The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) program has been reduced from two visa subclasses (Subclass 856 Onshore and Subclass 121 offshore) to one, Subclass 186. Under the new visa criteria, eligible applicants may apply for a Subclass 186 ENS visa from inside or outside of Australia. Eligibility criteria for the ENS visa will depend on which Stream the visa applicant applies under. Eligible ENS occupations can be found on the Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List.
Direct Entry Stream: Applies to visa applicants who have never, or only briefly, worked in Australia and have not held a Subclass 457 visa for the last two years, or are applying directly from outside of Australia. Applicants who hold a 400 series of visa may qualify under this stream. Specific visa criteria includes having Competent English language skills (unless exempt) and meeting the skill requirement (unless exempt).
Temporary Residence Transition Stream: For holders of a Subclass 457 visa, who have worked for the same employer for two years in the nominated occupation. Specific visa criteria includes having Vocational English (unless exempt) and evidencing that they have met the two year work requirement.
Agreements Stream: Applicants should choose this stream if you are being sponsored by an employer through a labour agreement or regional migration agreement.
Visa applicants applying for an ENS visa must be less than 50 years of age at the time of application and if in Australia at the time of application, must hold a substantive visa or a Bridging Visa A, Bridging Visa B or Bridging Visa C in order to apply.
Please contact Expat’s visa team for further information and assessment under the new regulations.