same employer you have as a 457/482 visa holder and had at least three out of the last four years of work experience. OR

  • You must be nominated for the same position for the same employer you have/had as a 457 visa holder and have worked for  two out of the last three years before the nomination is made because you either held, or were an applicant for, a subclass 457 visa (which was subsequently granted) on 18 April 2017.

  • You must apply for your visa earlier than six months from the approval of your nomination application.

  • You must demonstrate having at least a competent English level. Exemption will be provided to applicants who have completed at least five years of full-time study in a secondary or higher education institution where all of the tuition was delivered in English.

  • You must be able to meet the health requirements and character requirements.

Eligibility criteria for Labour Agreement (LA) applicant

  • You must hold at least three years of full-time experience in the occupation to which your position relates or a related field. In cases, it is reasonable to disregard this requirement the minister must approve it first.

  • The position you apply for must be the position nominated for by an employer under a current labour agreement.

  • If registration, licensing or professional membership is mandatory in the State/Territory in which you are about to work, you must hold, or be eligible to hold, the relevant registration, licence or membership, at the time you apply for your visa.

  • Your employment terms and conditions must be at least equivalent to an Australian citizen/permanent resident, doing the same work at the same location.

  • You must demonstrate having at least a competent English level unless otherwise specified in the labour agreement.

  • You must be able to meet the health requirements and character requirements.

Are there any age exemptions for ENS 186 visa?

Age exemption is available to an applicant who meets any of the below:

  • being nominated as a senior academic by a university in Australia (relevant for both TRT and DE streams)

  • being nominated as a scientist, researcher, or technical (scientific) specialist at ANZSCO skill level one or two by an Australian government scientific agency (relevant for both TRT and DE streams).

  • Applying through the TRT stream and have been working for your nominating employer as the holder of a TSS/457 visa for the last three years and earning a salary which is at least equivalent to the Fair Work High Income Threshold for each year.

  • A medical practitioner (ANZSCO Minor Group 253) (TRT stream) who meets all of the Followings:

    • You have been working in your nominated occupation as the holder of a TSS/457 visa for at least three years immediately before applying.

    • You were employed in regional Australia for two out of the last three years

    • The nominated position is located in regional Australia.

  • A Special Category visa (subclass 444) or New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship (Temporary) visa (subclass 461) who have been working for his employer for two out of the last three years immediately before applying (DE stream only).

  • Applying through the LA stream and the relevant labour agreement allows for a person who has turned 45 to be employed.

  • The applicant is above 45 and younger than 50 and either held or were an applicant for, a subclass 457 visa (which was subsequently granted) on 18 April 2017 (TRT stream).

 

Are there any Skill exemptions exemption for ENS 186 visa?

Skill exemption is available to an applicant who meets any of the below:

  • A DE stream applicant who are nominated as: an academic by a university in Australia, a scientist, researcher, or technical specialist by an Australian government scientific agency, including State and Territory government scientific agencies.

  • A subclass 444 or 461 visa holders who have worked with their nominating employer in their nominated occupation for two out of the last three years before the visa application is made.

 

What you need to know about ENS visa before applying?

  • This visa allows you to stay in Australia indefinitely and will enable you to study and work.

  • Once arriving in Australia, you can apply for your Medicare card.

  • You can apply for Australian citizenship once you are eligible.

  • You are free to travel outside Australia for five years. Beyond five years, without holding an Australian passport, if you leave Australia, you must hold a Resident Return visa to enter Australia.

  • You can apply to a 186 visa while being in Australia only if you hold the following visa types: a substantive visa / a subclass 010 (Bridging A) visa / a subclass 020 (Bridging B) visa or a subclass 030 (Bridging C) visa.

  • You can apply for a 186 visa from outside Australia as well.

 

What is the processing time for 186 Visa?

For the Direct Entry stream 15 - 19 months.

For the Temporary Residence Transition stream 15 - 17 months.

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