Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS)



The permanent employer-sponsored category enables employers operating in Australia to sponsor overseas skilled workers for permanent residence to fill skilled vacancies. The category comprises the employer nominated scheme (ENS – subclass 186), the regional sponsored migration scheme (RSMS) and labour agreements where the agreement allows the sponsorship of workers on a permanent basis.

ENS involves a two-step process, firstly, nomination by an approved Australian employer and then an application under the nominated stream. The visa has three streams: (a) the temporary residence transition stream; (b) the direct entry stream; and (c) the labour market stream. A large proportion of ENS applicants are holders of 457 visas.

You can be in or outside Australia when you apply. If you are in Australia, you must hold a substantive visa or a bridging visa A, B or C.


Temporary Residence Transition Stream

The Temporary Residence Transition stream is for subclass 457 visa holders who have been offered a permanent position by their nominating employer. It is a requirement that you have worked for two years in the same position nominated by their employer (and their nomination of you has been approved). You will not require a skills assessment.


Direct Entry Stream

The Direct Entry stream is for:

  • people who have been nominated (under an approved nomination) by their employer;
  • people who have never, or only briefly, worked in Australia
  • people who are applying from overseas
  • temporary residents who do not qualify for the Temporary Residence Transition stream


Requirements for visa

You might be able to get this visa if you meet the following requirements:

  • have been nominated by an approved Australian employer within the six months before you apply
  • are under the age of 50 at the time of application, unless you are exempt. The exemptions include senior academics, scientists, ministers of religion and some medical practitioners;
  • have appropriate English language skills (at the time of application lodgement ), unless you are exempt. Holders of passports from UK, USA, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand are exempt. There is also other exemptions for ministers of religion and high income earmers (greater than $180,000 per year);
  • have the required skills and qualifications for the position (you must hold any mandatory registration, license or professional membership if required)
  • meet health and character requirements;
  • meet the requirements of the stream in which you apply for the visa.


  Temporary Residence Transition Direct Entry
Skills Assessment Not required Required
English IELTS 5 IELTS 6

Tel: +61 2 9220 6100

Fax: +61 2 8569 0571