Direct Entry Stream

The Direct Entry Stream of the Subclass 186 Employer Nominated Scheme visa permits an Australian employer to sponsor a foreign worker for direct permanent residency.  


186 Visa Criteria

Applicants must be sponsored under an occupation which appears on the Medium to Long-term Strategic Skills List. In addition to this, prospective applicants must meet the following criteria to qualify:

  • Be below 45 years of age unless an exemption applies.
  • Have worked in your nominated occupation for at least three (3) years.
  • Hold a valid positive skills assessment for your occupation.
  • Obtain an English test score equivalent to 6 in each band in IELTS.


Skills Assessment

Every occupation has an associated skills assessment. This skills assessment is generally conducted by a proscribed professional association or statutory body. Criteria differ greatly between occupations, meaning you should always seek legal advice before submitting a skills assessment application.


Sponsor Your Family

A 186 applicant can include family members in their 186 application before the 186 visa is approved. Family members who apply for the visa with you must meet our health and character requirements, while those who do not apply with you might also have to meet these requirements.

Family members are:

  • your partner
  • your dependent child or stepchild
  • the dependent child or stepchild of your or your partner’s dependent child or stepchild


Your responsibilities

  1. Complying with all Australian laws, which applies to both you and your family members.
  2. Committing to work for your nominating employer for a minimum of 2 years.
  3. Agree to commence your employment within six months under the following conditions:
    a. If the visa was granted to you outside Australia, you agree to start employment upon your entry to Australia.
    b. If the visa was granted to you within Australia, you agree to initiate your employment within six months of the visa grant date.


186 Visa Condition

Visa Condition 8515: The visa holder must not marry or enter into a de facto relationship before entry. The Department Home Affairs may cancel the visa when they discover you were engaged, married, or in a de facto relationship before being granted the visa.


Once your 186 Visa is Granted

This visa permits you to live and work in Australia on a permanent basis. It further grants a five-year travel facility to depart and return to Australia. After five (5) years, a Subclass 155 Resident Return visa must be sought in order to allow future returns to Australia.

There is no obligation to remain with your sponsoring employer under this visa.


186 ENS Visa Lawyers
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