Who should apply for 186 Visa?

Unless you are in an exempt occupation, you must be under 45 years old to be eligible to apply for the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) 186 visa. There are 3 streams through which you can be granted permanent residency through this visa,

  • Direct Entry (DE): your nominated occupation must be on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and must have a skills assessment.
  • Temporary Residence Transition (TRT): you must have worked in your nominated occupation that is on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) or the current Short-term occupation list (STSOL) for at least 3 years out of the 4years and lived in Australia. No skills assessment is required.
  • Labour Agreement: requirements are outlined in the labour agreement.

To be eligible for the DE and TRT stream you must have at least 3 years of full-time work experience in the nominated occupation, or a related field (same ANZSCO level) full time. Even if you worked Part-time, it can be counted on a pro-ratio basis. However, the government policy does not allow Casual work to be counted. Further, you cannot include work experience from under the Temporary Graduate 485 and Student 500 visa.

Exempt Occupations

The age, work experience and skills assessment requirement does not apply to exempt occupations where 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
  • have been nominated as a scientist, researcher or technical specialist by an Australian government scientific agency, or
  • 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 2 years in the last 3 years prior to the date you applied for the visa


Your employer sponsor must complete the nomination application. For your nomination application, they must provide

  • Proof of Standard business sponsor


Your sponsoring employer should be an approved sponsor and must arrange payment of the SAF levy up-front. They must,

  • Provide evidence of legally operating business;
  • Have the capacity to employ you for at least 2 years;
  • Provide evidence of financial viability of the business to meet salary requirements; and
  • Show that the role is genuine.

Visa Application

Once your Nomination and Sponsor application forms are complete, you must provide

  • A valid Skills Assessment;
  • Proof of Competent English skills;
  • Mandatory licensing, registration or professional membership for your occupation; and
  • PAYG payment summaries for the full 3 year period;

Processing Times

75 percent of applications processed in 8 months.

90 percent of applications processed in 16 months.

Onshore / Offshore rollover

There is no automatic rollover. To travel after five years when the visa expires, a Resident Return Visa will need to be applied to re-enter Australia as a permanent resident.

Start to prepare your 186 Visa Application


Online Form


Up-to-date CV

Skills Assessment

English Skills Test Results

Qualifications and professional licences

ATO Tax returns


Form 1163i Health requirement for temporary entry to Australia

Form 815 Health undertaking if you have a significant health condition such as Tuberculosis, HIV, Hepatitis B or C, Hansen’s Disease.

Proof of health insurance


Form 80 Declaration (Applicant and Sponsor)

Military Discharge Papers

Police Check from Residence Abroad

AFP Police Certificates

IDENTITY – Applicant

Certified copy of applicant passport and national identity documents

Certified copy of applicant Birth Certificate

Certified copy of applicant Police Records in all countries of residence

Current CV of applicant

Recent passport-size photo of applicant(s) and those who are not migrating

IDENTITY – Sponsor

ASIC search of company extract

Financial statements

Licences and registrations

PAYG summaries

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