Employer Nomination Scheme Visa (ENS)

This visa enables highly skilled workers to get sponsorship from Australian employers to live and work permanently in Australia.

It allows employers to employ skilled workers from overseas or temporary residents who are already visiting or working in Australia.


This is a permanent residence visa for skilled workers. It allows work permit in Australia under one of three streams:

  • the Temporary Residence Transition stream
  • the Direct Entry stream
  • the Agreement stream.


You might be eligible for this visa if you:

  • have been nominated by an approved Australian employer
  • are younger than 50 years of age, unless you are exempt
  • meet the skills, qualifications and English language requirements, unless you are exempt
  • apply under the stream for which you were nominated

The Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186) permits the skilled workers to work in Australia. This visa involves a two-step process. Firstly, the worker is nominated by an approved Australian employer and then an application is filed under the nominated stream. It is part of the Permanent Employer Sponsored Visa programme.

This visa is a permanent residence visa which can be applied by individuals staying in or outside Australia. You must hold a substantive visa or a bridging visa A, B or C if you are staying in Australia.
The visa has three streams:

1. The Temporary Residence Transition stream is for subclass 457 visa holders who have worked for two years, while holding a subclass 457 visa, in the same occupation with their nominating employer (who has lodged a valid nomination with us under the Temporary Residence Transition stream), who wants to offer them a permanent position in that occupation.

2. The Direct Entry stream is for:

  • workers who have been nominated by their employer under the Direct Entry stream
  • workers who have never, or only briefly, worked in Australia, or
  • temporary residents who do not qualify for the Temporary Residence Transition stream

3. The Agreement stream is for workers sponsored by an employer through a labour agreement.
It provides information about what you need to do to apply for an Employer Nomination Scheme visa (subclass 186).

You are eligible to apply for this visa only after you have been nominated by your employer in Australia. You must lodge your application within six months of the nomination being approved. You must apply for the visa in the stream and occupation in which you have been nominated by your employer, or your application could be refused.