The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) results in a permanent visa for the sponsored employee. It is a common way for 457 visa holders to qualify for permanent residence, but has a higher skill level than the 457 visa.
There are three stages to the ENS subclass 186 application:
- Sponsorship: the business that wants to sponsor an overseas worker submits an application to DIBP for approval as a sponsor and must meet certain requirements to be approved as a sponsor.
- Nomination: the business sponsor submts a nomination to DIBP nominating the position offered to the employee for approval.
- Visa Application: the employee applies for a visa which corresponds to the position nominated by the business sponsor. Other visa requirements include a skills assessment, English language testing and health and police checks.
There are three streams within a 186 visa:
- Temporary Residence Transition: where applicants have worked with the employer on a 457 visa for the last 2 years. In this case, no skills assessment is required.
- Direct Entry Stream: the employee will need to provide a formal skills assessment in their occupation, and show that they have worked in their occupation for three years.
- Agreement Stream: where the employer has a Labour Agreement.
Common Issues with ENS Visas
ENS visas require a significantly higher level of documentation than a 457 visa. Difficulties which can be encountered in applying for ENS visas include:
- Obtaining skills assessments
- Changes in the business sponsoring the employee, including changes in the position nominated
- The sponsoring business failing to meet DIBP requirements for sponsors
- Showing exceptional circumstances where visa applicants would not meet the usual requirements
We provide advice and assistance at every stage of the three step process ( sponsorship, nomination and visa) to ensure that both the sponsoring business and the visa applicant satisfy DIBP requirements.