Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186)
The Employer Nomination Scheme is a permanent visa, and requires the nominating employer to be operating in Australia. The employee needs to show a higher level of skill than for a 457 visa, but otherwise the criteria are broadly similar to the 457 visa.
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
There are three possible application pathways for an ENS visa:
- 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 and an English level equivalent to IELTS 5 is required.
- Direct Entry Stream: the employee will need to provide a formal skill assessment in their occupation, and show that they have worked in their occupation for three years. The required English level is IELTS 6 equivalent.
- Agreement Stream: where the employer has a Labour Agreement
ENS visas require a significantly higher level of documentation that 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