Unlocking Permanent Residency: An Overview of the Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186)

Are you a skilled worker dreaming of making Australia your permanent home? The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS), subclass 186 visa, could be your pathway to obtaining permanent residency in the Land Down Under. 

In this guide, we’ll explain into the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186), covering everything from eligibility requirements to application process and beyond.

Understanding the Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186)

The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS), subclass 186 visa, is designed to allow Australian employers to sponsor skilled workers from overseas for permanent residency. 

This visa enables employers to address skill shortages by recruiting skilled workers globally, while providing eligible workers with the opportunity to settle permanently in Australia.

Eligibility Criteria

Before applying for the Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186), it’s essential to ensure that you meet the following eligibility criteria:

1. Employer Sponsorship

You must have a valid nomination from an approved Australian employer who is willing to sponsor you for permanent residency under the Employer Nomination Scheme.

 2. Skills and Qualifications

You must possess the skills, qualifications, and work experience required for the nominated occupation as specified by the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO).

3. Age Requirement

If you are applying under the Temporary Residence Transition stream, you must be under the age of 45 at the time of application. There is no age requirement for applicants under the Direct Entry stream.

4. English Language Proficiency

You must demonstrate English language proficiency by achieving the required score on an approved English language test such as IELTS, PTE, or TOEFL.

5. Health and Character Requirements

You must meet certain health and character requirements, including undergoing medical examinations and providing police clearance certificates.

Application Process

The application process for the Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) typically involves the following steps:

1. Nomination by Employer

Your employer must nominate you for permanent residency under the Employer Nomination Scheme and obtain approval from the Department of Home Affairs.

2. Gather Required Documents

Gather all necessary documents, including your skills assessment, qualifications, employment references, English language test results, and health and character documents.  

3. Submit Expression of Interest (EOI)

If applying under the Direct Entry stream, submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through the Department of Home Affairs’ SkillSelect system and wait to be invited to apply for the visa.

4. Complete the Application Form

 Fill out the online application form for the Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) within your ImmiAccount. Provide accurate information and attach all required documents.

5. Pay the Visa Fee

Pay the relevant visa application fee using a valid credit or debit card. The current visa fee for the Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) starts at AUD $4,045 for the main applicant.  

6. Wait for Processing

Once you’ve submitted your application and supporting documents, wait for the Department of Home Affairs to process your visa application. 

Processing times may vary depending on various factors, including the complexity of your case and the volume of applications received.

7. Visa Grant

If your application is approved, you’ll receive a notification informing you that your Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) visa has been granted. You and your family members included in the application will be able to live and work permanently in Australia.

Streams of the Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186)

The Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) offers three streams through which applicants can apply:

1. Temporary Residence Transition stream

For temporary residents who have worked for their employer in their nominated occupation for at least three years and have been nominated by their employer.   

2. Direct Entry stream

For applicants who have never, or only briefly, worked in Australia, or do not qualify for the Temporary Residence Transition stream. Requires a positive skills assessment and may require a higher English language proficiency score.   

3. Labour Agreement stream

For applicants sponsored by an employer through a labour agreement with the Australian Government.


The Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) provides skilled workers with an opportunity to obtain permanent residency in Australia through employer sponsorship. 

By meeting the eligibility criteria, gathering the necessary documents, and following the application process outlined in this guide, you can increase your chances of a successful visa application. 

Start your journey towards permanent residency in Australia today and unlock the countless opportunities that await you in the Land Down Under!

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