186 ENS Visa

The Subclass 186 ENS visa (Employer Nomination Scheme visa) is a permanent residency visa that requires the sponsorship of a nominating employer.

  • Click to see 186 visa Latest Changes (18 March 2018)
  • Occupations lists: be on 186 Visa Occupations List  (commencing 18 March 2018)
  • English language requirements: A requirement of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (or equivalent test) score of 6 in each component.
  • 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 toTemporary Residence Transition stream applicants
  • Integrity: A range of amendments have been introduced to enhance the integrity of the ENS and RSMS visas, including through requiring the nominated position to be genuine, and removal of the English language and skills exemption for applicants whose nominated earnings would be over $180,000.187 visa Changes-  (Effective December 2017)

Changes from December 2017

  • The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (the Department) will commence the collection of Tax File Numbers for these 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.

Changes from March 2018

From March 2018, for permanent employer sponsored skilled visa programmes:

  • Occupation lists: The MLTSSL will now apply to both the ENS and the RSMS, with additional occupations available to support regional employers for the RSMS.
  • Minimum market salary rate: Employers must pay the Australian market salary rate and meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold.
  • Residency: The eligibility period to transition to permanent residence will be extended from two to three years (people on  a 457 visa and wanting to apply for 186/187 visa).
  • Work experience: At least three years’ work experience relevant to the particular occupation will be required.
  • Age: All applicants must be under the maximum age requirement of 45 at the time of application.
  • Training requirement: Employers nominating a worker for an ENS or RSMS visa will be required to pay a contribution to the Skilling Australians Fund. The contribution will be:
    • payable in full at the time the worker is nominated.
    • $3,000 for small businesses (those with annual turnover of less than $10 million) and $5,000 for other businesses.


  • If you are granted a 457 visa after 18 April 2017 off the STSOL list, it can only be granted for 2 years. There will be one (only) further extension allowed after that for another 2 years. You will not be allowed to apply for a permanent 186/187 visa under that occupation if it is on the STSOL.
  • If I have held a 457 visa for the last 2 years and now eligible for 186 Transition(TRT) will I be affected by the new 3 years’ work experience requirement? no, you may meet fall under the grand fathering provisions.

Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186)

What is a Subclass 186 Visa?

  • It is a permanent residence visa for skilled workers who have a nominating employer.
  • The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) allows Australian employers to nominate skilled foreign employees to work in Australia on a subclass 186 permanent residence visa.
  • This visa involves a two-step process; a nomination by an approved Australian employer and a visa application by the skilled overseas worker.
  • Applicants can be in or outside Australia when they apply for this visa. Applicants must have a valid visa or a bridging visa A, B, or C to apply for this visa in Australia.