Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) Visa
The Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) visa authorises skilled workers, who are nominated by an Australian employer, to live and work in Australia permanently.
Applicants are to be nominated by an employer for the Subclass 186 visa, and the nominated occupation must be listed on the relevant list of skilled occupations.
There are three streams under the Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) visa, namely, the Direct Entry stream, the Labour Agreement stream, and the Temporary Residence Transition stream.
As well as meeting the criteria under the relevant stream, applicants will need to satisfy health and character requirements. You might not be eligible for an Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) visa if you had a prior visa cancelled or refused while you were in Australia.
Direct Entry Stream
In order to qualify under the Direct Entry stream of the Subclass 186 visa, you will need to have at least 3 years work experience in an occupation that is listed on the relevant list of eligible skilled occupations, and you must also have a positive skills assessment in your occupation.
You should be licensed or registered, or become a member of a professional body, if it is mandatory in the state or territory where you intend to work.
Skills Assessment Exemption
You may be exempt from obtaining a skills assessment if you are nominated by a university in Australia as a university lecturer or faculty head at Academic Level A, B, C, D or E, or if you are nominated as a technical specialist, researcher or scientist by an Australian government scientific agency, or if you hold a Special Category (Subclass 444) or New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship (Subclass 461) visa and you have worked in the nominated position for the employer who nominated you for at least 2 years in the last 3 years before the date of your visa application.
In general, you need to be younger than 45 years of age when you apply. However, you may be exempt from the age requirement if you are nominated by a university in Australia as a university lecturer or faculty head at Academic Level B, C, D or E, or if you are nominated by an Australian scientific government agency as a researcher, scientist, or technical (scientific) specialist at ANZSCO Skill Level 1 or 2, or if you hold a Special Category (Subclass 444) or New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship (Subclass 461) visa and you have worked in the nominated position for the employer who nominated you for at least 2 years in the last 3 years before you apply.
You must show that your English language proficiency is at least at the Competent level in order to be granted an Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) visa under the Direct Entry stream.
To show that you have Competent English, you need to provide evidence that you are a citizen of the United States of America, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland.
Alternatively, in the 3 years immediately before you apply for the visa, you must score sufficient points in one of the following English language tests:
- International English Language Testing System (IELTS) – at least 6.0 in each of the four test components;
- Test of English as a Foreign Language Internet-based Test (TOEFL iBT) – at least 18 for speaking, 13 for reading, 12 for listening, and 21 for writing;
- Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) – at least 50 in each of the test components;
- Occupational English Test (OET) – at least B in each of the test components; or
- Cambridge C1 Advanced Test – at least 169 in each of the test components
Visa Application Within 6 Months of Nomination
If an eligible employer who is actively and lawfully operating a company or business in Australia nominates you, you will need to apply for the Subclass 186 visa within 6 months of the nomination being approved.