The Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186) is for skilled workers who want to work in Australia. This visa involves a two-step process, firstly, nomination by an approved Australian employer and then an application under the nominated stream. It is part of the Permanent Employer Sponsored Visa programme.
This visa is a permanent residence visa. An individual can be in or outside Australia when they apply. If they are in Australia, they must hold a substantive visa or a bridging visa A, B or C. An individual can apply for this visa only after they have been nominated by their employer in Australia. They must lodge their application within six months of the nomination being approved. They must apply for the visa in the stream and occupation in which their employer nominated them, or their application could be refused.
An individual might be able to get this visa if they:
- Have been nominated by an approved Australian employer
- Are younger than 50 years of age, unless they are exempt
- Meet the skills, qualifications and English language requirements, unless they are exempt
- Apply under the stream for which they were nominated.
The visa has three streams:
- The Temporary Residence Transition stream is for subclass 457 visa holders who have worked for two years, while holding a subclass 457 visa, in the same occupation with their nominating employer (who is not subject to a labour agreement and who has lodged a valid nomination under the Temporary Residence Transition stream), who wants to offer them a permanent position in that occupation. The individual must have at least vocational English.
- The Direct Entry stream is for:
- People who have been nominated by their employer under the Direct Entry stream
- People who have never, or only briefly, worked in Australia, or
- Temporary residents who hold a subclass 457 visa but do not qualify for the Temporary Residence Transition stream.
- The Agreement stream is for subclass 457 visa holders sponsored by an employer through a labor agreement.
Even if an individual is more than 50 years of age, they can still apply for this visa if they:
- Are nominated as a senior academic (University Lecturer or Faculty Head) by a university in Australia
- Are nominated as a scientist, researcher or technical (scientific) specialist at ANZSCO skill level one or two by an Australian government scientific agency
- Are a medical practitioner who has been working in your nominated occupation as the holder of a subclass 422 or subclass 457 visa for at least four years immediately before applying and at least two years of that employment was located in regional Australia and the nominated position is located in regional Australia.
- Are a medical practitioner who has been working in your nominated occupation as the holder of a subclass 422 visa before becoming the holder of a subclass 457 visa for two years in the four years immediately before applying and at least two years of that employment was located in regional Australia and the nominated position is located in regional Australia.
- Are applying through the Direct Entry stream and you hold a Subclass 444 (New Zealand citizen) or Subclass 461 (New Zealand citizen’s family member) visa and you have been working for the employer who nominated you for at least two years in the last three years immediately before making the application
- Are applying through the Temporary Residence Transition stream, and you have been working for your nominating employer as the holder of a Subclass 457 visa for at least four years immediately before applying, and that employer paid you at least as much as the Fair Work High Income Threshold in each of the four years
- Are applying through the Agreement stream and the relevant labor agreement allows for a person who has turned 50 to be employed.
More information on these exemptions is in Classes of Persons (Exempt from the Age Criteria).
In addition to the above-mentioned conditions, there are other factors and criteria to be taken into consideration.