ENS 186 Visa- Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186)

186 visa Changes- (Effective July 2017)

  • 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 by December 2017

  • Before 31 December 2017, for permanent employer sponsored skilled visa programmes: – Tax File Number collection: 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.

FAQ:

  • 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? We still do not know if this requirement has to be met at time of lodgement or at time of grant of the 186TRT visa.

                    Timeline of future 186/187 changes are:

  • before 31 December 2017– collection of TFN for 457 visa holders for ATO data matching, publication of sanctioned sponsors.
  • from March 2018 –the MLTSSL will apply to ENS/RSMS with additional regional occupations, Market salary rate will apply and meet TSMIT, eligibility period for PR extended from 2 to 3 years, at least 3 years’ work experience required, under 45 years of age, contribution towards training fund.

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.
THREE STREAMS 1.     The Temporary Residence Transition stream is for 457 visa holders who have worked for two years, while holding a subclass 457 visa, in the same occupation with their nominating employer who wants to offer them a permanent position in that occupation.
2.     The Direct Entry stream is for applicants who have not worked on a 457 visa with their nominating employer for two years but who are formally qualified in their occupation and have worked for at least three years at a skilled level in their occupation and their occupation is on the COMBINED LIST OF ELIGIBLE SKILLED OCCUPATIONS FOR 186 VISA (DIRECT ENTRY).
3.     The Agreement stream is for applicants sponsored by an employer through a labour agreement
TEMPORARY RESIDENT TRANSITION STREAM REQUIREMENTS To qualify for an employer nomination scheme (ENS) VISA through the temporary residence transition stream you must:

  • Hold a subclass 457 visa.
  • Have worked for two years with your employer while sponsored as the primary applicant on a subclass 457 visa, in the same position as your employer has nominating you for the subclass 186 visa.
  • Have been successfully nominated by your employer for a permanent position in your nominated occupation under this stream within the 6 months prior to applying for the visa.
  • Demonstrate that you have at least vocational English unless you are exempt from this requirement.
  • Be under 50 years of age unless you are exempt from the age requirement.
  • At the time of applying, hold any mandatory registration, licence or professional membership required for your occupation in the state where your nominated position is located.
  • Meet health and character requirements
VOCATIONAL ENGLISH FOR TRANSITION STREAM You can demonstrate you have vocational English by:-

  • Having a score of at least 5 in each of the four components of an IELTS test (speaking, reading, listening and writing) in a test that has been conducted within the three years immediately prior to the date of lodgement of your visa application OR or an equivalent score in one of the other accepted English tests
  • Holding a valid passport issued by the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF APPLYING FOR AN ENS VISA THROUGH THE TEMPORARY RESIDENCE TRANSITION STREAM?

  • You can achieve Australian permanent residence through the Transitional Residence Stream without being formally qualified in your occupation.
  • You do not need need a skills assessment in your occupation for the Temporary Resident Transition stream.
DIRECT ENTRY STREAM REQUIREMENTS To qualify for an employer nomination scheme (ENS) VISA through the direct entry stream you must:

  • Have an occupation on the COMBINED LIST OF ELIGIBLE SKILLED OCCUPATIONS FOR 186 VISA (DIRECT ENTRY)
  • Have been successfully nominated by your employer for a permanent position in your nominated occupation under this stream in the 6 months prior to applying for the visa.
  • Have at least three years of relevant work experience at a skilled level (i.e. post qualifying) in your nominated occupation.
  • Have a positive skills assessment in your nominated occupation, which is not more than three years old (unless you are exempt from this requirement).
  • Demonstrate you have at least competent English unless you’re exempt from the English requirement
  • Be under 50 years of age unless you’re exempt from the age requirement.
  • At the time of applying, hold any mandatory registration, licence or professional membership required for your occupation in the state where the nominated position is located.
  • Meet health and character requirements.
COMPETENT ENGLISH FOR DIRECT ENTRY STREAM You can demonstrate you have competent English by:

  • Having a score of at least 6 for each of the four components of an IELTS test (speaking, reading, listening and writing) in a test that has been conducted within the three years immediately prior to the date of lodgement of the applicant’s application, OR an equivalent score in another accepted English Test OR
  • Holding a valid passport issued by the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF APPLYING FOR AN ENS VISA THROUGH THE DIRECT ENTRY STREAM?

  • You don’t have to spend two years with their employer on a 457 visa to qualify for an Employer Nominated (ENS) subclass 186 visa through the Direct Entry Stream.
  • Provided you can obtain a positive skills assessment and you have three years post qualification experience, you can apply for the subclass 186 ENS Direct Entry visa straight away.
SPONSOR/EMPLOYER REQUIREMENTS ANY BUSINESS CAN NOMINATE A SKILLED WORKER FOR A SUBCLASS 186 PERMANENT RESIDENCE VISA, PROVIDED:

  • The business is actively and lawfully operating in Australia
  • The business has a genuine need for a paid employee to fill a skilled position
  • The visa applicant is offered a skilled position in the applicant’s occupation that is full time and ongoing for at least two years
  • The visa applicant will be paid a market salary rate
  • The nominating business complies with Australian immigration and workplace relations laws
  • There is no adverse information known about the business or anyone associated with the business.

The business must nominate the applicant in one of the three streams and meet the requirements of that stream.

ADDITIONAL EMPLOYER REQUIREMENTS FOR TRANSITIONAL STREAM The business must have met the subclass 457 visa training requirements in each year the business have been approved as a Standard Business Sponsor prior to nominating the employee for a 186 visa through the transitional stream.
ADDITIONAL EMPLOYER REQUIREMENTS FOR DIRECT ENTRY STREAM The business must meet the following training requirements:

  • If the business has been trading in Australia for more than 12 months, the business must show it has contributed to the training of Australians.
  • The business  must meet one of two benchmarks:

Ø  Training benchmark A: requires expenditure in the previous 12 months equal to at least 2 per cent of the payroll of the business in payments to an industry training fund that operates in the same industry as the business. or

Ø  Training benchmark B: requires expenditure in the previous 12 months equal to at least 1 per cent of the payroll of the business, in the provision of training to Australian resident employees of the business.

  • If the business has been operating for less than 12 months, the business must demonstrate that it has a training plan to meet one of these training benchmarks.
AGE EXEMPTION You are exempt from the Age Requirements if:

  • You are nominated as a senior academic by an Australian university
  • You are nominated as a scientist, researcher or technical specialist at a skill level 1 or 2 by an Australian government scientific agency
  • You are a medical practitioner who has been working for your nominating employer on either a subclass 457 visa or a subclass 422 visa for at least four years immediately before applying for your ENS visa and your nominated position is located in regional Australia.
  • You are a medical practitioner who has worked for your nominating employer on a subclass 422 visa followed by a subclass 457 visa for two years in the four years immediately before applying for your 186 visa and your nominated position is in regional Australia.
  • You hold a subclass 444 New Zealand Citizen or a subclass 461 New Zealand citizen’s family member visa and you have been working for your nominating employer for at least two of the three years immediately before applying for your 186 visa.
  • You are applying through the Temporary Residence Transition Stream and have been working for your nominating employer as the holder of a subclass 457 visa for at least four years, immediately before applying for the 186 visa and has been paid as much as the Fair Work High Income Threshold  in each of the four years.
  • You are applying through the Agreement stream and the relevant labour agreement allows for a person who has turned 50 to be employed.
ENGLISH EXEMPTION You won’t need to show formal English language skills if you: 

  • If you hold an ‘exempt passports” from the English Speaking countries of New Zealand, USA, Canada, United Kingdom and Ireland you are exempt from the English language requirements of the subclass 186 visa.
  • Your nominated earnings are at least equivalent to the current Australian Taxation Office top individual income tax rate. (unless you are not able to demonstrate that you have functional English, you will be required to pay the second instalment of the visa application charge, currently $9,800.00).
  • You are applying through the Transition stream and you have completed at least five years of full-time study in a secondary or higher education institution and all of the tuition was delivered in English.

Contact us today for a commitment free briefing with our Registered Migration Agents in Melbourne to find more about your visa options.