Employer Nomination Scheme Subclass 186 (Permanent)


  • As a permanent visa, Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) visa allows Australian employers to sponsor overseas workers to work in positions that are not able to be filled by Australian labour.

  • Different from TSS visa (Subclass 482) which takes applicants a few years to become eligible for permanent residency, Subclass 186 is one-step permanent residency, but have higher requirements at the same time.

  • This visa is also for holders of TSS Visa (Subclass 482) to obtain permanent residency through a two-stage process.

  • Holders of Subclass 186 visa will need to work at least 2 years for the sponsoring employer following the grant of the visa.

  • You may include your family in your visa application so your entire family can migrate together.


Step 1 – Nomination application

  • the employer nominates the applicant to fill a full-time position.​

Step 2 – Skills assessment (Direct Entry stream only)

  • to have the applicant’s professional skills assessed by assessing authorities

Step 3 – Visa application

  • the applicant lodges the Subclass 186 visa application.

3 Streams

  • Direct Entry stream – this applies if applicants: 

    • have an occupation on the Occupation List for Subclass 186 Visa

    • have 3 years of work experience in the nominated occupation;

    • have not worked on a Subclass 457 visa/TSS 482 visa with their nominating employer for 2 or 3 years 

  • Temporary Residence Transition stream – this applies if applicants:

    • have worked on a Subclass 457 visa/TSS 482 visa in the same occupation with their nominating employer for 2 or 3 years

    • are nominated and offered a permanent position by their employer​

  • Labour Agreement stream –  this applies if:

    • standard visa programs are not available, for example, because of an applicant’s low English proficiency

    • employer must first negotiate a labour agreement with Commonwealth/state government

    • terms and conditions of the labour agreement are flexible and negotiable, allowing for concessions and lower visa requirements


For employer:

Be a lawfully operating business with no adverse information unless exempt

Demonstrate a genuine need for a full-time position ongoing for at least 2 years

Nominated occupation meets caveats requirements (if applicable)

Establish the position cannot be filled by an Australian citizen or permanent resident through Labour Market Testing (the position must be advertised strictly in accordance with migration law)

Pay the nominee (applicant)  at least annual market salary rate (AMSR) which cannot be lower than:

  • $70,000 + superannuation
  • ​caveats if applicable

Ensure the employment conditions that will apply to the nominee are not less favourable than those that apply/would apply to an Australian worker performing equivalent work at the same location.

Pay Skilling Australians Fund levy

For applicant:

The nominated occupation is on Occupation List for Subclass 186 Visa

Aged under 45 (for Direct Entry stream) or 50 (for Temporary Residence Transition stream) unless exempt

Have at least competent English (please note certain occupations, such as Accountant, are required to have a higher level of English proficiency)

For Direct Entry stream only – obtain a positive skills assessment unless exempt 

Have at least 3 years of full-time (or equivalent part-time) experience in the nominated occupation (unless you apply in Temporary Residency Transition stream and are covered by Grandfathering Provisions) (please note higher experience, such as 12 months of full-time or equivalent part-time experience in the nominated occupation in the last 3 years, is required for certain occupations by skills assessing authorities)

have relevant qualification and registration/licence (if applicable)

Meet health and character requirements

COVID-19 Concessions

The concession period commenced on 1 February 2020 and is ongoing. If the sponsoring business has been impacted by COVID-19 and during the concession period, the employer had to temporarily change the employment arrangements of their subclass 457/482 visa holders in any of the following ways:

  • reduced hours of work

  • reduced salary

  • reduced to part-time hours

  • unable to offer full-time hours

  • temporary stand down​

Then the employer as regarded as having employed the subclass 457/482 holders for a specified period as outlined above. However, the business will need to provide evidence that the applicant has been temporarily stood down, been on unpaid leave or had their hours reduced due to COVID-19 but their employment was not terminated.


Applicants may be in or outside Australia at the time of application and visa grant.

Duration of Stay

This is a permanent visa that allows you to stay permanently in Australia. However, its travel facility expires after 5 years so you will need to apply for Resident Return Visa (Subclass 155 & 157)  or Australian citizenship (if eligible) if you wish to travel overseas and back to Australia after the expiry date.

Tricks and Common Reasons for Refusal

1 – The Genuineness of the Offered Position

Clearly, one of the most common reasons for a refusal for Subclass 186 visa is the offered position is deemed as not genuine by the Immigration which believed it was created mainly or solely for the purpose of assisting the visa applicant in gaining a visa. The Immigration made this decision by taking into consideration a whole range of factors including but not limited to:

  • The size of the sponsoring business

  • the structure of the business

  • the applicant’s overall immigration history

  • the applicant’s overall circumstances

The Immigration’s decision is a judgment call based on the supporting documentation and information submitted and the highly discretionary nature of the decision has caused a staggering number of refusals and will keep doing the same.

Consequently, part of our process for assisting you with Subclass 186 visa is help you and your employer prepare a vitally important, formal, exclusive and comprehensive legal submission by drawing on our nearly 20 years’ industry experience, convincingly addressing and arguing every single factor to your advantage because we are fully aware of what factors the Immigration is looking at exactly and the rationale and mentality behind every one of them. We are positive this will significantly increase your chances of a visa grant, just as it has for our previous clients.

2 – Failing to Demonstrate Professional Skills Properly Against Skills Assessment Criteria

Apparently, skills assessment is the first step and challenge of the entire Subclass 186 visa process as it can be complex and even confusing, requiring an exquisite and to-the-point demonstration of your skills not only in the form of supporting paperwork, but sometime also practical/technical assessment. Therefore rushing into skills assessment without knowing exactly what a skills assessing body is looking for is highly risky and quite often leads to an unfavourable outcome. This is why hiring an immigration professional to assist you right at the beginning is important. 

3 – ”Irrelevant” Work Experience

One of the most unfortunate yet common scenarios is the applicant’s work experience is deemed irrelevant to their chosen occupation by skills assessing authority. This is typically because the authorities decided the applicant was not actually performing the job duties they claimed and that even the applicant had chosen a wrong occupation to start with. When this happens, things go straight to square one, which is certainly frustrating. We have had numerous clients that went through exactly this before turning to us for professional assistance.

We hence noticed it is not they didn’t do those jobs, but they simply failed to present their day-to-day professional activities in the submitted paperwork in a proper and acceptable manner to the assessing body. In view of this, we have made it part of our routine to thoroughly check through and revise every client’s work references, résumé and other employment-related paperwork where possible to ensure they are in line with what the authorities expect from your occupation so that you end up with a big smile.

4 – Unfamiliarity with How the Australian Immigration Works and Its Mentality

In many cases, applicants prepare and submit their supporting documentation in a disorderly way, giving the Immigration a hard time digging through tons of paperwork to get things in the right order when picking up a new visa application. This will potentially lead to endless back-and-forth clarification and explanation, wasting both sides lots of time and can even result in a refusal of Subclass 186 visa.

This is common since applying for a visa, especially a permanent one, is the very first time to most applicants. For this reason, our team have developed our own system for labelling, coding, structuring and, where necessary, cross-referencing documentation so your application can be submitted in the most presentable and logical manner. Making your application stand out among all competitors has been our goal from day one.

5 – Careless Yet Costly Mistakes

Applying for migration is seen as a delicate work of art due to the staggering amount of attention, paperwork, and details involved. A seemingly minor/harmless error such as a typo in your résumé, a date entered wrong, or a tick in the wrong box in the lengthy visa application form can prove costly as the Immigration processes all visa applications strictly in accordance with migration law, in particular Migration Act 1958 and Migration Regulations 1994. Even a small error can be regarded as failing to satisfy a visa requirement and therefore lead to a visa refusal. To minimise such incidents, our team pay extra attention while editing and drafting every client’s paperwork and always proofread and also conduct a final review of documentation before submission.

6 – Applications Not Decision-ready

Another common reason for refusal, even instant refusal, for Subclass 186 visa is submitting an application without all the required documentation. This happens when the application was prepared carelessly, or when the applicant was trying to rush an application for whatever reason (e.g. meeting a cut-off date of a major migration policy change which happens almost each and every year and often catches people off guard).

Even with 43 years of team experience, we handle each application cautiously and meticulously like our first to ensure nothing slips through the cracks. Should a sudden change of policy hit and impact you, we are more than capable of advising you how to salvage your application in terms of what documents are mandatory at the time of submission and what can wait so you are never in danger of a straight-up visa refusal upon submission.


With this visa, you may:​

  • migrate to Australia together with your family

  • stay and live in Australia permanently

  • potentially bring your extended family members to Australia permanently on parent visa or visa intended for other relatives

  • access various government benefits, including but not limited to:

    • pension

    • unemployment and job-seeking benefits

    • concession cards for commuting

    • benefits associated with new-born baby

    • interest-free school loan

  • travel overseas and back to Australia without limitations for any purposes (e.g. overseas holiday, visiting family and/or attending family matters in home country)

  • access Australia’s public health care scheme (Medicare) which essentially provides free medical consultations, operations and hospitalization for a wide range of medical conditions

  • work in Australia without any limitations

  • study in Australia without any limitations

  • attend free English language course provided by Australian government

  • apply for Australian citizenship when eligible

Application Fees​

You may include your family in the application so your family can migrate to Australia together.​​

  • Application fee for nomination: $540

  • Skilling Australian Fund levy:

    • $3000 (if annual turnover is lower than $10m); or

    • $5000 (if annual turnover is over $10m)

  • Application fee for visa – First Instalment:

    • Main applicant: $4240

    • Each secondary applicant aged 18 or over: $2120

    • Each secondary applicant under 18: $1060

  • Application fee for visa – Second Instalment (this applies if any applicant at least 18 is assessed as not having functional English at the time of application)

    • Main applicant: $9800

    • Each secondary applicant: $4890​

Please note: you may incur third-party charges, for example, for translation, skills assessment, English test, police certificate and health exam.

Processing Time​

Kindly note the processing time constantly varies. Please contact us for update.

  • Direct Entry stream​

    • 75% of applications: 6 months

    • 90% of applications: 9 months

  • Temporary Residence Transition stream​​

    • 75% of applications: 12 months

    • 90% of applications: 21 months​

  • Labour Agreement stream​

    • 75% of applications: 6 months

    • 90% of applications: 24 months

Our Unbeatable Services - How Exactly We Make It Hassle-free


  • Let’s face it – visa applications are complex, especially when you are not an expert in Australian immigration law - that is Migration Act 1958 and Migration Regulations 1994.

  • Simply put – our visa and immigration legal services are truly unbeatable.

  • This is because our immigration lawyers and registered migration agents in Melbourne do all of the 40 Things in Our Exclusive 5-step Services for you to:

    • give you a stress-free visa application journey;
    • maximise your chances of a successful application outcome.
  • Can you find such detailed and specific services elsewhere? We guarantee you can’t.

  • This way, you know your money really is well-spent.

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Talha Farooq
Talha Farooq
This review is for Danny, the gentleman who provided me an excellent consultation regarding my skilled visa application. His comprehensive guidance and in-depth knowledge were impressive, as he answered all my questions in great detail. Danny's clear explanations helped me understand the complex visa process, making me feel much more confident about my next steps. I highly recommend this visa consultancy firm for anyone seeking expert advice on their visa journey.
Julio Valencia
Julio Valencia
I recently used Gold Medal Visa Agency to organize a partner visa, and I couldn't be happier with their service. From the moment we contacted them, their professionalism and dedication shone through. Their team was incredibly knowledgeable, guiding us through each step with clear instructionsThe communication was top-notch; they were always available to answer our questions promptly. The personalized approach made the entire process feel smooth and stress-free, despite the complexities involved in visa applications.Thank you Danny!!
sayali harde
sayali harde
Danny has been super helpful and the consultation was very helpful.
Vineet Prabhakar
Vineet Prabhakar
I had an insightful consultation with Danny He. He was very specific in terms of visa terms & conditions, requirements and the entire costing involved. Highly recommend Gold Medal Visa
Dua E Zehra
Dua E Zehra
Highly recommended
Mark Leaser Correll
Mark Leaser Correll
Had a good experience, helped with visa information and advice.
Rumaisah Zaman
Rumaisah Zaman
Danny was my consultant. They're very knowledgeable and helped me a lot. They follow up and are very responsive, which I really appreciated
Jenny Kheng
Jenny Kheng
My consultation with Danny was an incredibly informative session. He thoroughly answered all of my questions and also went through each step in detail, which clarified the entire process and made it clear what the next actions should be. I appreciate his professionalism, in-depth knowledge of migration law, and excellent customer service.
Jessy Wallace
Jessy Wallace
Danny was fantastic to deal with and very thorough, thank you Danny and team!
Hungjing Tiong
Hungjing Tiong
Danny is very professional and experience . He got the experience of very rarely encounter cases which other immigration consultants do not have .Thanks for Danny help . Highly recommended.Danny 非常专业和经验。他有许多罕见特殊情况的的案例经验, 是我质询好几家中介公司无法给予的解答。谢谢Danny . 非常推荐。
John Anderson
John Anderson
Thank you Danny for your very professional service in the successful granting of my Vietnamese wife Phuong's Temporary Partner Visa 820. It has taken 10 months of hard work by myself & Phuong together with your detailed checklists & advice to guide us in what we had to do to prepare all the documents. And that was with two additional detailed submissions requested by DHA after our initial application in Aug 2023. It is a far more rigorous and exhausting process than I envisaged before the start and I was pleased to have your assurances later that we had done an impeccable job & we just needed to be patient (despite having to delay our booked flights to Vietnam for Tet). But we seemed to trigger an approval after sending an attractive Australia Flag t-shirt loyalty photo of Phuong! Your knowledge of Aust Migration Law & the visa process is very thorough as evidenced on your website, and your up-front, one-only professional service fee was very fair & reasonable for the stage 1 820 Visa that was granted after 8 months. We are pleased to give you a 5 Star review at this time to follow up our initial similar review. We look forward to continuing our excellent working relationship when we are eligible to start the stage 2 801 Permanent Visa process after another 16 months to further prove our loving & genuine relationship that will be a 3 year marriage then.
Harry Singh
Harry Singh
Danny and team have always been prompt and precise with their responses to the type of inquiries I have put forth so far - very supportive and informative.I highly recommend this business.
Darren Grimshaw
Darren Grimshaw
Danny and his team were extremely professional. They were always on hand to answer any of my questions and where extremely knowledgeable about migration Law. I would 100% recommend them to anyone who is looking for help to get they're visa.
Amar Abdella Oumar
Amar Abdella Oumar
Danny was incredibly helpful when I seek advice about my partner visa application process. He diligently followed up and maintained communication via email and phone. I highly recommend Danny to anyone seeking assistance with their immigration journey.
Joseph Franco
Joseph Franco
I'm Very happy for them there Very profesional and helpful
Akash Agrahari
Akash Agrahari
Danny is really professional and gives the best advice, If you are looking for someone who will take care of your immigration needs and be available to answer your calls promptly, look no further than Gold Medal Visa.
Neville Hazell
Neville Hazell
I've had an initial consultation with Danny. I was very pleased that this was in person - this is the best way to establish a rapport. Throughout the interview he was very professional, he paid careful attention to my preparation and was very clear with his guidance. He specified the next steps and critical path, showing his knowledge and experience. I was fully satisfied with this consultation.
Krisha Patel
Krisha Patel
Was really really helpfulDid clear all my queriesMet Danny and he did clear everything in my head was really a calm and composed meeting and felt that I had options to select and no pressure from agenciesHighly recommended if you have to consult for any visa application this one should definitely be your top list
Usman Ali
Usman Ali
Danny is easily one of the best consultants I’ve ever talked to. Willingly answered every question me and my wife had. Exposed us to a lot of different opportunities and helped clear our mind. Cheers mate and we’ll see you soon!
Pawani Liyanage
Pawani Liyanage
Danny is definitely the right person to help you with your journey here in Australia. He is quick to respond and with his positive attitude he always make sure you understand everything before proceeding any further steps. Also the company fees are extremely reasonable. I am highly recommended.
Sander Savrimuthu
Sander Savrimuthu
Danny is a legend, he knows his jobs very well. Highly recommended.
Sarona Faamate
Sarona Faamate
We have spent 1 hour of consulting with Mr Danny and I should say we have satisfied with the service provided and we received a lot of answers we have been looking for & new knowledge particularly on PR. The time frame was absolute professional and the way he shared his professions regarding our situation was satisfying. I absolute recommend Danny and his rare service. Thank you so much Danny for helping us understand clearly to sort of visas we really need to look into. Looking forward to hear from you along the way😊 God bless!
Gabe Olver
Gabe Olver
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Isabella Ingrassia
Isabella Ingrassia
Danny was really helpful in explaining the step by step process of applying to the partner visa. He answered all of our questions and made the process very clear.