What Is The Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) Visa And Timeline?
Migrants planning to move to Australia have a wide range of visa options to choose from, including the skilled worker, family, study, training, graduate, regional, humanitarian, and visitor routes. This means that prospective applicants can select a visa option which best suits their needs and those of their immediate family members. In this article, we will take a closer look at one of the Australian working and skilled visa routes; the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186).
What Is The Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186)?
The employer nomination scheme allows skilled workers to be nominated by an employer to live and work in Australia permanently. Subclass 186 visa holders are able to:
- remain in Australia indefinitely (i.e. you become a permanent resident as soon as the visa is granted).
- work and study in Australia
- enrol in Medicare (Australia's public health care scheme)
- sponsor eligible relatives to come to Australia
- travel to and from Australia for five years
- apply for Australian citizenship, if eligible
Can I Bring My Family Members With Me To Australia On A 186 Visa?
Yes, you can include your immediate family members in your visa application, or they can be added later (as long as they are added before a decision is made on your case). Eligible family members include:
- your partner
- your dependent child or stepchild
- your partner's dependent child or stepchild
- the dependent child or stepchild of your or your partner's dependent child or stepchild
Any family members you include in your application are required to meet the Australian immigration health and character requirements.
Am I Eligible For The Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186)?
There are several eligibility criteria which you will need to meet; it is advisable that you review these before submitting an application. The criteria state that you must:
- Have an eligible occupation
- Be under 45 years (there are some exceptions to this rule)
- Speak English to a competent level
- Your occupation must be on the relevant list of eligible skilled occupations .
- Have a positive skills assessment – this will not apply if:
- you have been nominated as an academic (university lecturer or faculty head at Academic Level A, B, C, D or E) by a university in Australia, or
- you have been nominated as a scientist, researcher or technical specialist by an Australian government scientific agency, or
- you currently hold a Special Category (subclass 444) or New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship (subclass 461) visa and have worked for the employer who nominated you, in the nominated position, for at least two years in the last three years prior to the date you applied for the visa
- You will need to have at least three years relevant work experience in your profession/occupation, however, if you are exempt from the skills assessment requirement (see above), you will be exempt from the work experience requirement.
- You must be licensed, registered or a member of a professional body if it is mandatory in the state or territory you intend to work in.
- Meet the health requirement (you may need to have a health exam before your application can be approved).
- Meet the character requirement – this is to ensure that you are of good character and do not pose a threat to Australia. You may need to provide police certificates from your home country and any other countries in which you have lived.
In addition to meeting these criteria, you will also need to be nominated by an employer based in Australia.
How Do I Apply For The Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186)?
Before you apply for a 186 visa
There are a number of steps you will need to complete before you can apply for a 186 visa. Assuming that you have a job offer and are nominated by your employer (and they are eligible to nominate you), then the first step in the process is to have a skills assessment completed. This will be done by a relevant skills assessment authority (based on your occupation), and will show that you have the skills and qualifications necessary to do your job in Australia.
If necessary, you may also need to ensure you have completed and passed an approved English language test.
Your employer will need to have formally nominated you and have received a Transaction Reference Number (TRN) which you will need to include on your application form.
Collate the documents you will need
Before applying, you will need to gather the following documents:
- Your passport and other identity documents
- Proof of change of name
- Your professional licencing, registration or membership documents
- Documents that prove your skills and qualifications (or that you are exempt from proving your skills and qualifications)
- Documents which show you are exempt from the age criteria (i.e. if you are over 45).
- English language test certificate or other proof
- Police certificates and military service records or discharge papers if you served in the armed forces of any country
- Documents for your partner and dependants
You will need to have your documents translated (if not written in English), and scanned or photos (to be uploaded).
Applying for your 186 visa
The application process is completed online using the Australian immigration ImmiAccount system.
The application fee (as at the time of writing) is AUD$4,045, and the processing time is four months (in 75% of cases). After you have submitted your application and uploaded your documents on ImmiAccont, you may then be asked to have a health exam, your biometrics scanned (your fingerprints and photo), and the remainder of your fee paid if you didn't pay the full amount initially.
The employer nomination scheme allows skilled workers to be nominated by an employer to live and work in Australia permanently. The relatively short timescale for processing the 186 visa makes it an attractive option if you can find an employer in Australia who is keen to sponsor you. If you have any questions or need expert assistance with your immigration, get in touch with an experienced immigration lawyer.