186 Visa - Employer Nomination Scheme  

The Employer Nomination Scheme ("ENS") visa (subclass 186) is mainly used by employers to nominate their TSS workers for permanent residency after 3 years of employment. In certain circumstances employers can nominate employees directly without waiting for the 3-year period. This option has a higher skill level requirements for the employee.

Application streams

There are three application streams:

  • Temporary Residence Transition stream: where applicants have worked with their employer on a TSS visa for the last 3 years in the same position. 
  • Direct Entry stream: where applicants do not qualify for the Temporary Residence Transition stream. This option has a higher skill level requirements for the employee.
  • Labour Agreement stream: where the employer has entered into a labour agreement with the Department that provides for a permanent residence pathway. 

What can you do?

This visa allows you to:

  • work and live in Australia permanently
  • enrol in Medicare, Australia's scheme for health-related care and expenses
  • travel in and out of Australia for five years from the date the visa is granted
  • apply for Australian citizenship (if you are eligible)
  • sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence

Visa Applicant Requirements

If you wish to apply for a TSS visa you must:

  • be nominated by an approved Australian employer within the six months before you apply
  • are under the age of 45 at the time of application 
  • have the required skills, qualifications and work experience for the position
  • have the necessary level of English, unless exempt 
  • meet health and character requirements
  • meet the requirements of the stream in which you apply (Temporary Transition, Direct Entry or Labour Agreement).

Nominating Employer Requirements 

To nominate a skilled worker for this visa, you must show that:

  • there is no adverse information known about your business or any person associated with your business, or it is reasonable to disregard this information
  • the worker holds (or is eligible for) any mandatory registration, licence or professional membership
  • you comply with Australian immigration and workplace relations laws
  • you meet the additional requirements of the stream you have nominated the worker for. See:

Most Common Issues 

The most common issues for employers and visa applicants are

  • Proving that the employer has complied with the training requirement
  • Obtaining a positive skills assessment (if required) 
  • Showing exceptional circumstances in case the visa applicant is unable to meet the prescribed age, English, skill level or other requirement.

Getting Started 

The first step to start you visa application with FastVisa is to contact us or directly book a consultation on our website. One of our immigration lawyers will review your individual circumstances, guide you through the visa options available and clarify all your doubts. 


Our Visa consultations

  • Can be done on Skype, phone or face-to-face
  • The cost will be fully discounted from the visa application professional fees if you engage our visa services
  • Will put you on the right track to get your visa approved

The information provided here should be used as a guide only. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal or other professional advice. We attempt to ensure that the content is current but we do not guarantee its currency. You should seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content.

If you believe that a particular visa is appropriate for your circumstances, contact us for a complete and thorough assessment of your situation and visa eligibility.  

*Source: Australian Department of Home Affairs

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