186 Australian Permanent Work Visa (Employer Nomination Scheme)

The 186 visa is a Permanent Visa allowing the holder and accompanying family members to remain permanently in Australia. The Australian government comprehensively reformed this visa on the 1st July 2012 largely restricting the exemptions in regards to Skills, English language ability and Age applicable under the old scheme. However, some exceptions are still available to the requirements outlined below.

Requirements

There are two parts to a 186 Visa, the Nomination application and the Visa application. The Nomination application reviews the operations of the business, training expenditure and the details of the occupation and salary being offered to the visa applicant. The Visa application assesses the applicant’s skills, English language ability, health and character. The 186 Visa is a common way for existing 457 Visa holders to transition to Permanent Residence but it is also possible to apply for Permanent Residence directly with this visa.

You must be less than 50 years of age at the time you apply for this visa.

There are two distinct pathways that enable applicants to obtain this visa.

The Temporary Residence Transition Stream enables existing 457 visa holders who have worked for their sponsoring employer for 2 years to apply based on a further Nomination by their existing employer.

The Direct Entry Stream enables applicants who demonstrate 3 years relevant work experience and obtain a Skills Assessment to apply for this visa.

The processing time for the 186 visa can take from 5 – 6 months.

186 Nomination Application

The 186 nomination application determines the suitability of the employer and that of the nominated occupation. A nomination is valid for 6 months after approval.

Employer Nominated applications require a substantially higher level of documentation than that of the 457 visa.

Skills Assessment

For applicants applying under the Direct Entry Scheme they will be required to have their skills assessed as suitable for their occupation. There are a number of Skills Assessing Authorities appointed by the Australian government for this purpose. Importantly, Skills Assessing Authorities have different requirements and criteria that must be met depending on your occupation. There is a fee payable for a skills assessment.

Skill Requirement – Exceptions

There are limited exceptions to the Skill Requirement for the 186 Visa. If you fall within one of the categories below you will not be required to demonstrate that you have three years relevant employment experience and a successful Skills Assessment.

• Nominated in the occupation as a Senior Academic, Scientist, University lectures or Ministers of Religion
• New Zealand citizens who have worked for their sponsoring employer for at least two years in the nominated occupation.
• The Salary on offer to the visa applicant is above a certain threshold.
• The Visa applicant is applying on the basis of holding a 457 visa for at least two years (Temporary Residence Transition Stream) and is being nominated in the same occupation.

Age Requirement – Exceptions

You do not have to be less than 50 years of age at the time you apply for this visa if you fall within one of the following categories;

Persons who are employed in certain occupations and industries as follows:

· Ministers of Religion (ANZSCO 272211) who have applied for a visa under the Regulations to occupy a position as nominated by a religious institution; or

· Researchers, scientists and technical specialists at ANZSCO skill levels 1 or 2, who have applied for a visa under the Regulations to occupy a position as nominated by Australian scientific government agencies; or

· Senior academics who have applied for a visa under the Regulations to occupy a position as nominated by a university in Australia. A senior academic is a person to be employed at an Academic Level of B, C, D or E as a University Lecturer (ANZSCO 242111) or Faculty head (ANZSCO 134411).

· who have been working for their nominating employer as the holder of a Subclass 457 visa for at least the four years immediately before applying and whose annual earnings for each year in the four year period was at least equivalent to the Fair Work High Income Threshold; or

Medical practitioners (ANZSCO MINOR GROUP 253):

· who have been working for their nominating employer as the holder of a Subclass 457 visa for at least the four years immediately before applying and whose nominated position is located in regional; or

Medical practitioners (ANZSCO MINOR GROUP 253):

· who have been working for their nominating employer as the holder of a Subclass 422 visa before becoming a holder of a Subclass 457 visa for the prescribed period of two years in the four years immediately before applying and whose nominated position is located in regional Australia.

· who hold Subclass 444 or 461 visas who have been working for their nominating employer in their nominated occupation for at least two years (excluding any periods of unpaid leave) in the last three years immediately before making their visa application; or

Our expertise

The sponsorship of overseas employee’s presents a number of Immigration issues. Human Resource Practitioners and Business Owners often find the maze of legal and policy requirements daunting or incomprehensible. Furthermore, the constant changes in Migration law and policy and the increased compliance requirements present unique challenges for Business. We offer up to date experience and knowledgeable expertise in this area of practice.

As with most areas of Migration Law there are a number of ways to meet the requirements and of course there are exceptions to the requirements. Every business and employee is different and should be treated as such. We provide comprehensive advice on meeting the various legal criteria and work with your business and the Visa applicant to ensure the efficient processing of your matter with the Department of Immigration.

Application Fees

Service Fee
186 Nomination Application Fee $540
186 Visa Application Fee $3,600
Professional Fees $4,400
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