Employer Nomination Scheme

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Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186)

The Employer Nomination Scheme is a permanent visa, and requires the nominating employer to be operating in Australia. The employee needs to show a higher level of skill than for a 457 visa, but otherwise the criteria are broadly similar to the 457 visa.

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
  • Visa Application: There are three possible pathways which may require a skills assessment, English language testing and health and police checks

Application Pathways

There are three possible application pathways for an ENS visa:

  • Temporary Residence Transition: Where applicants have worked with the employer on a 457 visa for the last 2 years. In this case, no skills assessment is required and an English level equivalent to IELTS 5 is required.
  • Direct Entry Stream: The employee will need to provide a formal skill assessment in their occupation, and show that they have worked in their occupation for three years. The required English level is IELTS 6 equivalent.
  • Agreement Stream: Where the employer has a Labour Agreement

ENS visas require a significantly higher level of documentation that a 457 visa. Difficulties which can be encountered in applying for ENS visas include:

  • Obtaining skills assessments – each skills assessing authority has different criteria, but in some circumstances this requirement can be avoided
  • Demonstrating that the employer meets the “satisfactory record of training” requirement
  • Showing exceptional circumstances where visa applicants would not meet the usual requirements for Age, English language ability and skill level
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