Employer Nomination Schemes

The latest range of modifications to Subclass 186 (Employer Nomination Scheme) and Subclass 187 (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme) were introduced on March 18th 2018, finding many points of parity with the broad series of recent migration legislation amendments whilst, quite predictably, tightening requirements for both applicants and their nominating employers.

Because these visas cover employer-nominated permanent residency in Australia stringent regulations apply, requiring preconditions to be fully understood and substantially met prior to proceeding.

Each application itself is a two-step process requiring first, a nomination by an approved Australian employer, followed promptly by an application under one of the specifically nominated “streams”.

Temporary Residence Stream (TRT)

Workers who are already in Australia and who are holding either the current Temporary Skill Shortage 482 visa, or its predecessor, the Temporary Work 457 visa, would be the most likely candidates for the TRT scheme.

To qualify, they generally must have worked for their nominating employer, in the nominated position, for at least three out of the past four years. Some concessions do apply however, subject to the date upon which a 457 visa was granted.

Direct Entry Stream (DE) and Labour Agreement Stream (LA)

These two remaining avenues rely almost totally upon the employers’ position in the application process, covering situations where an applicant may have worked only briefly in Australia, or where the nominating employer may be party to a labour agreement with the government; one which holds provisions for a pathway to permanent residence.

Strengthened criteria for applicants

With the introduction of these most recent changes, the age limit has been dropped from 50 years. Applicants must now be no older than 45 years at the time of lodging their applications.

All applications will now be assessed under the previously introduced “occupation lists” covering skills listed on the Medium and Long Term Strategic Skills List, with additional inclusions to support regional employers. Skills must be evidenced and documented, applicants either holding appropriate licensing for their occupations or being fully eligible to hold mandatory licensing.

Tightened health, character and English language requirements are crucial for each applicant. Preparation is of paramount importance.

For the nominating employer

The Annual Market Salary Framework (AMSF) will be applied to both the TRT and DE streams of 186 and 187 visas. Currently, this framework guarantees a minimum wage of $53,900.

In addition, nominating employers may be required to pay a contribution to the “Skilling Australia Fund”; $3,000 for small businesses (up to $10 million turnover) or $5,000 for larger businesses.

It stands to reason that the nominating company must also be established, reputable and financially stable. It must be able to satisfy the Department of Home Affairs of its ability to lawfully and actively operate in its field for at least the next two years and also to employ the nominated employee at the AMSF for a minimum of two years.

Don’t venture into a minefield without a guide

In the complex jungle of immigration, it really does pay dividends to obtain professional assistance; skilled practitioners who are specialised in the field, being comprehensively trained to recognise the traps and the trends. It can save so much time and avoid so much unnecessary expense.

For more information on this or on any relating issues, contact the migration experts – Sellanes Clark and Associates – specialising in all immigration matters.


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