Employer Nomination Scheme Visa (Subclass 186)


The Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186) is a permanent visa for nominated skilled workers.


Benefits of the Subclass 186


The Subclass 186 Visa offers several benefits to skilled workers and their families.

One notable advantage is the ability for Subclass 186 visa holders to include family members in their initial application and at any time before a decision is made, allowing for a unified migration experience for the entire family.

Subclass 186 visa holders can also access Australia’s public health care system, providing essential medical coverage for themselves and their family members.

This not only ensures their well-being but also adds an extra layer of security during their stay in Australia.


Pathway to Australian Citizenship


Another noteworthy feature of the Subclass 186 visa is its pathway to Australian Citizenship.

Visa holders are eligible to apply for Australian citizenship after meeting the residency requirements.

This can be a significant milestone for those seeking permanent settlement and integration into Australian society.


Travel Flexibility for Subclass 186 Visa Holders


Subclass 186 visa holders enjoy the freedom to travel to and from Australia as many times as they wish within five years.

However, after this initial period, individuals will need to apply for a Resident Return Visa (RRV) to continue their unrestricted travel.

This flexibility is particularly beneficial for those with international commitments, family overseas, or a desire to explore the world while maintaining their Australian residency.


Age Requirements for the Subclass 186 Visa


Generally, applicants must be under 45 years of age to apply for the Subclass 186 Visa.

Applicants aged 45 years or more may apply if:

  • Nominated as an academic by an Australian university;
  • Nominated as a scientist, researcher or technical (scientific) specialist by an Australian scientific government agency; or
  • Hold a Special Category (subclass 444) visa or New Zealand citizen’s family member (subclass 461) visa and have worked for the nominating employer for at least 2 years in the last 3 years (in the nominated position).

Applicants aged 45 or more may also be eligible if documented in their labour agreement.


Meeting the Subclass 186 Visa Requirements


Subclass 186 Visa applicants must meet certain requirements, including:

  • Must be licensed, registered, or a member of a professional body in the state or territory of employment;
  • Meet the health requirements;
  • Meet the character requirements;
  • Sign the Australian values statement;
  • Have no debt to the Australian government; and
  • Not have had a visa cancelled or a previous application refused.

Each stream also has its additional requirements.


Varied Streams of Subclass 186 Visa


The Subclass 186 Visa offers three distinct streams, each catering to different circumstances and pathways:

  1. Direct Entry stream;
  2. Labour Agreement stream; and
  3. Temporary Residence Transition stream.


Direct Entry stream


The Subclass 186 Direct Entry stream is for applicants with an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List.

Applicants must have at least 3 years of work experience in the occupation.

They must also undergo a skill assessment and demonstrate a competent level of English.


Labour Agreement stream


Applicants working for an employer with a labour agreement may be eligible to apply for the Labour Agreement stream.

The terms of the labour agreement will determine the level of English language skills, work experience, and occupational skills needed to apply for the stream.

Additionally, if the applicant is in Australia, they must hold a substantive 457 or Temporary Skill Shortage visa issued under the labour agreement.


Temporary Residence Transition stream


The Subclass 186 Temporary Residence Transition stream is for applicants that hold:

  • a subclass 457 visa,
  • a Temporary Skill Shortage visa, or
  • a related Bridging visa A, B or C.

Applicants must be nominated by the employer who sponsored their temporary work visa.

Generally, applicants must have worked full-time for at least 3 of the last 4 years for their nominating employer and may be required to undergo a skill assessment.

Applicants must also demonstrate a competent level of English.


Contact Us


For detailed information and assistance with the Subclass 186 and Employer Nomination Scheme, reach out to Bambrick Legal:

Read more about our Visa and Migration services here.

Related Blog – South Australia’s Skilled Occupation List 2023/24

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