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Employer Nomination Scheme

Subclass 186


This visa is a permanent residence visa for skilled workers. It allows you to work in Australia under one of three streams:

  • the Temporary Residence Transition stream
  • the Direct Entry stream
  • the Agreement stream.


You might be able to get this visa if you:

  • have been nominated by an approved Australian employer
  • are younger than 50 years of age, unless you are exempt
  • meet the skills, qualifications and English language requirements, unless you are exempt
  • apply under the stream for which you were nominated.


About the Visa

The Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186) is for skilled workers who want to work in Australia. This visa involves a two-step process, firstly, nomination by an approved Australian employer and then an application under the nominated stream. It is part of the Permanent Employer Sponsored Visa programme.

This visa is a permanent residence visa. You can be in or outside Australia when you apply. If you are in Australia, you must hold a substantive visa or a bridging visa A, B or C.

The visa has three streams:

    • The Temporary Residence Transition stream is for subclass 457 visa holders who have worked for two years, while holding a subclass 457 visa, in the same occupation with their nominating employer (who is not subject to a labour agreement and who has lodged a valid nomination with us under the Temporary Residence Transition stream), who wants to offer them a permanent position in that occupation.


    • The Direct Entry stream is for:
      • people who have been nominated by their employer under the Direct Entry stream
      • people who have never, or only briefly, worked in Australia, or
      • temporary residents who do not qualify for the Temporary Residence Transition stream.


  • The Agreement stream is for subclass 457 visa holders sponsored by an employer through a labour agreement.


Visa Applicants

This information tells you what you need to do to apply for an Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186).

You can apply for this visa only after you have been nominated by your employer in Australia. You must lodge your application within six months of the nomination being approved. You must apply for the visa in the stream and occupation in which your employer nominated you, or your application could be refused.


Visa Holders

This information is for people who have already been granted an Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186). It explains your rights and obligations.



This information explains what is required of you if you want to nominate a skilled worker (and dependent family members included in their application) for a permanent Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186).



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