Subclass 186

employer nominated scheme Visa

What is an ens visa?

Known as the Employer Nominated Scheme, Subclass 186 ENS Visa enables Australian companies and businesses to sponsor highly skilled workers to live and work permanently in Australia. Employers can employ skilled workers from overseas or temporary residents who already work in Australia. 

General requirements

3 years post-qualification work in nominated occupation

Age limit is 45 years old (Age exemptions may apply)

available streams

direct entry

This stream is ideal if you are holding a Subclass 457 or 482 Visa and has worked for an Australian employer for 2 – 3 years (depending on the date of visa application) in the nominated occupation and your employer wants to offer you a permanent position in that occupation.


temporary residence transition

This stream is ideal if you have never, or only briefly, worked in the Australian labour market or have not held any temporary work visas with your nominating employer or if you are applying directly from outside Australia.


Labour agreement

This stream is appropriate if you are being sponsored by an employer through a tailored and negotiated labour agreement or regional migration agreement.




Nomination of position

The employer then needs to apply for the nomination of the main applicant’s occupation. To attain a successful outcome, the employer needs to satisfy the following:

  • Business must nominate main applicant under a eligible skilled occupation on the relevant occupation list
  • Business to provide evidence of Labour Market Testing (Exemptions may apply) 
  • Business must make a commitment to pay the minimum salary of AUD$53,900 per annum that is consistent with the market salary rate  




The visa application can be lodged onshore or offshore and main applicant must meet the following conditions and requirements: 

  • Demonstrate that they have the requisite skills, qualifications and experience and employment background to match the nominated position 
  • Pass the relevant skills assessment or hold any relevant licenses or registration (If applicable)
  • Meet English language requirements   
  • Meet health and character requirements


Salary level, Caveats & Experience

Salary lEvEl

To ensure that overseas workers are protected and the local labour market is not undercut, businesses seeking to employ an overseas work will need to pay the nominated employee the market salary rate. In any case, it must be above the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT), which is currently $53,900 plus superannuation as set by the Department of Home Affairs each year.


Caveats & Considerations

Some occupations are subject to caveats and additional considerations that set a minimum remuneration level that is above TSMIT. For instance, occupations such as Marketing Specialist excludes positions that have nominated annual income of less than AUD$65,000. Another example includes occupations such as Corporate Service Manager, which requires the business to have turnover of at least AUD$1 million


qualification & Work experience

To be eligible for a Subclass 186  Visa, applicants are required to have worked in the nominated occupation, or a related field, for at least 3 years (must be post-qualification experience). To illustrate, even after attaining a relevant Bachelor’s degree from an Australian University or overseas recognised qualification, you will still need to acquire 3 years work experience after attaining the qualification in order to be eligible. Likewise, applicant qualification and experience must also meet the minimum skill level requirement for the nominated occupation.

Are you eligible?

In order to qualify for the Subclass 186 ENS Visa, an applicant must meet the following criteria: 

  • You must have a nominated occupation listed on the Medium Long-Term Skill Shortage List ( MLTSSL)
  • You must have a nominated occupation listed under the Subclass 186 Visa Occupational List
  • You have worked in your nominated occupation for a minimum of 3 years (post-qualification)
  • You must meet and comply with the English language requirements or IELTS score of 6 in each component (or any other equivalent tests) 
  • For Direct Entry Stream applicants, you must be 45 years old or below at the time of application
  • For Temporary Residence Transition Stream applicants, you must be 50 years old or below at the time of application

Previously held/apply for a subclass 457?

Just because you do not meet the age requirement or work experience required to apply for the Subclass 186 ENS Visa, it does not mean that you are not eligible. If you have previously applied or held a Subclass 457, you might be eligible to apply under the grandfathered requirements. This means that not only the age limit of 50 years old might apply, only 2 years work experience would also qualify you for this visa subclass.


A range of amendments have been introduced to enhance the integrity of ENS applications. 

Genuine Need for position

All positions nominated by employer for this position has to be a genuine.

Exemption removal

The removal of English language and skills exemption for applicants whose nominated earnings would be over A$180,000.

Contact Us

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