Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) – Subclass 186 Visa

The employer nomination scheme (ENS) visa, or the 186 visa, allows employer-nominated skilled workers to obtain permanent residency in Australia. The subclass 186 visa is an option for you if you meet the required skills, health, and character requirements.

186 Visa Streams

The ENS visa has 3 streams:

Direct Entry

The direct entry visa allows you to work and study in the country indefinitely. You can also sponsor your family members and apply for citizenship. The processing times for direct entry visas vary from 4 months to 12 months. To apply for the direct entry visa, make sure you have the following:

  • The job you’re applying for is on the list of eligible skilled occupations.
  • You have the necessary work experience. For most applicants, this means a relevant experience of at least three years.
  • You must have any licence or registration required to work
  • You must pass a skills assessment test

Note: For some jobs, you can get an exemption from the work experience and skills assessment.

As a 186 visa holder, your obligations include

  • Work for the same employer for at least 2 years
  • Begin working within 6 months of entering Australia or getting the visa if you were already in the country
  • Obey the country’s laws

Labour Agreement

The labour agreement stream enables subclass 482 (TSS) and subclass 457 visa holders to obtain permanent residence in Australia. The processing times vary from 47 days to 28 months. Similar to the direct entry visa, you are expected to work for your nominating employer for a minimum of 2 years and start work within 6 months.