The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) allows Australian employers with a business located anywhere in Australia to sponsor overseas skilled workers for permanent residence to fill skill shortages in their business. Employers can recruit prospective employees who have not worked in Australia, or they may want to offer a permanent position to an employee who is currently working under a temporary visa.
ENS - quick facts
- Permanent residence visa with three entry streams.
- Available to businesses operating in Australia.
- Nominated position must on the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL).
- Employer must provide full-time employment for at least three years.
- Employer must pay the prospective migrant at least as much as an Australian employee.
- Employer must meet any training requirements of the relevant entry stream.
- Employers can source experienced skilled migrants via SkillSelect.
Entry streams for permanent residence
There are three entry streams for permanent residence under the ENS. An employer or employee will need to meet all of the requirements of the particular stream they choose.
- The Temporary Residence Transition stream is for subclass 457 visa holders who have worked for their employer for two years and whose employer wants to offer them a permanent position in that occupation.
- The Direct Entry stream is for prospective employees who are untested in the Australian workforce and have not held a subclass 457 visa for at least two years, or who are applying directly from overseas.
- The Agreements stream is for prospective employees who are being sponsored by an employer through a negotiated Labour Agreement or Regional Migration Agreement.
What is the application process?
If an employer and employee meet all the requirements of the relevant entry stream for the ENS, there is a two-step application process with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP):
Step 1. Employer nominates the eligible position to be filled. This is then assessed by DIBP.
Step 2. If approved by DIBP in Step 1, the employee then applies for a permanent Employer Nomination Scheme visa.
You may be eligible to apply for an Australian visa under a number of categories:
- Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189)
- This is a permanent visa based on your skills. If you meet the points-test and have competent English, you may be eligible for this visa.
- Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)
- This is a permanent visa based on your skills and a nomination from an Australian state or territory.
- If you meet the points-test, have competent English and are nominated by a state or territory government – you may be eligible.
- Each state/territory has their own skilled list and requirements for sponsorship, so you will need to check these before preparing your application.
- Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457)
- If you are skilled worker, have an approved sponsor and meet other criteria including English and skills, you may be eligible.
- Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186)
- This is a permanent visa and requires you to have a permanent employment opportunity.
- This is for you if you are skilled worker, have an approved sponsor, are eligible in one of three streams: (i) the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (Subclass 457); or (ii) the Direct Entry Stream; or (iii) the Agreement Stream and meet other criteria.
- Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187)
- This is a permanent visa based on employment in a regional area. You will need to commit at least 2 years to your nominating employer.
- This is for you if you are skilled worker, have an approved sponsor in a regional area of Australia, and are eligible in one of three streams: (i) the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (Subclass 457); or (ii) the Direct Entry Stream; or (iii) the Agreement Stream and meet other criteria
You may be required to undertake a Skills Assessment from the relevant Skills Assessment Authority depending on the nominated occupations and the nominated countries.
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