The 186 Visa is a permanent work visa that allows employers to fill skills shortages with overseas workers where there is a local shortage. At EMSA, we help employers to navigate the visa application process. We do this all day, every day so we know the process back to front. We’ll take care of the whole process to ensure an easy, stress-free application.


Step 1: Choose an application stream

The 186 Visa or Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) has three streams of application. They are:

  1. Temporary Residence Transition Stream – where holders of a 457 Visa have worked for an employer for two years and in the nominated occupation and are now being offered a permanent position. Passing relevant English tests is a requirement.
  2. Direct Entry Stream – for those who haven’t held a 457 Visa with the same employer for the last two years, or for those applying directly from outside Australia.
  3. Agreement Stream – where the application is part of a Labour Agreement.


Step 2: Nomination

The employer nominates the employee and must prove certain conditions, including:

  • Actively and lawfully operating in Australia
  • Proving a genuine need for an employee in the nominated occupation
  • Offering a position that is permanent and full-time for a minimum of two years
  • Paying the employee at market rate
  • Nominating a skilled position that is on the Consolidated Skilled Occupation List

– and if applying under Stream 1 or 3 (above), it must be the same position the employee was sponsored for under the 457 Visa

  • Meeting training benchmarks for the relevant stream


Step 3: The employee applies for a visa

The employee applies for a Visa and must meet certain criteria such as English skills, skills assessments, health and character checks (also applicable to family members on the visa). Unless there is an exemption, the visa applicant should be under 50 years of age at the time of the application.


What benefits does the 186 Visa provide the employee? 

This is a permanent residence visa that lets employees and family members who have also been granted the visa stay in Australia permanently, work and study here, enrol in Medicare (healthcare), sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residency (PR). Travel allowances apply.



Get started: Call us today

Contact our friendly team of expert migration agents today for a chat about your employer sponsorship options.