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Skilled Nominated Scheme

EMPLOYER NOMINATED SCHEME (SUBCLASS 186)

This is a permanent residence visa for skilled workers who have an Australian employer who would like to nominate them for a full-time, ongoing position in their business.

The visa involves a two-step process, being a:

  1. nomination application by an approved Australian Sponsor; and
  2. visa application by a skilled foreign worker.

Three Streams

The visa has three streams under which an applicant can potentially apply under:

  1. Direct Entry Stream

This stream is for applicants who have never, or only briefly, worked in Australia and as such do not qualify under the Temporary Residence Transition Stream.

  1. Temporary Residence Transition Stream

This stream is for holders of a Subclass 457 Visa who have worked for their nominating employer for two years in Australia in their nominated occupation and their employer wants to offer them a full-time, ongoing position.

  1. Agreement Stream

This stream is for holders of a Subclass 457 Visa who have been nominated by their employer through a Labour Agreement.

Eligibility Criteria – Nomination

The eligibility criteria for nomination comprises criteria that are common all three streams, as well as specific criteria that applies to each of the individual three streams.

Common Eligibility Criteria

The prospective employer must:

  1. be actively and lawfully operating a business in Australia;
  2. have a genuine need for a paid employee to fill a skilled position;
  3. offer the visa applicant a skilled position in their field that is full-time and ongoing for at least two years;
  4. agree to pay the applicant the “Market Salary Rate”;
  5. comply with Australian immigration and workplace relations laws;
  6. have no adverse information known about their business or any person associated with their business.

Eligibility Criteria – Direct Entry Stream

Under this stream, amongst other things, a prospective employer must:

  1. nominate the visa applicant to fill a position that is contained on the Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List, or the Short-Term Skilled Occupation List, which is accessible at:

https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2017C00352

  1. if their business has been trading for 12 months or more, meet Training Benchmark A or B (see below) in the 12 months immediately preceding the application, or submit an “Auditable Training Plan” if the business has been trading for less than 12 months which clearly shows how they are going to meet either of the training benchmarks in the next 12 months.

In respect of Training Benchmarks, the employer must have either:

  1. Training Benchmark A: paid the equivalent of at least 2% of payroll expenditure (salaries and wages, including superannuation) to an industry training fund for the training of Australian citizens or permanent residents; or
  2. Training Benchmark B: spent the equivalent of 1% of payroll on training for its employees who are Australian citizens or permanent residents. Amongst other things, wages and salaries paid to trainees or apprentices under registered training contracts can be included in the benchmark, as well as expenditure incurred on training courses for Australian staff.

The employer must submit verifiable evidence that they meet one of the training benchmarks, such as tax invoices / receipts that show they have incurred expenditure on training their Australian staff.

Eligibility Criteria – Temporary Residence Transition Stream

Under this stream, amongst other things, the employer must:

  1. be the standard business sponsor in respect of the employees’ Subclass 457 visa;
  2. have employed the employee in their nominated position under the Subclass 457 Visa Programme as a primary visa holder for at least two years before the nomination is made;
  3. iden​tify an occupation (for the position) that has the same four-digit ANZCO occupation unit group code as the 457 approved occupation;
  4. offer the employee a full -time, ongoing position available for at least two years that is consistent with the position in which the employee has already worked in their business as the holder of a Subclass 457 Visa; and
  5. have met the subclass 457 visa training requirements in each year they have been a standard business sponsor.

Eligibility Criteria – Agreement Stream

Under this stream a business can nominate an applicant through a labour agreement that has been negotiated with the Australian government.

Eligibility Criteria – Visa Application

The eligibility criteria for this visa comprises criteria that are common all three streams, as well as specific criteria that applies to each of the individual three streams.

Common Eligibility Criteria

Under all three streams, the visa applicant must:

  1. have been nominated by an approved Australian employer within the six months before they apply for the visa;
  2. hold any mandatory registration, license or professional membership they require to work in their nominated occupation in Australia;
  3. have at least “competent” English language skills. This is usually evidenced by an IELTS Test Result with a score of at least 6.0 in all 4 components of the test. There is an exemption to this requirement for certain passport holders and there are some other limited exemptions to this requirement; and
  4. meet health and character requirements.

Eligibility Criteria – Direct Entry Stream

Under this stream, the visa applicant must have:

  1. at least 3 years of relevant, verifiable work experience in their nominated occupation or a closely related occupation;
  2. be under 45 at the time of application (some exemptions apply);
  3. obtained a positive skills assessment at the time they make the application. The skills assessment authority which will assess their skills depends on what occupation they are applying under. The eligibility criteria for each skills assessment authority differs. For the majority of skills assessment authorities, the assessment will be based on the applicant’s qualifications and work experience, though in some cases English language ability and registration in Australia is required.

Eligibility Criteria – Temporary Residence Transition Stream

Under this stream, the visa applicant must have:

  1. a current Temporary Work (Skilled) Visa​​(subclass 457);
  2. worked for two years (this will be changing to 3 years in March 2018) in the same position their employer nominated them for while they held their subclass 457 visa as the primary visa holder. Periods of paid leave and overseas training can be counted towards the two years, but any unpaid leave cannot be included and should be accounted for in calculating the two-year work requirement; and
  3. be under 50 at the time of application (some exemptions apply).

The visa applicant’s skills do not need to be assessed under this stream.

Eligibility Criteria – Agreement Stream

This stream is for employers who have negotiated a labour agreement with the Australian Government.

Where you can lodge an application

The visa applicant can lodge their visa application either inside or outside of Australia. If they lodge their application in Australia, they will be granted a Bridging Visa which will allow them to stay in Australia until their visa application is finalised. If they lodge the visa application in Australia, they must be in Australia for the visa to be granted.

If they lodge the visa application outside of Australia, they must be outside of Australia for the visa to be granted.

Contact Us

Our experienced immigration lawyers have successfully handled many applications under the Employer Nominated Scheme. We will ensure the application is given the best prospects of success.

We offer all our prospective clients an initial  meeting, during which we will thoroughly explain the law surrounding this visa to you and inform you of the process moving forward.

To organize a initial consultation with us, please contact one of our experienced immigration lawyers on (02) 9590 3987.