Employer Nomination Scheme Subclass 186 Visas

The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) results in a permanent visa for the sponsored employee. It is a common way for 457 visa holders to qualify for permanent residence, but has a higher skill level than the 457 visa.

ENS Stages

There are two stages to the ENS subclass 186 application:
  • Nomination: involves review of the business' operations as well as the position offered to the employee
  • Visa Application: there are three possible pathways which may require a skills assessment, English language testing and health and police checks

Application Pathways

There are three possible application pathways for an ENS visa:
  1. Temporary Residence Transition: where applicants have worked with the employer on a 457 visa for the last 2 years. In this case, no skills assessment is required.
  2. Direct Entry Stream: the employee will need to provide a formal skills assessment in their occupation, and show that they have worked in their occupation for three years.
  3. Agreement Stream: where the employer has a Labour Agreement

Common Issues with ENS Visas

ENS visas require a significantly higher level of documentation than a 457 visa. Difficulties which can be encountered in applying for ENS visas include
  • Obtaining skills assessments - each skills assessing authority has different criteria, but in some circumstances this requirement can be avoided
  • Demonstrating that the employer meets the "satisfactory record of training" requirement
  • Showing exceptional circumstances where visa applicants would not meet the usual requirements for Age, English language ability and skill level

Acacia's Expertise

Acacia has significant expertise in obtaining ENS visas for employers, in some cases where the case does not meet the standard criteria.

One of the main benefits of using Acacia to assist with your ENS application is that we can lodge a "decision-ready" application on your behalf. This will lead to significantly faster processing than lodging directly with the Department of Immigration.

Please call our Corporate Hotline on +61 2 9230 0488 to find out how Acacia can assist you with sponsoring staff for ENS visas.

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