Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (186 visa)

The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (186 visa) allows Australian employers to sponsor employees who are foreign nationals for a permanent visa to work in Australia.

This visa is designed to respond to the needs of Australian employers by allowing them to recruit and nominate skilled people to fill positions that cannot be filled from the Australian labour market or through their own staff training. The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (186 visa) visa caters for employees who are either highly skilled workers from overseas or highly skilled temporary residents currently in Australia.

The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (186 visa) work visa may be applied for inside or outside Australia and all applicants must meet health and character criteria. Certain work visa applicants will also need to meet the English language requirement.

The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (186 visa) has three steams under which an applicant can apply:

a. The Temporary Residence Transition stream is for applicants who have held a sc457 visa or TSS visa (482 visa) and worked for the sponsoring employer for at least 3 years;

b. The Direct Entry stream is for applicants who have not held a sc457 or TSS visa for 3 years;

c. The Agreement stream is for applicants whose employers wish to sponsor them through a Labour Agreement or Regional Migration Agreement.

How does this visa work?

Step 1: The employer must nominate an occupation in their business to be approved from the 186 Skilled Occupation List and identify in the application who the visa applicant will be. As part of the Nomination application the company must provide evidence that there is a genuine need for the position & that the position has not been created to just help the nominee stay in Australia/migrate to Australia.

Step 2: A visa application must be lodged. The visa applicant must meet certain requirements for the approval of the visa, such as English fluency, work experience, skills, health, and character to meet the requirements of the nominated occupation.

ENS Visa Employer Eligibility

  • Lawfully and actively operating business operating in Australia
  • Have a genuine need for a paid employee to fill the position AND unable to fill the position with local labour
  • Have advertised the position to meet the Department’s specific requirements
  • Direct employer of the employee
  • Good business record and abide by immigration laws.

Am I eligible for an ENS visa via the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream?

  • I am the holder of a sc457 or TSS visa
  • I have been employed by the sponsoring employer full-time (35h/wk) on my sc457 or TSS visa for at least 3 years immediately before I make my application
  • I have not turned 45 years of age
  • I have a Competent level of English
  • I meet the health and character requirements
  • I have been offered a 2-year contract
  • I am being offered the Market Salary rate for my nominated occupation.

Am I eligible for an ENS visa via the Direct Entry stream?

  • I have a nominated occupation on the current Medium and Long-term Skilled Occupation List (MLTSOL) 
  • I am either inside or outside Australia
  • I have not turned 45 years of age
  • I have a Competent level of English
  • I have 3 years full-time post qualification work experience
  • I have a positive skills assessment for my nominated skilled occupation OR am eligible to apply for a skills assessment
  • I meet the health and character requirements
  • I have been offered a 2-year contract
  • I am being offered the Market Salary rate for my nominated occupation.

Am I eligible for an ENS visa via the Agreement stream?

Labour Agreements are formal arrangements between an employer and the Commonwealth which allow for the recruitment of an agreed number of overseas skilled workers.

Regional Migration Agreement is an agreement between the Australian Government and a state or territory government, local council, or another local stakeholder. The program will facilitate increased labour flows to regional areas experiencing acute labour shortages, in particular, regions that are isolated from large populations and do not have Australian skills and labour available.

Regional Migration Agreements will specify the occupations, numbers, and visa requirements for the sponsorship of workers from outside Australia to certain regional locations.

  • I meet the age, English, skills, experience, and any other requirements as stated in the Labour Agreement or Regional Migration Agreement
  • I am either inside or outside Australia
  • I meet the health and character requirements.
What Does This Visa Let You Do?
  • Reside in Australia indefinitely with my family who were included in the application
  • Travel in and out of Australia for the five years from the date the visa is granted. Thereafter I would need to apply for a Residence Return Visa
  • Work, operate a business, study in Australia – if I choose to
  • Buy property with the same terms and conditions as Australian citizens
  • Enrol in Medicare, Australia’s scheme for health-related care and expenses
  • Apply for Australian citizenship (once I am eligible) by completing the residence requirements in Australia;
  • Sponsor eligible relatives who are eligible to meet a family visa (for example, partner, parent, child etc) or certain skilled regional visas (subclass 491).

How We Work

Free Australian Visa Assessment

Determine if you qualify for an Australian visa, or for employers, see whether you can legally sponsor an overseas worker

Prepare Your Application

Our highly trained and qualified professionals will prepare your application ensuring it meets all legislated requirements for your visa type

Evaluate Your Options

Our specialists will contact you within 24-48 hours to discuss your outcome and possible options

Submit Your Application

We submit your application and deal directly with the Department of Home Affairs until a decision is made on your application


Just some of the people we have helped.

We chose Immigration Downunder for our spouse visa application as Joe had already had a great experience with them before with a work visa. From the beginning to the end of our visa application Ben and Kelly demonstrated their expertise in this area and they made us feel confident in our application. We also felt they went above and beyond our expectations, by helping us to lodge our initial application in a short time frame to assist us in starting the process on-shore before Joe needed to travel again for work. We are pleased to say we were successful with our application and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Immigration Downunder to others.

    Steph and Joe
    Steph and Joe

    Partner Visa

    We can’t thank Ben & Kelly enough for helping our immigration dreams come true, this little Scots family is living our Australian dream, we are now citizens and proud to call Australia home, we have no doubt that we would not have got here so quickly or smoothly without their guidance and expertise. Best investment we made getting the professionals to help us. Saved us a lot of time and money. Forever grateful.

      Martin Family
      Martin Family

      Employer Sponsored Visa – temporary and permanent followed by Citizenship

      I thank God I knew Ben because of their help our Visa has been granted and living now in this beautiful country I am so lucky and thankful for their help. I will still ask for their help in the future. God bless and protect them all always hope and pray they continue helping people for their visas.


        Partner Visa, Child Visa, Resident Return Visa, Tourist Visa and then Citizenship

        My family and I have been Ben's clients for 10 years now. It started with the extension of Business sponsor visa of my parents and soon Ben was the representative for our entire family. I still remember, from the beginning Ben had been very clear, strategic, and optimistic in his approach while lodging our applications. He was always there for questions and ambiguities. He was always proactive and found alternatives when we were stuck with no solutions. We always made informed decision - thanks to him. We would blindly select Ben as our representative, any day, we have an Immigration issue or have to lodge an application with the Department. He is very competent and thorough in his work. I cannot thank Ben enough for everything he did for me & my family and highly recommend him. Thanks a million Ben for all your support and assistance in our difficult times.”

          Maria Umer & family
          Maria Umer & family

          Employer Sponsored, Parent Visa, Citizenship

          We, at Rajdhani Indian Restaurant on the Central Coast, have been using the immigration services of Immigration Downunder since 2012. The introduction was accidental through an advertisement in the Central Coast Express Advocate. The first meeting with Kelly and Ben was absolutely reassuring, they helped us sponsor one of our first Cooks. Working both with Kelly and Ben is extremely easy and fulfilling as they have always helped us with each step of the Visa Process. Ben is always a call or an email away and is happy to resolve any of our most difficult queries with utmost ease and logic. I have found both Kelly and Ben to be very open minded, easy to deal with and extremely helpful. The major groundwork is done by them and once the basic information is shared with them, they then take over the process right up to the finality of the application. I strongly recommend Immigration Downunder for all Visa related services; I am sure you will not regret using their services.

            Raj Sardana
            Raj Sardana

            Employer Sponsored Visas – Temporary & Permanent

            My partner and I used Immigration Downunder for both our 457 skilled worker visa and our application for permanent residency. There is no doubt in our minds that the process would have been significantly more confusing, scary, difficult, and quite possibly unsuccessful without Ben's help. Ben was thorough, detailed and answered all of our questions. He was patient and took time to relieve our anxieties particularly in confusing times and changing situations. I would not only recommend that anyone attempting to immigrate get a lawyer to assist with the process, but I would specifically recommend Immigration Downunder as a service that is worth every penny.

              Kathryn Kaehler
              Kathryn Kaehler

              Employer Sponsored Visa – Temporary & Permanent