ENS Visa | Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) Visa Australia Subclass 186


About this Visa

The Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) provides a permanent visa for workers with a high skill level. The most common applicants for Subclass 186 visas are Subclass 457 visa holders seeking permanent residence. Qualifying for a Subclass 186 ENS visa happens in two stages:

  • The business nominates a position
  • The employee applies for a visa

Nomination by an employer depends on several different criteria, and involves a review by DIBP of the nominating business.

Employer Eligibility

To successfully nominate a position, the employer must fulfill the following conditions:

  1. They must have an active, lawful business in Australia.
  2. They must genuinely need a paid employee for that position.
  3. Their compliance record with respect to immigration and also workplace relations laws must be satisfactory.
  4. They may not have any adverse information known to DIBP about them or a person related to them.
  5. They must meet the requisite training benchmark and possess a strong record with respect to training Australian employees.
  6. The position must be a full-time one that will be available for a minimum of two years from date of approval of the ENS visa.
  7. The pay must be Market Rate Salary, with the same conditions and terms of employment that an Australian would expect doing similar or the same type of work in the area.

Employee Eligibility

Once these conditions are filled, there are three possible pathways for the employee to qualify for a Subclass 186 ENS visa:

  • Temporary Transition Stream (TRTS), where the applicant has worked with the nominating employer via a Subclass 457 visa for 2 years prior. In this case, English level that is IELTS 5 or equivalent is required and no skills assessment is necessary.
  • Direct Entry Stream (DE), where an English level of IELTS 6 or equivalent is necessary, the applicant must pass skills assessment, and the applicant must show a work history of at least 3 years for their occupation.
  • Agreement Stream, for cases where the nominating employer has a Labour Agreement or a Regional Migration Agreement.

The Temporary Transition Stream is for cases where a 457 holder's employer wishes to offer the 457 holder a permanent position that is closely related to their 457 occupation. They must be below 50 years old unless exempt, and have Vocational English unless exempt.

The Direct Entry Stream is for other visa holders or holders of 457 visas that have not worked with their 457 employer for the last 2 years, as well as applicants applying directly from overseas. Their occupations must be nominated in the Consolidated Skilled Occupations List (CSOL). They must also pass skills assessment and demonstrate at least 3 years work experience in the nominated occupation (or closely related) unless they are exempt. Certain occupations or industries may qualify as exempt, as well as applicants being paid at least equivalent to the Australian Taxation Office top individual income tax rate (currently AUD180 001).

The Labour Agreement Stream is for applicants sponsored by a business that has a Regional Migration or Labour Agreement and is subject to the relevant agreement.
In all cases character and health requirements have to be met. Applications can be lodged from onshore or offshore. If lodged onshore, the applicant must hold a substantive or a Bridging A / B / C visa. Conditions 8503 and 8534 (“No further stay”) may be waived, and if this is done the applicant will have full working rights until a decision is reached.
Holders of a secondary 457 visa cannot use the Temporary Transition Stream and must use the Direct Stream instead.


Subclass 186 is a permanent visa. Nil Conditions.

Independent Migration


Employer Nomination


State/Territory Government Nomination

Not required.

Family/Relative Sponsorship

Not required.

Permanent Migration Pathway

This is a permanent visa.This is a permanent visa.

Employment Prospects

The ENS visa is an employer sponsored visa. Contact Konnecting's skilled migration agents to see if they can provide you with recruitment consulting. If your skills match the requirements of an Australian company, we can also help locate an Australian skilled migration visa that's right for you.


Provided by:
Fred Molloy, Registered Migration Agent (MARN: 0853698)
Konnecting – Australian Skilled Migration & Recruitment Consultants

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