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Australia Employer Nomination Scheme ENS (Subclass 186)

The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) enables Australian employers to nominate highly skilled overseas workers to fill positions that cannot be filled from within the Australian labour market or through the employer’s own training programs.

Positions must correspond to an occupation on the ENS List of Occupations, must pay at least the minimum salary specified for the occupation in a government Gazette Notice, and must be full-time and available for a period of at least 3 years. Positions must also be in accordance with the standards for working conditions provided for in relevant Australian workplace legislation.

ENS consists of 2 distinct stages:

  • Stage 1 – Nomination by an employer; and
  • Stage 2 – Nominee’s application for a visa.

The ENS List of Occupations is a list of skilled occupations, detailed on a government Gazette Notice, in which Australian employers may nominate overseas workers for permanent residence in Australia.

The major occupational groups in this range are:

  • Managers and Administrators;
  • Professionals;
  • Associate Professionals; and
  • Tradespersons and related workers.

The Government Gazette Notice which specified the ENS List of Occupations also specifies a minimum salary level for specific occupations.


To nominate a position under the Employer Nomination Scheme the employer must:

  • Be actively and lawfully operating in Australia;
  • Have a genuine need for a paid employee to fill a position in the employer’s business;
  • Have a satisfactory record of compliance with immigration law and workplace relations law; and
  • Have a commitment to training existing Australian employees.

The position in the employer’s business must:

  • Be full-time and available for at least 3 years;
  • Be in accordance with the standards for working conditions provided under Australian industrial laws;
  • Correspond to an occupation on the ENS List of Occupations; and
  • Attract a base salary that is at least the minimum salary that has been published in a government Gazette Notice for the occupation.


To apply for a permanent visa under the Employer Nomination Scheme, you must:

  • Be nominated by an Australian employer to fill a position that meets the nomination requirements;
  • Be under 45 years of age;
  • Have vocational English language ability;
  • Meet health and character requirements; and
  • If applying in Australia, be the holder of a qualifying visa.

In addition, before you apply for your visa you must also have the skills and any necessary qualifications to do the job for which you have been nominated.

There are 3 ways in which you can demonstrate your skills:

  • Have worked full-time in the occupation for which you have been nominated in Australia for the last 2 years, including at least the last 1 year working for the employer who is nominating you; or
  • Be nominated to fill a highly paid senior executive position with a salary of more than A$151,500 per annum; or
  • Have your skills assessed as suitable by the relevant skills assessing authority and, unless exceptional circumstances apply, have at least 3 years’ experience in the occupation.

In certain circumstances, where a position is so unusual or highly specialised that the employer is unlikely to find anyone who meets the established criteria to fill the vacancy, exceptions to the 3 years’ experience, age or English language requirements can be made.

The visa applicant must include a submission with their visa application which demonstrates the special skills required and/or the difficulties their employer experienced finding a nominee who does meet the experience, age or English language requirements.

If the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) accepts that exceptional circumstances exist, a visa can then be granted to a person who:

  • Does not have at least 3 years relevant post-training employment experience; or
  • Is 45 years or older; or
  • Has less than vocational English.

If your occupation requires you to hold any kind of license or registration to work in Australia (for example, registered nurse or licensed plumber), you must also be eligible to hold the necessary license or registration before you apply under the Australian Employer Nomination Scheme.

If you are intrested to immigrate to Australia, fill out our online assessment form.

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