Update (28 October 2018): Department released 186 visa lodged application and refusal statistics:

 

Year 2014-15 2016-16 2016-17
Lodged 28,824 20,404 22,874
Refused 309 352 740
% of refused applications 1.07% 1.73% 3.24%
% change in lodged applications -29.21% +12.11%

 

The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) 186 visa is a permanent residency visa that requires the sponsorship of a nominating Australian employer/business. There are three separate pathways or streams for the 186 visa permanent residency visa:

 

  • Direct Entry (‘DE’) stream
  • Temporary Residence Transition (‘TRT’) stream
  • Labour Agreement (‘LA’) stream

 

186 visa – Primary visa applicant


The following requirements need to be satisfied by the primary visa applicant under both the Direct Entry and Temporary Residence Transition streams. Hence, these are common requirements which need to be satisfied by the primary visa applicant under either of these streams. In addition to these requirements, the primary visa applicant needs to satisfy the specific and different requirements that apply to the particular stream that the primary visa applicant is applying under – see below explanation:

 

  • Age:Primary visa applicant must be under 45 years of age at the time that the visa application is lodged (primary applicant can turn 45 years of age or older after lodgement of the visa application). There are only a few allowed exemptions to this age requirement.
  • English: Competent English language ability is required for both the TRT and DE streams. Primary applicants under the Labour Agreement stream must also demonstrate Competent English ability, unless your sponsoring employer/business has a Labour Agreement that provides a lower English requirement. You can use an English result from an examination conducted within the last 3 years immediately before the date of lodgement of your visa application. You may however be required to achieve higher English examination scores than the minimum English requirement of Competent English if this is required for your skill assessment (Direct entry stream), or if a higher level of English is required in order to obtain mandatory registration, licence or professional membership that is required to work in your nominated occupation.
  • Holds (or is eligible for) any mandatory registration, licence or professional membership: If any mandatory registration, licence or professional membership is required to work in your nominated occupation, then you hold or are eligible for this mandatory registration, licence or professional membership. For example, you need to be registered (or be eligible for registration) with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency to work in Australia as a registered nurse, doctor and other health care professional occupations
  • Applying in Australia: You can apply for this visa if you are in Australia as a temporary visa holder, or a Bridging visa A, B or C (if you are a Bridging visa A, B or C, then you will not be able to lodge this visa application when you are in Australia if you have had a visa refusal and you are waiting for a Tribunal or Court hearing due to Section 48. You can apply for a Bridging visa B, which allows you to temporarily leave Australia to lodge your 186 visa application and then return to Australia. The Department can decide your 186 visa application when you are in Australia).
  • Health and character: Primary visa applicant and all members of his or her family unit must satisfy the health and character requirements for the grant of a permanent residency visa. If any member of the family unit fails to satisfy the health and/or character requirements, then the visa applications may be refused for the primary applicant and all family members. Members of the family unit who are not included in the visa application also need to satisfy the health and character requirements, even though he or she is not included in the permanent residency visa application.
  • Commitment to work in nominated role: Visa applicant needs to make the commitment to work in the nominated role for a period of at least 2 years from the date that permanent residency is granted. The employer will also need to make the commitment to ensure that the nominated role is available to the visa applicant for a period of at least 2 years.

 

Important: You will need to find an Australian business to sponsor you before you can proceed with your application. You cannot complete this employer sponsored visa independently without an Australian employer. As far as we are aware, you are unlikely to receive an invitation if you are trying to find an employer through the Department’s Expression of Interest database. Please note that the above listed requirements are not the only requirements that the visa applicant and the employer/sponsor need to satisfy in order to obtain a 186 visa. The above only outlines the key requirements.

 

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186 nomination – Sponsoring business

 

The following requirements apply to both the Direct Entry and Temporary Residence Transition nomination applications by the sponsoring business. Hence, these are common requirements which need to be satisfied for applications under either of these streams. In addition to these requirements, the sponsoring business needs to satisfy the specific and different requirements of the particular stream that the business is applying under – see below explanation:

 

  • Salary is equivalent to what is or would be paid to an Australian employee: The business needs to demonstrate that the visa applicant’s proposed salary is consistent with the ‘Australian market rate’ for the nominated role.
  • Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT): In order for your nominated role to be sponsorable and eligible, your sponsoring employer needs to show that the ‘Australian market rate’ for your role is at least equal to TSMIT (which is currently AUD $53,900 per annum).
  • Commitment to work in nominated role: Visa applicant needs to make the commitment to work in the nominated role for a period of at least 2 years from the date that permanent residency is granted. The employer will also need to make the commitment to ensure that the nominated role is available to the visa applicant for a period of at least 2 years. The Department will assess the business’ financial position, financial history, current operations and clients, current staff and payroll expenses etc. Based on this information, the Department needs to be satisfied that the business will continue to operate for at least the next 2 years, and provide the primary applicant with employment in his or her nominated role.
  • Compliance with migration and Australian law: The business has a history of compliance with Australian immigration and workplace relations laws.
  • No adverse information: There is no adverse information known about the sponsoring business or any person associated with the sponsoring business, or it is reasonable to disregard this information.

 

Direct Entry (DE) stream

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Primary visa applicant requirements under Direct Entry stream:

 

  • Work experience*: Three years of full-time work experience that relates to your nominated occupation. Generally speaking, you can only count relevant work experience after you completed your relevant education qualification / apprenticeship / trade or vocational education. Part-time or casual work experience can be counted on a pro-rate basis, so 12 months of part-time or casual experience should be equivalent to 6 months of full-time experience.
  • Skill assessment for nominated occupation: Obtain a skill assessment from the relevant skill assessment body for your nominated occupation. A skill assessment is only valid until the expiry date specified on the assessment, if any is stated. Otherwise, your skill assessment is valid for a period of three years from the date of issue. Your skill assessment must be valid at the time that you lodge your visa application (this can expire after lodgement during the Department’s processing time). You can find the relevant skill assessment bodies listed on the current occupation list (e.g. VETASSESS, CPA etc.).

 

*You are exempt from having to complete a skill assessment if you are a Subclass 444 (New Zealand citizens) or Subclass 461 visa holder (relative of a New Zealand citizen) and you have worked in an eligible occupation for the same employer for at least 2 out of the last 3 years (excluding periods of unpaid leave).

You are also exempt from this skill assessment requirement if your sponsoring employer is any of the following:

  • an academic by a university in Australia or
  • a scientist, researcher, or technical specialist by an Australian government (including State and Territory) scientific agency

 

Business nomination requirements under Direct Entry stream:

 

  • Eligible occupations: Nominate an eligible occupation under the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)
  • Caveat requirements if applicable: Some eligible occupations are marked with an asterisk* which means that the sponsoring business needs to demonstrate that the following additional caveat requirements are also satisfied.
  • Genuine business need for the nominated role: This is a discretionary requirement where the Department will assess various aspects of the sponsoring business (based on the documents and information provided in the business nomination application) such as the business’ financial position, financial history, current operations and clients, current staff and payroll expenses, and documents provided to demonstrate the business’ current need for the nominated role etc. The Department will then decide if the business has sufficiently demonstrated its genuine need for the nominated full-time role.

.

Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream

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The following transitional arrangements only apply if you held a Primary 457 visa, or was applying for a Primary 457 visa, on 18 April 2017:

 

  • Two years of work as a 457 (and 482 TSS if applicable) visa holder: The primary applicant needs to have at least two years of full-time work as a 457 and/or 482 TSS visa holder in the last three years. You must complete these two years of work with your sponsoring employer for your 186 nomination and visa applications, and in the nominated role which was approved for your 457 and/or 482 TSS visa. You can also count time on a bridging visa, if you were applying for a 457 or 482 TSS visa application, and you were already the holder of a 457 or 482 TSS visa. You must complete the full two years of work before your sponsoring employer lodges their nomination application, and you lodge your visa application.
  • Eligible occupations: The business nomination application can nominate the same occupation and ANZSCO occupation code as the 457 visa application which the Department approved, even if this occupation is no longer on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)

 

Otherwise, all other primary applicants will need to satisfy the following requirements:

 

Primary visa applicant requirements under Temporary Residence Transition stream:

 

  • Three years of work as a 457 and/or 482 TSS visa holder:  The primary applicant needs to have at least three years of full-time work as a 457 and/or 482 TSS visa holder in the last four years. You must complete these three years of work with your sponsoring employer for your 186 nomination and visa applications, and in the nominated role which was approved for your 457 and/or 482 TSS visa. You can also count time on a bridging visa, if you were applying for a 457 or 482 TSS visa application, and you were already the holder of a 457 or 482 TSS visa. You must complete the full three years of work before your sponsoring employer lodges their nomination application, and you lodge your visa application.

 

Business nomination requirements under Temporary Residence Transition stream:

 

  • Eligible occupations: Nominate an eligible occupation under the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)
  • Performance of nominated role by 457 and/or 482 TSS visa holder: The following requirement was added to the business nomination requirements, under the Temporary Residence Transition stream, which indicates that the Department can potentially look at the work performed by the and/or 482 TSS visa holder, and determine if he or she was working in their approved and nominated role: there is no information known to Immigration that indicates that the identified person is not genuinely performing the tasks of the occupation as specified in ANZSCO

 

Terms &conditions of employment

 

Your sponsoring employer needs to demonstrate that the terms and conditions of your employment are no less favourable than the terms and conditions of employment that would be provided to an ‘equivalent Australian citizen or permanent resident’ (known as the ‘market rate’ requirement). This can be shown by providing a contract of an Australian citizen or permanent resident that is working in the same position and location as the role that you are nominated to perform for the purposes of the visa application.

 

Your employer may not have an Australian citizen or permanent resident that works as an employee in the same role and location as your nominated role.

 

If this is the case, then your employer can provide evidence of what the Australian market salary rate is for your nominated role and show that your salary is at least equal to the market rate. This is generally demonstrated by providing Australian market salary survey data. This data needs to be relevant to the nominated role and the location where you will be working (i.e. market salary data, such as Hays Salary Guides, will usually give specific data for various capital cities around Australia).

 

Genuine business need for role

 

The sponsoring business needs to demonstrate that it has a genuine need for the nominated position. In assessing this requirement, the Department’s guidelines indicate that the following factors may be considered:

 

  • the nature and scope of the business activities of the nominator including:
      • any demonstrated increases in business activity
      • any demonstrated plans for future expansion
      • the likely impact on the business if the nomination was refused
    • overtime being undertaken by employees currently in the nominated occupation
    • any information that the relevant industry is in decline
    • whether the position:
      • continues to fit within the regular and ongoing business activity of the employer, as demonstrated by the organisation chart or other evidence provided
      • has altered over time
      • involves new tasks that no longer correspond to the nominated occupation
      • continues to be genuinely needed in the regular, ongoing business activity of the employer
      • has existed and been previously occupied but has become vacant through attrition
      • contributes to maintaining or enhancing the volume and/or quality of business outputs (this may include detailed and quantifiable plans for future expansion)
      • is currently occupied by a temporary resident
      • is relevant to the proposed business activity

     

    The supporting documents that a business needs to provide in order to demonstrate its genuine need for the nominated position will vary, depending on the nominated position/occupation and the nature of the sponsoring business’ operations.

     

    For example, if the business is sponsoring a Chef, Cook, or Cafe or Restaurant Manager, then the business may be able to provide the following to demonstrate its need to the nominated role:

     

    • Dine-in menu, specials and/or drinks menus
    • Photos of prepared meals
    • Photos of fresh and/or raw produce such as meats, chicken, fish, vegetables, fruits etc.
    • Photos of ingredients such as spices, seasoning, herbs etc.
    • Photos of kitchen and work areas, fridge and storage areas etc.
    • Photos of dining and customer seating/service areas
    • Invoices/receipts for the cost of raw ingredients such as spices, seasoning, fresh vegetables or fruits, raw meats etc.
    • Invoices/receipts for the cost of kitchen equipment such as knifes, utensils, pans, stove, microwave etc.
    • Invoices/receipts for business expenses such as solicitor fees, advertising or marketing expenses, online advertising expenses, new menus etc.
    • Examples of online reviews such as Facebook, Google, Tripadvisor etc.

     

    If the business is sponsoring a Technical Sales Representatives nec (ANZSCO code: 225499), then the business may be able to provide the following to demonstrate its need to the nominated role:

     

    • List of clients and/or business schedule or calendar for client services/product purchases
    • Invoices/receipts for prior completed services/product purchases
    • Email correspondence with clients, providing information in relation to new or existing services and/or products
    • Business prepared brochure or information sheet outlining its services and/or products and/or brochures or information sheets which are provided by your sales representatives to clients
    • Email correspondence from clients raising issues or complaints
    • Information sheets for competing services and/or products offered by the business’ competitors
    • Internal sales records, spreadsheets, printouts etc. recording the business’ financial and sales performance such as: weekly or monthly sales, sales by various representatives, sales by products or services, sales by client etc.

     

    Application process

     

    You can only lodge an application using the Department’s online portalYou can only prepare the online visa application form once your nominating employer has at least started to prepare the nomination application for your role (which is also prepared using the online portal). This is because you need the nomination application TRN which will be issued to your employer once they have started to prepare the nomination application.

     

    You can lodge your visa application once your sponsoring employer has lodged the business nomination application. You do not have to wait until the Department decides the business nomination application before you lodge your visa application, although you can wait if you wish. If you wait for nomination approval, then must lodge your visa application within six months of the date that the business nomination application is approved.

     

    After you have lodged the application, you upload the supporting documents electronically. As part of the initial application, you do not need to submit any actual paper work or forms. It is all online.

     

    Government lodgement fees

     

    The below is just a list of the relevant government lodgement fees:

     

    • 186 nomination application: $540
    • Visa primary applicant fee: $3,670
    • Additional applicant charge for each additional adult that is 18 years and over: $1,835
    • Additional applicant charge for each additional adult that is 18 years or under: $920
    • Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy:
      • Annual turnover less than $10 million: AUD 3000 per year
      • Annual turnover of $10 million or more) AUD 5000 per year

     

    Processing times (17 Oct 2018)

     

    The Department’s processing time for the 187 nomination and visa applications increased significantly in 2017. The Department’s current processing times are approximately:

     

    Direct entry stream: 12-18 months or potentially longer depending on the complexity of your application (we do note that the Department’s current processing time varies a lot at the moment. We do tend to find that applications by larger businesses are generally assessed with quicker processing times, perhaps due to the Department having less concerns with such applications in terms of the business’ need for the nominated role, and the business’ capacity to pay the proposed salary)

     

    Temporary residency transition stream: 12-18 months or potentially longer depending on the complexity of your application

     

    Please note that the above information is only providing estimated processing time information based on our recent experience, and actual processing times will vary for each individual application. Generally speaking, more complicated applications which may have issues satisfying the relevant legal requirements may take the Department longer to assess and decide.

     

    Please also see Department website in relation to current processing time information:

     

    Stream 75 per cent of applications processed 90 per cent of applications processed
    Temporary Residence Transition stream 15 months 17 months
    Direct Entry stream 15 months 19 months
    Agreement stream Unavailable due to low volume of applications. Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

     

    .

    Frequently asked questions

    .

    Q: For the TRT stream, can I count work that I completed under another visa like 485 and student visa?
    A: No

     

    Q: For the TRT stream, can I count work completed with a different employer?
    A: No

     

    Q: For the TRT stream, can I lodge my application before I complete 2 years of full-time work if I am close to completing 2 years?
    A: No – you must satisfy the 2 year requirement at the time of application

     

    Other visa information:

     


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    Sandy

    Hi Peng,

    My employer is happy to sponsor and provide job contract for 2 years. Is this ok to apply for employer nomination under direct stream or I need in total 3 years of contract?

    Olivia

    Hi, I have a question about training benchmark requirement. The sponsorship was granted on 21th of August 2015 and my 457 visa was granted on 10th of Sep 2015. My employer paid for training fee for the year 2016, 2017 and it was paid in every August. After working for 2 years, I have already applied for ENS (subclass 186) in Jan 2018 and now, been waiting for it to be granted. (no response yet from immigration). Just wondering, if my employer needs to pay for another training fee this August.

    Marty

    Hi Peng,
    I hold a NZ passport and currently employed in the hospital as RN and I will be two years with my employer this coming November, my employer said they’re happy to sponsor me but there’s a recent change in the policy of Immigration, they don’t want to sponsor me now as with the recent change my employer said they have to pay more than AUD 6K when sponsoring now compared before they only need to pay around AUD 600. Is this true? I want to lodge my PR application as soon as I can. Thanks!

    Nila

    Hi Peng, Hope you’re doing well. My doubt is regarding divorce affecting my entry into Australia. I have been granted 186 visa as the secondary applicant on my husband’s application. Our vacation to our home country was already planned and that happened to be 1 month after the visa was granted. Our already weak marriage became unbridgeable and we ended up in divorce. I stayed back to get support from my family as well as to complete divorce procedures. Now, I want to go back and start over. My Visa status on VEVO shows “In effect” Will this gap of… Read more »

    thumrith

    Hi,
    My 186 visa was lodged nov 17 2017 and 2d march 2018 they sent an email stating my employer nomination was rejected as they are not sure whether he can pay me for the next 2 years.

    They have given the options of withdraw and tribunal.

    Would be great if you can tell me whether :

    1) can I withdraw my application and reapply for a 186 with the same employer?
    2) tribunal timelines I think it takes more than a year for this?

    Thank you again

    Anjan

    Hi,

    I’ve been working on 457 visa since 25th July 2016 (it will expired on 8th May 2018). Before that I worked under 402 visa from 25th January 2015 to 24th July 2016 for same sponsor and for same position (without Australian salary; but paid by Swiss). For the TRT stream (to apply on 15th March 2018), can I count work that I completed under 402 visa and 457 visa to get eligible for 186 application in March 2018?

    JAM

    Hi Mr Peng,
    just wondering can I lodge my online application for 186 eventhough i dont have yet the TRN no. from my employer?
    the changes on March 2018, will my application or papers affect the changes ? Thank you.

    Andrew

    hi, peng,
    I have been on 457 visas for over 2 years with the same employer. Now can I apply for 186 visas by DE or TRT? And When I can’t apply for 186 visas? Is that on 18/03/2018?

    Abdul

    Hi PC Hw r u my son born in Australia in 2008 in 2018 on his ten birthday can he apply for citizenship plz.let me know tks me and my wife student visa still plz waiting for urs reply

    Abdul

    Hi PC Hw r u waiting for urs reply plz tks

    Imran Safdar

    Hi Peng,

    I have been on 457 visa for over 2 years. My employer submitted and got approved nomination for the 186 ENS Direct Entry Stream instead of the Temporary Residence Transition Stream. I don’t have a final skill assessment and 3 years work experience. I had already lodged my visa application when he applied for the nomination in October. Would that effect my application ? What should I or the Employer do ?

    Olivia

    Hi Peng,
    I’ve lodged 186 TRT as accountant since 28 Mar 17 but still didn’t heard anything from immigration until now. My colleague who lodged after me 2 months under engineer, he already received a grant on Jan18. How can i check whether employer nomination is approve yet? How long I need to wait for? I think my processing time is already more than the standard time.

    Chilli 8848

    Hi Peng,
    Is it possible to lodge 186 ENS direct entry visa application before approval of nomination ?
    Can they be applied in a couple of days apart ?
    Thank you

    Kind regards
    Chilli8848

    Abdul

    Hi PC good afternoon. I have apply end 186 29 June still no reply from immigration or any update about file plz let me know Hw many more time it will take tks

    Robin

    Hi Peng
    My 457 visa was approved in July 2016.
    Can I apply 186 visa once my 2 years is completed?In July 2018 it will be 2 years
    I heard there will be change in new rule in March,will that affect me to apply 186?
    Thank you.

    Pal

    Hi can you pls give me a little bit information pls if you don’t mind How many months they took to make a decession ? I m been waiting from 7 months

    Sara Gonzalez

    Hi Peng,

    Just hoping to get some clarification regarding the requirement to provide a contract and payslip of an equivalent employee in the same role.

    The employee seeking PR is an Account Manager – National. Does that mean the equivalent employee must also be Account Manager – National? We only have an Account Manager who covers regional accounts. Does a difference in client group affect this?

    I appreciate your help. Thanks

    mottu

    Hi,i applied for sub 186 temprory stream on 20th june 2017.my employer is very good business.unfortunatly my employer gonna close his business next month and start another place after 6 month.what can I do on my visa application.need wait immigration result.if nomination not approve what category visa can apply

    illu

    Hi pal any new about your visa.i applied same time .didn’t get any news

    Pal

    Still no news

    arjun pandey

    same here no reply. i applied at june 29 2017 and still no reply. anyone as a cook got their file open.

    Abdul

    Hi arjun any update same I am also login file. Any update

    Norrette

    Hi Peng

    My boyfriend lodged his 186 visa applcation within the last month and is waiting on a response. What are our options for me to go defacto on his visa? I currently hold a 457 visa and we meet all the requirements for being in a defacto relationship.

    Regards
    Norrette