186 Visa

Employer Nomination Scheme ENS (Subclass 186 Visa)

The Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS) Subclass 186 Visa is a permanent visa which allows skilled overseas workers to live and work in Australia.

186 Visa holders can

  • work in Australia indefinitely
  • study in Australia
  • travel to and from Australia for 5 years
  • apply for Australian citizenship, if eligible

Applying for a 186 Visa

You may be eligible to apply for a 186 (ENS) permanent visa if you meet the below requirements:

Subclass 186 Visa streams

DIRECT ENTRY STREAM: For applicants who are qualified or have sufficient experience in an eligible occupation.

TRANSITIONAL STREAM: For 457 or TSS Visa holders who have worked for their nominating employer for a minimum of two or three years. Read More…

AGREEMENT STREAM: For applicants who are sponsored by an employer under a labour agreement.


The 186 visa allows you to

  • stay in Australia permanently
  • work and study in Australia
  • enrol in Medicare (Australia’s public healthcare system)
  • sponsor your relatives to come to Australia
  • travel to and from Australia for 5 years
  • Apply for Australian Citizenship (If eligible)

Include your family 

186 visa holders may be able to include the below family members to their application

  • partner
  • dependent child
  • partner’s dependent child

Family members must meet the health and character requirements.

If you already hold a permanent 186 (ENS) Visa and you would like to bring your family to Australia, you will need to apply for one of the family visas.

Employer Nomination

Applicants must be nominated for by an Australian employer before applying for this visa and must apply within 6 months of the nomination being approved if the applications aren’t lodged together.

The visa cannot be granted if:

  • the nomination is withdrawn, or
  • the position is no longer available

Length of stay

This is a permanent visa, however, the 186 visa has a travel component that expires 5 years after the date of visa grant.

After this time, applicants can apply for one of the below:

Speak to one of our registered migration agents to find out whether you may be eligible to apply for the 186 Visa.

186 Visa ENS ASM

Apply now, pay later. Find out if you are eligible to get finance for your visa

186 VISA (ENS) 

This is a permanent visa for skilled foreign workers who have a nominating employer in Australia.

Applicants can be in or outside Australia when they apply for this visa.


  • Applicants must have an occupation listed on the Medium Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)
  • Applicants must perform a Skill Assessment through the authorised assessing authority.
  • Employers are required to meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT)
  • Applicants must be nominated by an Australian employer


  • Applicants must hold a 457 visa or a TSS visa
  • Applicants must have worked for their employer full-time for two or three years (Depending on when your visa was lodged)
  • must be nominated by an employer

If your 457 visa was lodged before 18th of April 2017, click here to see detailed 457 to permanent residency requirements.

If your 457 visa was lodged after 18th of April 2017, click here to see detailed TSS to permanent residency requirements.


  • The employer must have a labour agreement

Planning to apply for Permanent Residency through the Direct Entry stream?

You may be able to apply for Permanent Residency through the direct entry stream if you meet the following requirements:


  • You must have at least 3 years of relevant work experience


  • You can provide evidence of Competent English with one of the below:
    • A valid passport from the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland.
    • IELTS – Minimum score of 6 in each component
    • OET – Minimum score of B in each component
    • TOEFL iBT – Minimum scores of 12 for listening, 13 for reading, 21 for writing and 18 for speaking
    • PTE – Minimum score of 50 in each component

Don’t meet this requirement? Click here to increase your English score


  • You are under 45 years of age

or you can be older than 45 years if you are;


  • Meet the health and character requirements (Unless you are exempt)


You must be nominated by an Australian employer and apply for the 186 visa within 6 months of the nomination being approved (If the visa and nomination applications were not lodged at the same time)

The visa will not be granted if the nomination is withdrawn. The Department does not link new nominations to existing visa applications.

Browse our list of current TSS & permanent employer sponsored job vacancies


Applicants can include the following people in their transitional permanent residency application:

  • Married or de facto partner
  • Dependent children/step-children


Your married or de facto partner can be the same or opposite sex. Applicants must prove:

  • the relationship is genuine and continuing
  • you live together, or do not live separately on a permanent basis.
  • your partner is at least 18 years of age when the application is lodged (there are some exceptions)
  • you are not related by family (if you are in a de facto relationship)
  • you and your partner have a mutual commitment to a shared life to the exclusion of all others, and


To be eligible to be included or added to a 186 visa, a child must:

  • be your child or a stepchild from a current or a previous relationship (in certain circumstances);
  • not be married, engaged to be married, or have a de facto partner; and must be:
    1. under 18 years of age
    2. over 18 years of age but not yet turned 23, and be dependent on you or your partner
    3. over 23 years of age and be unable to earn a living to support themselves due to physical or cognitive limitations and be dependent on you or your partner (Note: The child will still need to meet Australia’s health requirement)
    4. a dependent child of a child who is eligible under 1, 2 or 3 above.


Applicants over 18 must demonstrate Functional English. However, you can choose to pay an additional application fee to the department for family members who have less than functional English.


Children 23 years and over cannot be included in your application. (Unless there are exceptional circumstances)


All family members must meet the health and character requirements. All applicants over 16 must provide police clearances.

Do you currently have family members overseas?

We have partnered with TorFX to offer you international money transfers, with no transfer fees. Click here to get a free, no obligation quote for your next transfer.

Apply now, pay later. Find out if you are eligible to get finance for your visa

Skilling Australians Fund levy

Employers will be required to pay the new Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy for all 186  Visa applications. The levy is payable in full at the time of application.


Who can pay the Skilling Australians Fund levy?

The Business. The applicant cannot make any payment towards the SAF levy. There are no exemptions.

Ronald is a welder who was brought to Australia on a 457 Visa my ASM in 2014. He and his family and now Australian permanent residents

Ronald Magat186 Visa

186 Visa (ENS)

Australian Skilled Migration specialises in employer sponsored visas and can assist with your Permanent 186 Visa application.

If you are looking for an Australian employer to sponsor you for permanent residency, go to our current vacancies page to see if we have a suitable position for you.

If you already have an Australian employer willing to sponsor you or would like more information about the Employer Nominated 186 Visa, call us on 1300 633 384 or Click here book an appointment to discuss your permanent visa with one of our Registered Migration Agents

186 ENS visa

Stay updated on the latest immigration news
Subscribe to our newsletter

Not sure what COVID-19 means for you?Book a phone or Skype consultation to speak to a registered migration agent.

Let us start planning your pathway to Australian Permanent Residency today.