Understanding the Subclass 186 Visa: Your Pathway to Permanent Residency in Australia

by overseas consultancy
Published: July 9, 2024 (2 weeks ago)

The Subclass 186 visa, also known as the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa, is a permanent residency visa for skilled workers. It allows you to live and work in Australia permanently. This visa is ideal for individuals who have been offered a job by an Australian employer and wish to stay in the country on a long-term basis.

Key Features of the Subclass 186 Visa

  1. Permanent Residency: This visa grants you permanent residency in Australia, allowing you to live, work, and study anywhere in the country.
  2. Work Flexibility: You can work for your nominating employer or any other employer in Australia.
  3. Family Inclusion: You can include your family members in your application, allowing them to enjoy the same benefits.
  4. Healthcare and Social Benefits: Access to Medicare, Australia’s public healthcare system, and other social security benefits.
  5. Pathway to Citizenship: After fulfilling the residency requirements, you can apply for Australian citizenship.

Streams of the Subclass 186 Visa

There are three streams under the Subclass 186 visa:

  1. Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) Stream:
    • For workers who hold a Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (Subclass 482) or another qualifying visa.
    • You must have worked for your nominating employer for at least three years while holding a TSS visa.
  2. Direct Entry Stream:
    • For workers who have never, or only briefly, worked in Australia.
    • You need to have at least three years of relevant work experience and a positive skills assessment.
  3. Labour Agreement Stream:
    • For workers nominated by an employer through a labour agreement.
    • These agreements are for businesses that have negotiated a labour agreement with the Australian government.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the Subclass 186 visa, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Nomination: You must be nominated by an Australian employer.
  • Age: Generally, you must be under 45 years of age, although exemptions may apply.
  • Skills and Qualifications: You must have the required skills, qualifications, and work experience for the position.
  • English Proficiency: You must demonstrate competent English language skills.
  • Health and Character: You must meet health and character requirements.

Application Process

  1. Employer Nomination: Your employer must lodge a nomination application on your behalf.
  2. Prepare Documents: Gather necessary documents, including proof of identity, skills assessment, and English proficiency.
  3. Visa Application: Submit your visa application online through the Department of Home Affairs website.
  4. Medical Examination and Police Checks: Complete a medical examination and obtain police clearance certificates.
  5. Await Decision: Once all documents are submitted, wait for the decision on your visa application.

Tips for a Successful Application

  • Early Preparation: Start preparing your documents early to avoid any last-minute issues.
  • Accurate Documentation: Ensure all documents are complete and accurate to prevent delays.
  • Professional Advice: Consider seeking advice from a migration agent to navigate the application process smoothly.


The Subclass 186 visa provides a valuable pathway to permanent residency for skilled workers in Australia. With its numerous benefits, including the ability to live and work anywhere in Australia, access to healthcare, and a pathway to citizenship, it is an excellent option for those looking to make Australia their permanent home. By understanding the requirements and following the application process diligently, you can successfully obtain the Subclass 186 visa and embark on a new chapter in your life in Australia.