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Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186)

Features

This visa is a permanent residence visa for skilled workers. It allows you to work in Australia under one of three streams:

  • the Temporary Residence Transition stream
  • the Direct Entry stream
  • the Agreement stream.

Requirements

You might be able to get this visa if you:

  • have been nominated by an approved Australian employer
  • are younger than 50 years of age, unless you are exempt
  • meet the skills, qualifications and English language requirements, unless you are exempt
  • apply under the stream for which you were nominated.

About this visa

The Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186) is for skilled workers who want to work in Australia. It is part of the Permanent Employer Sponsored Visa program.

This visa is a permanent residence visa. You can be inside or outside Australia when you apply. If you are in Australia, you must hold a substantive visa or a bridging visa A, B or C.

The visa has three streams:

  • The Temporary Residence Transition stream is for subclass 457 visa holders who have worked for two years in the same occupation with their nominating employer (who has lodged a valid nomination with us under the Temporary Residence Transition stream), who wants to offer them a permanent position in that occupation.
  • 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
    • temporary residents who do not qualify for the Temporary Residence Transition stream, or
    • people with a nomination lodged with us before 1 July 2012.
  • The Agreement stream is for people sponsored by an employer through a labour agreement.

More information is available in the SkillSelect booklet (500kB, PDF).

Before you apply

You can apply for this visa only after you have been nominated by an employer in Australia.

Expression of interest

If you do not have an employer who will nominate you, you can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect. Prospective employers and state and territory governments can then view your details and decide whether to nominate you for skilled migration.

Your Expression of Interest must specify which stream you want to be considered for. No supporting documents are required at this time. You can lodge your Expression of Interest while you are in or outside Australia.

Information about business and employment in various states and territories is available:

No further stay

Contact us if you are not sure whether your current visa conditions prevent you from applying for a further visa while you are in Australia. Applicants holding substantive visas with no further stay condition may be able to lodge applications for this visa in certain circumstances.

Your passport

You need a valid passport or other travel document for this visa. If you plan to get a new passport, you should do so before applying for your visa. If you get a new passport after you have lodged your application, give the details of your new passport to one of our offices.

Cost

The visa application charges are listed in Fees and charges.

Second instalment

You will need to pay the second instalment of the visa application charge if you have less than functional English and you are a secondary applicant over 18 years of age or you are a primary applicant who was exempt from the English language requirement on the basis of high income.

The second instalment of the visa application charge must be paid before a visa can be granted. The payment covers up to three years of English language instruction through the Adult Migrant English Program.

You will not need to pay the second instalment of the visa application charge if you were nominated as a minister of religion who does not have functional English, or you are a member of his or her family.

Proof of functional English explains how you can demonstrate your language ability.

Other costs

You might have to pay other costs, such as the costs of health assessments, police certificates, or any other certificates or tests. You are responsible for making the necessary arrangements.

Visa applicants

Submit an expression of interest

This information tells you what you need to do to apply for an Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186).

You can apply for this visa only after you have been nominated by your employer in Australia. You must lodge your application within six months of the nomination being approved. You must apply for the visa in the stream and occupation in which your employer nominated you, or your application could be refused.

Who could get this visa

You might be able to get this visa if you:

  • have been nominated by an approved Australian employer within the six months before you apply
  • are under the age of 50 at the time of application, unless you are exempt
  • have the required skills and qualifications for the position (at time of application lodgement you must have the required skills and qualifications for the position you have been nominated for – you must hold any mandatory registration, license or professional membership, or you must already be fully assessed as suitable by the relevant body)
  • have the required skills and qualifications for the position
  • have appropriate English language skills (at the time of application lodgement), unless you are exempt
  • meet health and character requirements
  • meet the requirements of the stream in which you apply for the visa.

Age requirements

Even if you are older than 50 years of age, you can still apply for this visa if you:

  • are nominated as a senior academic by a university in Australia
  • are nominated as a scientist, researcher or technical (scientific) specialist at ANZSCO skill level 1 or 2 by an Australian government scientific agency
  • are nominated as a minister of religion by a religious institution
  • are a medical practitioner who has been working for your nominating employer as the holder of a Subclass 457 visa or a Subclass 422 visa for at least four years immediately before applying, and the nominated position is located in regional Australia
  • are a medical practitioner who has been working for your nominating employer 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 the nominated position is 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 labour 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).

English language requirements

You can show that your English is adequate by providing the following evidence at the time of application:

  • achieving the required International English Language Test Score (IELTS) either for the Temporary Residence Transition stream or the Direct Entry stream in a test that has been conducted within three years immediately prior to the date of application lodgement
  • scoring at least ‘B’ in each component of the Occupational English Test (OET) for the Temporary Residence Transition stream or the Direct Entry stream in a test that has been conducted within three years immediately prior to the date of application lodgement
  • holding a passport from the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, the Republic of Ireland or New Zealand.

You might not need to show adequate English language skills if you:

  • are to be employed by a religious institution and you were nominated as a minister of religion
  • have nominated earnings at least equivalent to the current Australian Taxation Office top individual income tax rate (currently AUD 180 001), however if you are not able to demonstrate that you have functional English, you will be required to pay the second instalment of the visa application charge
  • are applying through the Temporary Residence Transition stream and:
    • you have completed at least five years of full-time study in a secondary or higher education institution
    • all of the tuition was delivered in English.

More information on these exemptions is in Classes of Persons (Exempt from the English Criteria).

Health requirements

You must meet certain health requirements. The results of your health examinations are generally valid for 12 months.

This applies to all dependent family members included in your application, whether they are migrating or not.

You are able to organise your health examinations upfront before lodging a visa application.

Character requirements

You must meet certain character requirements. You must provide a police certificate from each country you have lived in for 12 months or more during the past 10 years after you turned 16 years of age.

This also applies to all dependent family members in the application who are 16 years of age or older.

Temporary Residence Transition stream

You might be able to get this visa under the Temporary Residence Transition stream if you:

  • hold a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457)
  • have at least vocational English (unless you are exempt from this requirement), which you can demonstrate if you:
    • have a score of at least 5 for each of the four test IELTS components (speaking, reading, listening and writing) in a test that has been conducted within three years immediately prior to the date of lodgement of your application, or
    • have a score of at least ‘B’ in each of the four components of an Occupational English Test that is relevant to your occupation in a test that has been conducted within three years immediately prior to the date of lodgement of your application, or 
    • hold a valid passport issued by the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland
  • worked for two years in the same position your employer nominated you for while you held your subclass 457 visa as the primary visa holder, your employer has nominated you for a permanent position under this stream, and the nomination has been approved.

Your skills do not need to be assessed because you have already worked for your nominating employer for two years in Australia.

Direct Entry stream

You might be able to get this visa under the Direct Entry stream if one of the following apply:

  • you have been nominated for a position under this stream (or you were nominated for a position before 1 July 2012) and that nomination has been approved
  • you have never, or only briefly, worked in Australia
  • you hold a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) but do not qualify for the Temporary Residence Transition stream
  • you are applying directly from outside Australia.
At time of application lodgement, you must provide evidence with your online application that you:
  • have at least competent English (unless you are exempt from this requirement), which you can demonstrate if you:
    • have a score of at least 6 for each of the four test IELTS components (speaking, reading, listening and writing) (in a test conducted within three years immediately prior to the lodgement of your visa application), or
    • have a score of at least 'B' in each of the four components of an Occupational English Test that is relevant to your occupation (in a test that has been conducted within three years immediately prior to the date of lodgement of your visa application), or
    • hold a valid passport issued by the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland
  • have at least three years of relevant work experience
  • have a positive skills assessment in your nominated occupation (the skill assessment must be conducted by the relevant assessing authority listed in the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL). Skills assessments obtained for a Subclass 485 visa will not be accepted as these types of skills assessments are not considered full skills assessments for permanent skilled migration purposes.

You might not have to meet the skill assessment and work experience requirements if you:

  • were nominated as an academic by a university in Australia
  • were nominated as a scientist, researcher or technical specialist at ANZSCO skill level 1 or 2 by an Australian government scientific agency
  • were nominated as a minister of religion by a religious institution
  • have nominated earnings at least equivalent to the Australian Taxation Office top individual income tax rate (currently AUD180 001)
  • are in Australia as the holder of a Special Category visa (subclass 444) or New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship visa (subclass 461) and have worked with your nominating employer in your nominated occupation for the past two years (not including any period of unpaid leave) in the three years before you apply for this visa.

More information about these exemptions is in Classes of Persons (Exempt from the Skill Criteria).

Agreement stream

You might be able to get this visa under the Agreement stream if you are being sponsored by an employer through a labour agreement.

You must meet the age, skills and English language requirements stated in the agreement.

Including family in your application

You can include the following people in your visa application:

  • your partner (married or de facto)
  • your or your partner’s dependent children
  • other dependent relatives.

These family members must meet the requirements for including family members in your application. The application must include documentary evidence of their relationship to you.

Your family members must be able to show that they meet health and character requirements.

How to apply

This information explains what you need to do to apply for an Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186).

When to apply:

  • You can apply when your employer lodges their nomination, or you can apply afterwards.
  • You must apply less than six months after we approve the nomination.

If you are 18 years of age or older, you must sign an Australian values statement to confirm that you will respect the Australian way of life and obey Australian laws. The statement is included in the visa application form. You must have read, or had explained to you, the Life in Australia book beforehand.

Prepare your documents

You need to provide documents to prove the claims you make in the application. The documents are listed in the Document checklist.

Some documents could take some time to obtain. You should have them ready when you lodge the application to reduce any delays in processing.

Lodge your application online

You must apply for this visa online.

You must provide all relevant documents and pay the visa application charge by credit card when you apply.

Upload your documents through your ImmiAccount when you lodge your online application. This will help reduce delays in processing the application.

More information

There is more information to help you prepare your application, such as certifying and translating documents into English, communicating with us, using a migration agent, authorising another person to receive information from us, and receiving assistance with your application.

After you have applied

After you have lodged the your application and documents, we will let you know that we have received your information.

You can track and manage your online application using your ImmiAccount.

 

Wait for a decision

We have visa processing times for each visa.

Your application could take longer if you need character or health checks (including x-rays), if you need to provide more information, or if your application is incomplete.

Outside Australia:
If you apply for this visa from outside Australia, do not make arrangements to travel to Australia until you are advised in writing that you have been granted a visa. Wait for a decision from us before you leave your job, sell your home or book your travel.

In Australia:
If you apply for this visa in Australia, you could be eligible for a Bridging visa that allows you to stay in the country lawfully while your application is processed. If you are given a Bridging visa A, you can apply for a Bridging visa B (BVB) to travel outside Australia while you wait for a decision.

Provide more information

You can provide more information to us at any time until a decision is made on the application. If you want to correct information you provided, use:

  • Form 1023 Notification of incorrect answer(s) (99 kB PDF).

We could also ask you for more information. You will have to respond by a set date. After that date, we can make a decision about your application using the information that we have.

If you applied online, you can submit any additional information, including Form 1023, through your ImmiAccount.

If another person gives us information that could result in you being refused a visa, we will usually give you the opportunity to comment on the information.

You might also be interviewed. If you are asked to attend an interview in person, bring your passport or other identification and any requested documents to the interview.

Report changes in your circumstances

Tell us if your circumstances change. This includes a new residential address, a new passport, or a pregnancy, birth, divorce, separation, marriage, de facto relationship or death in your family.

You can use the following forms:

  • Form 929 Change of address and/or passport details (86 kB PDF) — if you move to a new address or change your passport
  • Form 1022 Notification of changes in circumstances (77 kB PDF) — if there are other changes in your circumstances.

These forms can be submitted to us through your ImmiAccount.

If you do not provide us with the details of any new passport issued to you, you could experience significant delays at the airport and may be denied permission to board your plane.

Withdrawing your application

You can withdraw the application at any time before we make a decision about it. To do this, send us a letter or email to ask for the withdrawal. Your request must include your full name and date of birth. You should also include the number we gave you when you applied, if you know it – this could be a file reference number, client ID, or a Transaction Reference Number.

If you are 18 years of age or older, you must sign the letter of withdrawal or send a separate email or letter.

Visa decision

If the visa is granted, we will let you know:

  • when you can use the visa
  • the visa grant number
  • any conditions attached to the visa.

You will not have a visa label placed in your passport.

If the visa is not granted, we will let you know:

  • why the visa was refused
  • your review rights (if any). Where applicable, your sponsor can apply for the decision to be reviewed
  • the time limit for lodging an appeal.

Document checklist for applicants

You need to provide documents to support your application for this visa. We can make a decision using the information you provide when you lodge your application. It is in your interest to provide as much information as possible with your application.

Provide certified copies of original documents. Do not include original documents unless we specifically ask for them. Documents not in English must be accompanied by accredited English translations.

Use this checklist to make sure your application is complete.

Upload scans of your documents when you lodge your application online. Do not send us physical copies of documents through the mail unless we ask you to send them.

Forms

  • For anyone included in the application who is 18 years of age or older and is not your partner:
    • Form 47a Details of child or other dependent family member aged 18 years or over (238 kB PDF).

Charges

Receiving assistance

Personal documents for all applicants

  • Certified copies of the biographical pages of the current passports or travel documents of all people included in the application (these are the pages with the holder's photo and personal details and the issue/expiry dates).
  • If your name has changed or the name of anyone included in your application has changed: a certified copy of evidence of the name change.

Your family relationships

  • A certified copy of your birth certificate showing both parents’ names. If you do not have a birth certificate and are unable to get one, you must provide a certified copy of the identification pages of at least one of the following documents:
    • family book showing both parents’ names
    • identification document issued by the government
    • court-issued documents that verify your identity.
  • If you are unable to provide one of the above documents, you must provide other acceptable evidence that you are who you claim to be.
  • Certified copies of marriage certificates or relationship registrations for you and anyone else included in your application, even if they are not joining you in Australia.
  • If you are living in a de facto relationship: independent evidence that your relationship is genuine and continuing (for example, joint bank account statements, billing accounts in joint names or joint ownership of major assets).
  • If you or anyone included in the application has been widowed, divorced or permanently separated: a certified copy of the death certificate, divorce documents, or statutory declaration separation documents.

Your children

  • Certified copies of birth certificates or the family book showing the names of both parents of all your dependent children.
  • If any dependent child included in the application is adopted: certified copies of the adoption papers.
  • Evidence of financial dependency for all your family members aged 18 or older:
    • a certified copy of their birth certificate and proof of their relationship to you
    • proof that they live in your household
    • proof that they have been financially dependent on you for at least the 12 months immediately before you lodge your application.
    You do not need to provide this if your family members currently have a subclass 457 visa that was granted to them on the basis that you are the primary holder of a subclass 457 visa.
  • If you want to bring a child younger than 18 years of age with you to Australia, and that child’s other parent is not included in the application: documentary evidence that you have the legal right to bring that child to Australia, such as:

Character requirements

  • Police checks for you and everyone included in your application, whether they are migrating or not, who is at least 16 years of age.  You must provide a scanned colour copy:

    • of an Australian national police check for anyone who has spent a total of 12 months or more in Australia since turning 16 years of age
    • of police certificates from each country in which anyone in your application has spent a total of 12 months or more in the past 10 years since turning 16 years of age.
  • If you or anyone included in the application has served in the armed forces of any country, a certified scanned colour copy of military service record or discharge papers.

Direct Entry Stream

Provide these documents only if you are applying for this visa through the Direct Entry stream. You must provide a skills assessment with your application. A skills assessment provided after you have applied for your visa cannot be accepted. Some skills assessments are issued for the purpose of a subclass 485 visa.  Skills assessments which have been obtained for the purposes of the subclass 485 visa are assessed solely on qualifications and do not assess the applicant’s work experience.  As a result, these types of skills assessments are not appropriate to demonstrate skills under the ENS programme.

Skills and qualifications (must hold at time of application)

  • Evidence that your skills have been assessed as suitable by the relevant assessing authority for your occupation and this assessment was not obtained for the purposes of a subclass 485 visa as these types of skills assessments are not considered full skills assessments for permanent skilled migration purposes. A relevant skills assessment is different to being registered with an appropriate regulatory body.
  • Your curriculum vitae (CV).
  • Certified copies of all qualifications and work experience (for example, employment references).
  • Registration, licensing or professional membership, if required for your occupation in the state or territory in which you will be working.  Documents from the relevant Australian registration and licensing authorities that show you hold, or will be able to meet, necessary registration and licensing requirements.  The documents must specify both of the following:
    • the type of registration or licensing held
    • the name and contact details for the registration or licensing authority.
  • If you are exempt from the skill requirement, you must provide evidence that one of the following applies to you:
    • You are a minister of religion who is going to work for a religious institution.
    • You are a researcher, scientist or technical specialist at ANZSCO skill level 1 or 2 who is going to be employed by an Australian government research agency.
    • You are an academic employed at academic level A,B,C,D or E by a university in Australia.
    • You are someone who will be earning at, or above, the top individual income tax rate as determined by the Australian Taxation Office.
  • If you are a New Zealand citizen or a dependant of a New Zealand citizen, have been in Australia as the holder of a Special Category visa (subclass 444) or a New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship visa (subclass 461) and have been working with your nominator for a period of at least two years before applying:
    • a detailed statement from the employer declaring that you have worked for them for at least two years (the letter should cover employment period, details of paid leave taken, details of unpaid leave taken, details of any overseas trips for training or work)
    • evidence of tax assessment notices for the two-year period
    • PAYG payment summaries for the period of employment
    • pay slips
    • extracts of leave records.

Age

You must be under 50 years of age at time of application to satisfy the age requirement, or be exempt.
  • If you are exempt from the age requirement, you must provide evidence that one of the following aplies to you:
    • You are a Minister of Religion who is going to work for a religious institution.
    • You are a researcher, scientist or technical specialist (scientific) at ANZSCO skill level 1 or 2 who is going to be employed by an Australian government research agency.
    • You are an academic employed at academic level A,B,C,D or E by a university in Australia.
    • You are a medical practitioner who has been working for your nominating employer as the holder of a subclass 457 visa for at least four years immediately before applying, and the nominated position is in regional Australia.
    • You are a medical practitioner who has been working for your nominating employer as the holder of a subclass 422 visa before becoming the holder of a subclass 457 visa for the prescribed period of two years in the four years immediately before applying, and the nominated position is in regional Australia.
    • You are someone who currently holds 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 in your nominated occupation for at least two years in the three years immediately before applying.

English language proficiency (must be demonstrated at time of application)

  • The results of a suitable English language test that you took less than three years before lodging your application and showing that you have at least competent English with a score of:
    • at least six in each of the four components of an IELTS test
    • a score of at least ‘B’ in an Occupational English Test (OET).
  • You do not need to provide documents to show your English language proficiency if you are a citizen of the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, the United States of America or the Republic of Ireland and you have a passport from one of those countries.
  • If you are exempt from the English language requirement, you must provide evidence that one of the following applies to you:
    • You are a Minister of Religion who is going to work for a religious institution.
    • You will be earning at, or above, the top individual income tax rate as determined by the Australian Taxation Office (please note that if you are not able to demonstrate that you have functional English, you will be required to pay the second instalment of the visa application charge).
  • For each of your dependants aged 18 years or older at the time you apply, one of the following (this is not required to be demonstrated at the time you lodge your application; however, your application will not be finalised until this evidence is provided):
    • They have functional English. See How can I prove I have functional English? for more information.
    • If they have less than functional English, a statement indicating that you intend to pay the second visa application charge.

Temporary Residence Transition stream

Provide these documents at time of application lodgement if you are applying for this visa through the Temporary Residence Transition stream.

Skills and qualifications (must hold at time of application)

  • Evidence of your skills and qualifications is in the nomination completed by your employer. You do not need to provide further evidence unless we ask you to.
  • Registration, licensing or professional membership, if required for your occupation in the state or territory in which you will be working. 
  • Documents from the relevant Australian registration and licensing authorities that show you hold, or will be able to meet, necessary registration and licensing requirements.  The documents must specify both of the following:
    • the type of registration or licensing held
    • the name and contact details for the registration or licensing authority.

Age

You must be under 50 years of age at time of application to satisfy the age requirement, or be exempt.
  • If you are exempt from the age requirement, you must provide evidence that one of the following applies to you:
    • You are a Minister of Religion who is going to work for a religious institution.
    • You are a researcher, scientist or technical specialist (scientific) at ANZSCO skill level 1 or 2 who is going to be employed by an Australian government research agency.
    • You are an academic employed at academic level A,B,C,D or E by a university in Australia.
    • You are a medical practitioner who has been working for your nominating employer as the holder of a subclass 457 visa for at least four years immediately before applying, and the nominated position is in regional Australia.
    • You are a medical practitioner who has been working for your nominating employer as the holder of a subclass 422 visa before becoming the holder of a subclass 457 visa for the prescribed period of two years in the four years immediately before applying, and the nominated position is in regional Australia.
    • You have been working for your nominating employer as the holder of a subclass 457 visa  for at least the four years immediately before applying and whose annual earnings for each year in the four year period was at least equivalent to the Fair Work High Income Threshold.

English language proficiency (must be demonstrated at time of application)

  • The results of a suitable English language test that you took less than three years before lodging your application and showing that you have at least competent English with a score of:
    • at least five in each of the four components of an IELTS test
    • a score of at least ‘B’ in an Occupational English Test (OET).
  • You do not need to provide documents to show your English language proficiency if you are a citizen of the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, the United States of America or the Republic of Ireland and you have a passport from one of those countries.
  • If you are exempt from the English language requirement, 
  • you must provide evidence that one of the following applies to you:
    • You are a Minister of Religion who is going to work for a religious institution.
    • You will be earning at, or above, the top individual income tax rate as determined by the Australian Taxation Office (please note that if you are not able to demonstrate that you have functional English, you will be required to pay the second instalment of the visa application charge).
    • You have completed at least five years of full-time study in a secondary and/or higher education institution where all of the tuition was delivered in English.
  • For each of your dependants aged 18 years or older at the time you were invited to apply, one of the following is required (this is not required to be demonstrated at the time you lodge your application; however, your application will not be finalised until this evidence is provided):
    • They have functional English. See How can I prove I have functional English? for more information.
    • If they have less than functional English, provide a statement indicating your intention to pay the second instalment of the visa application charge.

Contact information

If information needs to be updated contact the relevant processing area.

Location of Sponsoring Head Office Processing centre
New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and Queensland Parramatta
Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria Melbourne
Western Australia Perth

Visa holders

This information is for people who have already been granted an Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186). It explains your rights and obligations.

You can use Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) for free to check your visa details and entitlements.

What this visa lets you do

This is a permanent residence visa. It lets you and any family members who have also been granted this visa to:

  • stay in Australia indefinitely
  • work and study in Australia
  • enrol in Medicare, Australia's scheme for health-related care and expenses
  • apply for Australian citizenship (if you are eligible)
  • sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence
  • travel to and from Australia for five years from the date the visa is granted (after that time, you will need a resident return visa or another visa to return to Australia).

Your obligations

You and your family must comply with all visa conditions and Australian laws.

Contact information

If information needs to be updated contact the relevant processing area.

Location of Sponsoring Head Office Processing centre
New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and Queensland Parramatta
Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria Melbourne
Western Australia Perth

Employers

Apply to nominate a skilled worker

Apply to nominate a skilled worker

This information explains what is required of you if you want to nominate a skilled worker (and dependent family members included in their application) for a permanent Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186).

You can use Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO for Organisations) to check the visa status and entitlements of people you have sponsored.

Who can nominate a skilled worker for this visa?

You can nominate a skilled worker for this visa if:

  • you actively and lawfully operate a business in Australia
  • you have a genuine need for a paid employee to fill a skilled position
  • you offer a skilled position in the applicant’s field that is full time and ongoing for at least two years
  • you pay a market salary rate
  • you comply with Australian immigration and workplace relations laws
  • there is no adverse information known about your business or any person associated with your business.

You must nominate the applicant in one of the three streams and meet the requirements of that stream.

Temporary Residence Transition stream

Use this stream if you have already sponsored the applicant for a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457):

  • The employee must have worked in the nominated position in your business, on a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa as a primary visa holder, for at least two years before the nomination is made.
  • The nomination must identify an occupation (for the position) that is listed in ANZSCO and has the same four-digit occupation unit group code as the occupation being carried out by the employee.
  • The nominated position must be full time, ongoing and available for at least two years and be consistent with the position in which the applicant has already worked in your business, unless the person nominated was previously nominated for their subclass 457 visa on the basis of performing an occupation mentioned by the Minister for Immigration in an instrument in writing (certain medical occupations).
  • You must have met the subclass 457 visa training requirements in each year you have been a standard business sponsor.
  • You must not be an approved overseas standard business sponsor under the subclass 457 visa programme.

Direct Entry stream

Use this stream if you want to nominate an applicant to fill a position that is:

You must meet the following training requirements:

  • If your business has been trading in Australia for more than 12 months, you must show you have contributed to the training of Australians. You must meet one of two benchmarks:
    • Training benchmark A: recent expenditure equal to at least 2 per cent of the payroll of the business in payments allocated to an industry training fund that operates in the same industry as the business and a commitment to maintain that level of expenditure for the term of approval as a sponsor 
    • Training benchmark B: recent expenditure equal to at least 1 per cent of the payroll of the business, in the provision of training to employees of the business. The expenditure must be expenditure that can count towards the benchmark.
  • If your business has been operating for less than 12 months, you must demonstrate that you have an auditable plan to meet this training benchmark.

Agreement stream

Use this stream to nominate an applicant through a labour agreement or regional migration agreement that has been negotiated with the government before you lodge the nomination.

When you can enter into a labour agreement

A labour agreement is a formal arrangement negotiated between an Australian employer and the Australian Government. You might consider entering into a labour agreement if any of the following apply:

A labour agreement comes into effect when it has been signed by all parties involved in the negotiations and is typically valid for three years.

Either the Australian Government or the employer can ask for a labour agreement. To find out more about the labour agreement process, contact us by email labour.agreement.section@immi.gov.au

What a labour agreement includes

The agreement must:

  • identify the relevant skills shortage in the business and why these vacancies cannot be filled by Australian workers
  • specify the number of skilled workers needed from outside Australia
  • specify the age, skill and English language requirements that relate to the nominated occupations (semi-skilled occupations can be considered for nominated positions if they are specified in the agreement).

You can use a template labour agreement if there is one for your industry or your worker’s occupation. If the template does not suit your needs, you can negotiate a customised work agreement.

Market salary rate

You must provide terms and conditions of employment that are no less favourable than those that would apply to an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident doing equivalent work in the same workplace.

Terms and conditions include the nominated position's salary, hours of work and leave entitlements (among other things). The salary paid to an Australian worker under these terms and conditions of employment is known as the market salary rate.

You must prove to us that you will pay your skilled worker the market salary rate. Depending on whether you have an Australian doing similar work, you can do this by:

  • reporting the terms and conditions that apply to an Australian worker who is already employed in a similar job in a similar location in your workplace
  • referring to an industrial award or enterprise agreement that outlines terms and conditions for Australians performing similar work in similar locations
  • providing relevant data from reputable remuneration surveys
  • providing evidence of the salaries of employees performing equivalent work in similar locations.

Applying to nominate a skilled worker

This information explains what you need to do to apply to nominate someone for this visa.

Prepare your documents

You need to provide documents to prove the claims you make in the application. The documents are listed in the Document checklist.

Some documents could take some time to obtain. You should have them ready when you lodge the application to reduce any delays in processing.

Lodge your nomination online

You must lodge your nomination application online. You must provide all relevant documents and pay the nomination charge by credit card when you apply. You can log back into your account and attach further documents at any time.

We will contact you if we require other documentation or further information. Complete nomination applications are likely to be processed more quickly. Incomplete ones may be delayed and, on occasion, refused.

Report changes in your circumstances

You need to contact your case officer to report any changes in circumstances that could affect the processing of your application.

When you write to us, you must include:

  • your business name
  • your ABN (for businesses in Australia) or other identifier (for businesses outside Australia)
  • the number we give you when you lodge your application online. This is usually a Transaction Reference Number (TRN).

Providing all this information helps us locate your application quickly.

Nomination decision

If your nomination is approved, we will send you a letter containing your nomination approval number.

If your nomination is not approved, we will send you a letter stating:

  • why your nomination was refused
  • your rights (if any) to a merits review of the decision and relevant time limits.

Document checklist for employers

You can use Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO for Organisations) to check the visa status and entitlements of people you have sponsored.

Upload scans of your documents when you lodge your application online. Do not send us physical copies of documents through the mail unless we ask you to send them.

Forms

Receiving assistance

You need to provide documents to support your application to nominate someone for this visa. We could ask you for more information, but we can make a decision using the information you provide when you lodge the application. It is in your interest to provide as much information as possible with your application.

You must provide certified copies of original documents. Do not include original documents unless we specifically ask for them. Documents not in English must be accompanied by accredited English translations.

Use this checklist to make sure your nomination is complete.

Documents for all employer nominations

  • Employment contract for a full-time ongoing position indicating the base salary and the total remuneration terms and conditions of employment
  • If there are Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents performing equivalent work in the nominator’s workplace at the same location:
    • appropriate references to or copies of certified agreements
    • appropriate references to industrial award
    • copies of relevant employment contracts, payslips or PAYG certificates
  • If there are no Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents performing equivalent work in your workplace at the same location:
    • appropriate references to or copies of certified agreements
    • appropriate references to industrial awards
    • appropriate references to or copies of remuneration surveys
    • similar job vacancy advertisements
    • appropriate references to the Australian Government’s Job Outlook
    • appropriate references to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Employee Earnings and Hours Survey
    • written advice from employer associations and unions.

Documents for Direct Entry employer nomination

  • Evidence that you are actively and lawfully operating:
    • certificate of registration for tax purposes (ABN) for all businesses
    • certificate of registration of business name (if operating under a trading name)
    • certificate of registration with ASIC (if you are company)
    • relevant pages of the trust deed specifying the parties to the trust (if you are a trust or trustee of a trust)
    • current lease agreement
    • letter of support from the accountant of your business
    • audited balance sheet (statement of position) for the most recently concluded fiscal year with comparative figures for previous fiscal year, and profit and loss statement (statement of performance) for the most recently concluded fiscal year with comparative figures for the previous fiscal year, or:
        • business tax returns for the most recently concluded fiscal year and associated tax assessment notice, and
        • if the fiscal period to which the financial statements or tax returns submitted relate ended more than three months before the application was lodged – a business activity statement (BAS) for each complete quarter between the end of the fiscal period and the date of application lodgement
    • if you are a start-up business (a business that has been operating between 6 and 12 months), you must provide:
        • business activity statements (BAS) for each complete quarter from commencement of operations to time of lodgement of the nomination, and
        • statements for the business bank account for the period from commencement of operations to time of lodgement of the nomination.
  • Your need for a paid employee:
    • detailed organisational structure chart
    • detailed position description including specified tasks and duties of the position
    • as applicable:
        • evidence that the position has existed and been previously occupied but has become vacant through attrition
        • evidence that the position is currently occupied by a temporary resident
        • evidence of an increase in business activity (e.g. new contracts won) requiring workers in the nominated occupation
        • evidence of overtime work or increase in overtime work for employees currently in the nominated occupation
        • if your business is diversifying, evidence of appropriate market research, business plans detailing proposed expansion and timelines, financial budgets covering expenditure and anticipated revenue and evidence of availability of funding (such as own funds or bank loans).
  • Training benchmarks:
    • if your business has operated for at least 12 months:
        • evidence of payroll, and
        • evidence of expenditure in the last 12 months to the equivalent of at least 2 per cent of the payroll of your business, to an industry training fund, or
        • evidence of expenditure in the last 12 months to the equivalent of at least 1 per cent of the payroll of your business, in the provision of training to employees in your business
    • if your business has operated for less than 12 months:
        • evidence of an auditable plan which clearly identifies how you intend to meet one of the above training benchmarks and articulates the forecast payroll for the next twelve months.

Documents for Temporary Residence Transition employer nomination

  • Training benchmarks:
    • evidence of expenditure to the equivalent of at least 2 per cent of the payroll of your business, to an industry training fund for each year of your standard business sponsorship, or
    • evidence of expenditure to the equivalent of at least 1 per cent of the payroll of your business, in the provision of training to employees in your business for each year of your standard business sponsorship.
  • The nominated position:
    • a detailed statement declaring that the requirement for the nominated person to have worked full-time in their 457 nominated position for at least 2 years has been satisfied; covering employment period, details of paid leave taken, details of unpaid leave taken and details of any overseas trips for training/work
    • PAYG payment summaries for the period of employment
    • pay-slips
    • extracts of leave records.

Charges

Contact information

If information needs to be updated contact the relevant processing area.

Location of Sponsoring Head Office Processing centre
New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and Queensland Parramatta
Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria Melbourne
Western Australia Perth

Estimate the cost of your visa

* Price will be displayed in Australian dollars unless changed.
The Visa Pricing Estimator requires you to answer the questions as accurately as possible to provide you with an estimate for lodging a visa application. The estimator does not include the second instalment of the visa application charge which is payable for some visas. Please note this is an estimate for a visa application, if you have already lodged your application and you want to change/add applicants please refer to the Visa Pricing Table. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection Visa Pricing Estimator will give you an estimate of the charges you may need to pay to lodge a visa application. This is paid after you have made your application but before the visa can be granted. Read the department's full disclaimer. The Commonwealth of Australia does not guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of any material in the Visa Pricing Estimator.

Last reviewed Thursday 3 April 2014

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