Employer Nomination Scheme Visa (Subclass 186)

Subclass 186: Employer Nomination Scheme (Permanent) Visa

Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme visa is a permanent visa which allows overseas skilled worker to be nominated by Australian-based employer to live, work and/or study in Australia permanently.

Visa Streams

  • Temporary Residence Transition Stream
  • Direct Entry Stream
  • Labour Agreement Stream

Stay Period

Indefinitely with 5-year travel facility after which you may need to apply for Subclass 155 or 157 Resident Return visa to extend your travel facility.

You may consider applying for Australian citizenship for unrestricted travel facility once eligibility criteria are met.

Apply from...

All applicants may be in or outside Australia, but not in immigration clearance, to apply and to be granted this visa.

Each applicant in Australia when applying for this visa must hold:
  • a substantive visa that meets criteria of relevant visa stream; or
  • a Subclass 010 Bridging A visa that meets criteria of relevant visa stream; or
  • a Subclass 020 Bridging B visa that meets criteria of relevant visa stream; or
  • a Subclass 030 Bridging C visa that meets criteria of relevant visa stream.

with no condition(s) attached to the visa that prevent the applicant from applying this visa in Australia.

If the substantive visa or the last substantive visa held by the applicant is/was a Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa or a Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa, the applicant must have held that visa for at least 3 years at the time of application unless exceptional circumstances exist.
Before applying for Subclass 186 visa, the primary visa applicant's employer must have submitted a nomination or have the nomination approved before Subclass 186 visa can be granted.

Some criteria for nomination approval for 2 most common streams are outlined below:
Temporary Residence Transition Stream
  • Sponsor must be an eligible business with genuine position
  • The sponsor must be an eligible business that:
    • is actively and lawfully operating a business in Australia;
    • is a sponsor of the nominee’s current or recently held Subclass 457 or 482 TSS visa;
    • has no adverse information known to the Department of Home Affairs;
    • has a satisfactory record of compliance with the employment or workplace relations-related laws of the Commonwealth, and of each State or Territory in which the business operates;
    • has demonstrated a genuine need for the nominee to be employed in the position within the business for at least 2 years on a full-time basis without any terms that exclude the nominee from extending the peiod of employment beyond 2 years;
    • has the capacity to pay the nominee at least the “Annual Market Salary Rate (AMSR)” for 2 years full-time employment;
    • has demonstrated position associated with the nomination must be genuine and MUST NOT be a position created solely to facilitate migration outcome for the nominee;
    • has demonstrated the nominee is a holder of, or eligible for, licence, registration or professional body membership, if it is required for the position where it will be located;
    • has paid the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy at the time of nomination application.
  • Nominee holds visa related to Subclass 457 or 482 TSS visa
  • At the time of Subclass 186 nomination application, the nominee MUST hold one of the following substantive visas:
    • a Subclass 457 granted under the Standard Business Sponsorship (SBS) stream; or
    • a Subclass 482 visa granted under the Medium-term stream; or
    • a Subclass 482 visa granted under the Short-term stream – only applicable to nominee that, on 18 April 2017, held (or had applied for and was later granted) a Subclass 457 visa.
  • For nominee who DOES NOT hold a substantive visa at the time of nomination application, the nominee must hold a bridging visa granted on the basis of applying for either:
    • a Subclass 457 visa under the Standard Business Sponsorship (SBS) stream; or
    • a Subclass 482 visa under the Medium-term stream; or
    • a Subclass 186 visa; or
    • a Subclass 187 visa; or
    • a Subclass 482 visa granted under the Short-term stream – only applicable to nominee that, on 18 April 2017, held (or had applied for and was later granted) a Subclass 457 visa; AND
    • the last substantive visa held by the nominee must be either:
      • a Subclass 457 granted under the Standard Business Sponsorship (SBS) stream; or
      • a Subclass 482 visa granted under the Medium-term stream; or
      • a Subclass 482 visa granted under the Short-term stream – only applicable to nominee that, on 18 April 2017, held (or had applied for and was later granted) a Subclass 457 visa.
  • Nominee held Subclass 457 or 482 TSS visa usually for at least 3 years
  • At the time of Subclass 186 nomination application, the nominee MUST have held one of the following substantive visas for at least 3 years in the 4 years before this Subclass 186 nomination application is made:
    • a Subclass 457 granted under the Standard Business Sponsorship (SBS) stream; or
    • a Subclass 482 visa granted under the Medium-term stream.

    Transitional Arrangements for Subclass 457 Visa Holder

    If the nominee, on 18 April 2017, held (or had applied for and was later granted) a Subclass 457 visa, the nominee is allowed to hold a Subclass 482 visa granted under the Short-term stream for at least 2 years in the 3 years before this Subclass 186 nomination application is made.
  • Relevancy of Nominated Occupation
  • The position nominated for this Subclass 186 visa must be an occupation listed in this Skilled Occupation List or this legislative instrument. Please be aware that caveats or additional requirement(s) apply to certain occupations. For instance, if the position to be nominated is “224711 – Management Consultant”, the position must be in a business with an annual turnover of at least AUD 1 million, with at least 5 employees and the annual earnings offered to the nominee must be at least AUD 90,000 or more.

    The occupation nominated for this Subclass 186 visa must has the same 4-digit ANZSCO occupation unit group code as the occupation nominated for the most recently held Subclass 457 or 482 TSS visa.

    Transitional Arrangements for Subclass 457 Visa Holder

    If on 18 April 2017, the nominee for this Subclass 186 visa held (or had applied for and was later granted) a Subclass 457 visa, the occupation does not need to be on the eligible Skilled Occupation List for the Subclass 186 visa.
Direct Entry Stream
  • Sponsor must be an eligible business with genuine position
  • The sponsor must be an eligible business that:
    • is actively and lawfully operating a business in Australia;
    • has no adverse information known to the Department of Home Affairs;
    • has a satisfactory record of compliance with the employment or workplace relations-related laws of the Commonwealth, and of each State or Territory in which the business operates;
    • has demonstrated a genuine need for the nominee to be employed in the position within the business for at least 2 years on a full-time basis without any terms that exclude the nominee from extending the peiod of employment beyond 2 years;
    • has the capacity to pay the nominee at least the “Annual Market Salary Rate (AMSR)” for 2 years full-time employment;
    • has demonstrated that the position associated with the nomination must be genuine and MUST NOT be a position created solely to facilitate migration outcome for the nominee;
    • has demonstrated the nominee is a holder of, or eligible for, licence, registration or professional body membership, if it is required for the position where it will be located;
    • has demonstrated that the position associated with the nomination is within the business activities of the sponsor. If the business activities does not include activities related to hiring of labour to other unrelated businesses, the sponsor will not hire the nominee to other companies or unrelated businesses;
    • has paid the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy at the time of nomination application.
  • Skilled Occupation List for Subclass 186 Visa
  • The position nominated for this Subclass 186 visa must be an occupation listed in this Skilled Occupation List or this legislative instrument. Please be aware that caveats or additional requirement(s) apply to certain occupations. For instance, if the position to be nominated is “224711 – Management Consultant”, the position must be in a business with an annual turnover of at least AUD 1 million, with at least 5 employees and the annual earnings offered to the nominee must be at least AUD 90,000 or more.
To make a valid application for Subclass 186 visa and/or be granted this visa, the following general criteria for 2 most common streams must be met:

Stream Specific Subclass 186 Visa Eligibility Criteria

Licensing, Registration or Membership with a Professional Body
If licensing, registration or membership of a professional body is mandatory to perform the nominated occupation at any particular location within Australia, the primary applicant must hold, or eligible for, the licensing, registration or membership of a professional body.
Under 45 years old at the time of submitting application
The primary applicant must be under 45 years old at the time of lodging application for this Subclass 186 visa in the Temporary Residence Transition stream.

The primary applicant are EXEMPTED from this age requirement if any of the following applies:
  • the primary applicant is nominated as an academic (at Academic Level A, B, C, D or E) at an Australian university. The relevant 6-digit ANZSCO occupation codes in relation to academic position are “134411 – Faculty Head” and “242111 – University Lecturer”;
  • the primary applicant is nominated as a medical practitioner in regional Australia and has worked as a medical practitioner in the 3 years preceding the visa application as a Subclass 457 or Subclass 482 TSS visa holder, of which at least 2 of those 3 years the employment was based in regional Australia;
  • the primary applicant is nominated as a researcher, scientist, technical specialist (at ANZSCO skill level 1 or 2) by a science organisation (Commonwealth or State/Territory science agency or Australian university);
  • in the 3 years preceding the visa application, the primary applicant was employed in the nominated occupation by the employer who made nomination for this Subclass 186 visa as a holder of a Subclass 457 or Subclass 482 TSS visa, and the earnings for each of those 3 years were at least the Fair Work High Income Threshold for the relevant period.

Transitional Arrangements for Subclass 457 Visa Holder

If, on 18 April 2017, the primary applicant for this Subclass 186 visa held (or had applied for and was later granted) a Subclass 457 visa, the primary applicant can still apply for this Subclass 186 visa in the Temporary Residence Transition stream if the primary applicant is under 50 years old on the day of application.
English Language Requirement
At the time of visa application, the primary applicant had competent English.

Unless exemption applies, any other applicant (e.g.: secondary applicant) aged 18 years old and above (at the time of application) must either have at least functional English or will be asked to pay for the second instalment of the visa application charge prior to visa grant.

Secondary applicant, who is a member of the family unit of the primary applicant who is nominated as a Minister of Religion by a religous institution, is EXEMPTED from paying the second instalment of the visa application charge if the secondary applicant doesn’t have functional English skills.
Have relevant skills and qualifications to perform nominated occupation
The primary visa applicant must have the required skills and qualifications to work in the nominated occupation.

Skills assessment might be requested, if necessary, at the discretion of the case officer to ascertain the primary applicant has the required skills that are necessary to perform the tasks in the nominated occupation.
Have worked in closely-related nominated occupation for the sponsor of Subclass 457 or 482 visa for at least 3 years
If the primary applicant in this stream holds or recently held either, a Subclass 457 visa, or a 482 TSS visa granted under the Medium-term stream, the primary applicant must has worked for the same sponsor of this Subclass 186 visa, on a full-time basis, for at least 3 years (not including any periods of unpaid leave) in Australia in the 4 years before this Subclass 186 nomination application.

If, on 18 April 2017, the primary applicant in this stream held (or had applied for and was later granted) a Subclass 457 visa, the primary applicant can be a Subclass 482 TSS visa holder granted under the Short-term stream and has worked for the same sponsor of this Subclass 186 visa, on a full-time basis, for at least 2 years (not including any periods of unpaid leave) in Australia in the 3 years before this Subclass 186 nomination application.

The employment type of Subclass 457 or 482 TSS visa holder with the following ANZSCO occupations nominated are EXEMPTED from being a full-time employment as long as the total period of employment adds up to at least 3 years in the 4 years before this Subclass 186 nomination application:
  • 111111 – Chief Executive or Managing Director
  • 111211 – Corporate General Manager
  • 253111 – General Medical Practitioner
  • 253112 – Resident Medical Officer
  • 253211 – Anaesthetist
  • 253311 – Specialist Physician (General Medicine)
  • 253312 – Cardiologist
  • 253313 – Clinical Haematologist
  • 253314 – Medical Oncologist
  • 253315 – Endocrinologist
  • 253316 – Gastroenterologist
  • 253317 – Intensive Care Specialist
  • 253318 – Neurologist
  • 253321 – Paediatrician
  • 253322 – Renal Medicine Specialist
  • 253323 – Rheumatologist
  • 253324 – Thoracic Medicine Specialist
  • 253399 – Specialist Physicians (nec)
  • 253411 – Psychiatrist
  • 253511 – Surgeon (General)
  • 253512 – Cardiothoracic Surgeon
  • 253513 – Neurosurgeon
  • 253514 – Orthopaedic Surgeon
  • 253515 – Otorhinolaryngologist
  • 253516 – Paediatric Surgeon
  • 253517 – Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon
  • 253518 – Urologist
  • 253521 – Vascular Surgeon
  • 253911 – Dermatologist
  • 253912 – Emergency Medicine Specialist
  • 253913 – Obstetrician and Gynaecologist
  • 253914 – Ophthalmologist
  • 253915 – Pathologist
  • 253917 – Diagnostic and Interventional Radiologist
  • 253918 – Radiation Oncologist
  • 253999 – Medical Practitioners (nec)
Be nominated by the current/recent employer who sponsored Subclass 457 or 482 visa
The primary applicant must be nominated by the same employer who sponsored the primary applicant for either a Subclass 457 visa in the Standard Business Sponsorship (SBS) stream, a Subclass 482 TSS visa in the Medium-term stream, or a Subclass 482 TSS visa in the Short-term stream (only applicable to primary applicant that, on 18 April 2017, held (or had applied for and was later granted) a Subclass 457 visa)).
Licensing, Registration or Membership with a Professional Body
If licensing, registration or membership of a professional body is mandatory to perform the nominated occupation at any particular location within Australia, the primary applicant must hold, or eligible for, the licensing, registration or membership of a professional body.
Under 45 years old at the time of submitting application
The primary applicant must be under 45 years old at the time of lodging application for this Subclass 186 visa in the Direct Entry stream.

The primary applicants are EXEMPTED from this age requirement if any of the following applies:
  • the primary applicant is nominated as an academic (at Academic Level A, B, C, D or E) at an Australian university. The relevant 6-digit ANZSCO occupation codes in relation to academic position are “134411 – Faculty Head” and “242111 – University Lecturer”;
  • the primary applicant is nominated as a researcher, scientist, technical specialist (at ANZSCO skill level 1 or 2) by a science organisation (Commonwealth or State/Territory science agency or Australian university);
  • in the 3 years preceding the visa application, the primary applicant held a Subclass 444 Special Category visa or a Subclass 461 New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship visa, and was employed in the nominated occupation by the employer who made nomination for this Subclass 186 visa for at least 2 years. The 2-year period can be made up of a continuous period or 2 or more non-consecutive periods, however, any periods of unpaid leave CAN’T be counted towards the total of the 2-year period.
English Language Requirement
At the time of visa application, the primary applicant had competent English.

Unless exemption applies, any other applicant (e.g.: secondary applicant) aged 18 years old and above (at the time of application) must either have at least functional English or will be asked to pay for the second instalment of the visa application charge prior to visa grant.

Secondary applicant, who is a member of the family unit of the primary applicant who is nominated as a Minister of Religion by a religous institution, is EXEMPTED from paying the second instalment of the visa application charge if the secondary applicant doesn’t have functional English skills.
Have relevant skills and qualifications to perform nominated occupation
The primary visa applicant must have the required skills and qualifications to work in the nominated occupation.

At the time of applying for the visa, the applicant must have had obtained positive skills assessment outcome for the nominated occupation from the relevant assessing authority unless exemption applies. A list of assessing authorities relevant to each nominated occupation can be found at https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/working-in-australia/skill-occupation-list.

The skills assessment obtained must not be an assessment for a Subclass 485 Temporary Graduate visa.

The primary applicants are EXEMPTED from undergoing the skills assessment if any of the following applies:
  • the primary applicant is nominated as an academic (at Academic Level A, B, C, D or E) at an Australian university. The relevant 6-digit ANZSCO occupation codes in relation to academic position are “134411 – Faculty Head” and “242111 – University Lecturer”;
  • the primary applicant is nominated as a researcher, scientist, technical specialist (at ANZSCO skill level 1 or 2) by a science organisation (Commonwealth or State/Territory science agency or Australian university);
  • in the 3 years preceding the visa application, the primary applicant held a Subclass 444 Special Category visa or a Subclass 461 New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship visa, and was employed in the nominated occupation by the employer who made nomination for this Subclass 186 visa for at least 2 years. The 2-year period can be made up of a continuous period or 2 or more non-consecutive periods, however, any periods of unpaid leave CAN’T be counted towards the total of the 2-year period.
Have worked in occupation closely-related to the nominated occupation for at least 3 years
Unless exemption applies, the primary applicant must have had at least 3 years full-time work experience relevant to skill level required for the nominated occupation.

Primary applicants who are exempt from the skills assessment requirement are also exempt from this work experience requirement.
Be nominated by an Australian employer
The primary applicant must be nominated by an employer with active and lawful business operation in Australia that offered skilled employment to the primary applicant for at least 2 years.
The following persons can apply for this Subclass 186 visa:
  • any person who met the eligibility criteria outlined in "Eligibility Criteria" tab on this page (hereinafter referred to as "the Primary Applicant");
  • the member of family unit of the Primary Applicant, e.g.: spouse/de facto partner and children who are still dependent on the Primary Applicant or the spouse/de facto partner of Primary Applicant (hereinafter referred to as "the Secondary Applicant").
Each applicant in Australia when applying for this visa must hold:
  • a substantive visa that meets criteria of relevant visa stream; or
  • a Subclass 010 Bridging A visa that meets criteria of relevant visa stream; or
  • a Subclass 020 Bridging B visa that meets criteria of relevant visa stream; or
  • a Subclass 030 Bridging C visa that meets criteria of relevant visa stream.

with no condition(s) attached to the visa that prevent the applicant from applying this visa in Australia.

If the substantive visa or the last substantive visa held by the applicant is/was a Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa or a Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa, the applicant must have held that visa for at least 3 years at the time of application unless exceptional circumstances exist.
The following condition(s) might be attached to this visa:

Condition 8515 - Must not marry or enter into a de facto relationship before entering Australia

If this visa is granted when the secondary applicant is outside Australia, the holder of this visa must not marry or enter into a de facto relationship before entering Australia.

This condition usually applies to secondary applicant(s) who are not married or in a de facto relationship and are still dependent on the primary visa applicant prior to visa grant. For example, child of primary visa applicant who is also a secondary applicant for this visa must not married or enter into a de facto relationship prior to entering Australia for the first time.

Breaching this visa condition will render the said visa with the condition 8515 subject to cancellation.

If you are ready to commence your life in Australia, contact Ausdirect Migration today at 1800 462 188.

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