In this article, we will take a close look at the Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186) to understand the purpose of the scheme, how to apply, and the fees and processing times. For expert assistance with your immigration matter, contact Reiss Edwards, immigration lawyers and solicitors in London.
Australia, like many other countries, is keen to encourage workers from around the world with the skills it needs to thrive economically. This is because, domestically, it does not have enough skilled labour to meet the needs of the private and public sector. The Australian government, under the auspices of the Department for Home Affairs, offers many work-based visas catering for a range of scenarios, including temporary skilled visas, regional visas, and points-based skilled worker visas. In this article, we will take a close look at the Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186) to understand the purpose of the scheme, how to apply, and the fees and processing times.
The 186 visa enables skilled workers from around the world who have been nominated by an employer to live and work in Australia permanently (permanent residence is granted when the visa is approved). This is distinctly different from the subclass 494 regional sponsorship and the 482 TSS visa, which are intended to allow overseas workers to work in Australia on a temporary basis.
Only eligible businesses with suitable skilled positions are able to sponsor an overseas worker on a 186 visa. An eligible business is one which:
The Department of Home Affairs, the business must also be able to:
It is the employer’s responsibility to complete the necessary paperwork to nominate an overseas worker for a 186 visa. This process is completed online and involves:
The documents required to nominate an overseas member of staff for a 186 visa include the applicant’s employment contract, proof that the business is actively and lawfully operational, evidence that there is a genuine need for the employee, and proof of paying the proper market rate.
Under the direct entry scheme for the 186 visa, workers and their dependants can live, work and study in Australia indefinitely, enrol in Australia’s public health care scheme, Medicare, sponsor eligible family members to come to Australia, and apply for Australian citizenship, if eligible.
After a nomination is fully submitted, it will be processed and assessed by the Department for Home Affairs. If the nomination is not approved, a letter will be sent to the nominating employer explaining the reasons for the refusal and whether there is a right to review the decision. If there is a right to review, this must be completed within the specified timescale. In this situation, it is highly recommended that you speak to an immigration lawyer who will be able to handle the review process on your behalf with a view to securing a positive decision as quickly as possible.
To secure a 186 visa, overseas workers will need to meet the following eligibility requirements:
Applicants need to submit several documents with their 186 visa application, including:
Yes, a positive skills assessment is a mandatory requirement for a 186 visa; this should be gained before applying for a visa. There are some limited exceptions, including those who:
There is no requirement for a nominating employer to carry out a labour market test to find out if a settled worker is already available in Australia. They do, however, need to prove they have a genuine need for a paid employee and that the overseas worker will receive a salary that meets or exceeds the proper market rate for their occupation.
You can prove your experience to fulfil the role you are being nominated for by providing a copy of your CV. You may also choose to provide letters from your recent employers outlining your period of employment, role title, and role description.
The current processing time for a nomination to be approved in 2021 is between four and six weeks.
How long does a 186 visa take to process after nomination approval in 2021?
According to the Department for Home Affairs, 75% of applications are processed with six months and 90% within 11 months.
It is possible to switch to a different employer on a 186 visa, but the Department of Home Affairs expects holders to work for their nominating employer for at least two years.
The current application fee for a 186 visa in Australia is AUD$4,045.
As a permanent resident, you will be able to work towards Australian citizenship. You will typically need to be living in Australia for four years continuously (this means you must be away from Australia for no more than 12 months in total in the four years, including no more than 90 days in total in the 12 months before applying.
The fact that the 186 visa leads to immediate permanent residence makes it highly desirable. The key to making a successful application is finding a suitable employer who is willing to nominate your application for a 186 visa. If you need any help with your application, speak to an Immigration Solicitor who will be able to assist you.
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