Employer Nomination Scheme

The Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) enables employers to bring skilled workers from outside Australia as permanent residents or transition skilled temporary residents who live and work in Australia to permanent residence, where the occupations of those employees are on the Consolidated Skilled Occupation List (CSOL). It has three streams.

  • The Temporary Residence Transition stream is for subclass 457 visa holders who have worked for two years in the same position for their employer and their employer wants to offer them a permanent position.
  • The Direct Entry stream is for people who have never, or only briefly, worked in the Australian labour market.
  • The Agreement stream is for people sponsored by an employer through a labour or regional migration agreement.

Each stream has different eligibility rules.

186 Visa Changes

NOTE: This information is current as of 1/7/2017. Please note that at this time there is no supporting legislation for these changes. It is possible that more changes will follow.

From 1 July 2017:

  • Occupations lists: The STSOL and  MLTSSL have been revised.
  • English language requirements: A requirement of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (or equivalent test) score of 6 in each component will be introduced for TRT and Direct Entry Streams
  • Age: A maximum age requirement of 45 at the time of application will apply to Direct Entry stream applicants. A maximum age requirement of 50 at the time of application will continue to apply to Temporary Residence Transition stream applicants
  • Training Benchmark details have been revised

Before 31 December 2017:

  • The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) will commence the collection of Tax File Numbers for ENS visa holders and data will be matched with the Australian Tax Office’s records to ensure that visa holders are not paid less than their nominated salary.
  • The DIBP will commence the publication of details relating to sponsors sanctioned for failing to meet their obligations under the Migration Regulation 1994 and related legislation.

From March 2018:

  • MLTSSL: The MLTSSL will now apply.
  • Minimum market salary rate: Employers must pay the Australian market salary rate and meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT).
  • Residency: The permanent residence eligibility period will be extended from two to three years (TRT Stream).
  • Work experience: At least three years’ relevant work experience.
  • Age: All applicants must be under the maximum age requirement of 45 at the time of application.
  • Training requirement: The Skilling Australians Fund Levy will replace the current Training Benchmark arrangements. The amounts payable will be different for small and large businesses. For small businesses (under $10 million annual turnover) , a one-off payment of $3000 for each employee sponsored will apply. For large businesses ($10 million annual turnover or above), a one-off payment of $5000 for each employee sponsored will apply.

From March 2018, the 457 visa will be abolished and replaced with the TSS visa.

Who is affected by the Changes?

Prospective permanent employer sponsored visa applicants and businesses sponsoring skilled migrants.

Contact Us now to find out more

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