Employer Nomination/Sponsored Migration

The two employer sponsored visa categories are:

·        Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) - Subclass 186, and

·        Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) - Subclass 187

These visas are designed to allow Australian employers to nominate skilled foreign workers for permanent residence in Australia, and to fill vacancies in their business.  While ENS can assist Australian businesses anywhere in Australia to fill vacancies in their business, RSMS can only be used by employers in regional or low population areas in Australia.  Concessional criteria and a wider range of permissible occupations for nomination apply for RSMS applications. The Noosa region is regarded as a Regional Area for the RSMS visa.

ENS and RSMS are each made up of three streams:

·        the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream;

·        the Direct Entry (DE) stream; and

·        the Labour Agreement (LA) stream

The TRT stream is for subclass 457 visa holders who have worked in Australia for their employer in the same occupation for at least the last two years.

The DE stream is for certain skilled foreign workers in Australia or overseas who are unable to meet the TRT requirements.   Some may already be in Australia working, while others may not have entered or worked in Australia.  The DE stream also includes special pathways for high income earners, and certain New Zealanders or New Zealander family members who have been working for their nominating employer for two years.

The LA stream is for persons who are being sponsored to Australia under a Labour Agreement or Regional Migration Agreement which has been specially negotiated with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).

Applicants must usually be aged under 50 years at the time of visa application, but exemptions apply for certain high income earners who have been working for their nominating employer for four years, and certain occupations such as senior academics and scientists.

An application for employer sponsored permanent residence under ENS and under RSMS consists of two parts:

·        Nomination Application - where the nominator (employer) puts forward the position and nominee, and

·        Visa Application - where the nominee applies for permanent residence to fill the nominated position

DE nominations under RSMS have an additional step in that they must also be assessed by a Regional Certifying Body (RCB) before they can be assessed and approved by DIBP. 
Nomination and visa applications can only be lodged online. All applicants can apply from overseas for ENS or RSMS visas, but to apply in Australia applicants must hold a either a substantive visa, or a Bridging A, B or C visa. Applicants are not required to be onshore when their permanent visa is granted.