Australian Employer Nominated Visa Categories – 186, 482 / TSS

Employer Nominated Stream (ENS visas) – 186 and TSS 482 Visas  – This visa lets skilled workers, who are nominated by their employer, live and work in Australia on a permanent or temporary basis

The following is a brief overview of the ENS stream.

Note that the criteria and requirements are complex, and you should not apply unless you have received professional advice on your eligibility

Permanent Residence VisaTemporary Residence Visas
Visa Subclass(es)Subclass 186Subclass 482 (TSS visa)
Type of VisaPermanent ResidenceTemporary Residence

This visa lets skilled workers, who are nominated by their employer, live and work in Australia permanently.

Direct Entry stream

  • This visa lets skilled workers, who are nominated by an employer, live and work in Australia permanently.
  • you must be nominated by an Australian employer
  • your occupation must be on the relevant list of eligible skilled occupations.
  • you must have at least Competent English

Labour agreement stream

  • This visa lets skilled workers who are nominated by their employer live and work in Australia permanently. The Labour Agreement stream might be for you if you currently work, or will work, for an employer who is party to a labour agreement.
  • The employer must have a labour agreement

Temporary Residence Transition stream

  • This visa lets skilled workers, who are nominated by their employer, live and work in Australia permanently.
  • You must hold a 457, TSS or related bridging visa A, B or C
  • Usually, you must have worked for your employer full-time for at least three years
  • You must be nominated by your employer

This temporary visa lets an employer sponsor a suitably skilled worker to fill a position they can’t find a suitably skilled Australian to fill

  • Short-term Stream:  The occupation must be on the short-term skilled occupations list (STSOL)
  • Medium-term Stream: Your occupation must on either the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) or the Regional Occupation List (ROL)
  • Labour agreement stream:  Your employer has to have a labour agreement.

Primary visa applicants are must prove they meet certain minimum standards of English language proficiency unless exemptions apply

The TSS is for skilled workers who wish to work in Australia on a temporary basis. The steps for getting a TSS are:

  1. Employer applies to be a sponsor
  2. Employer is approved to be a sponsor
  3. Employer nominates you for a skilled position
  4. Employee applies for the visa
  5. Visa outcome
    The steps need to be done in order. You do not have to wait for one step to be completed before moving on to the next.
Application Requirements
  • You must have the necessary skills for the job (skills assessment)
  • You must be nominated by an Australian employer
  • You must meet the health and character requirements
  • have an occupation that is on the list of eligible skilled occupations
  • have at least 3 years relevant work experience, unless you are exempt
  • have a positive skills assessment, unless you are exempt
  • you must be under 45 years of age when you apply.
  • You are exempt from the age criteria if any of the following applies to you:
    • you are nominated as an academic (university lecturer or faculty head at Academic Level B, C D or E) by a university in Australia
    • you are nominated as a scientist, researcher or technical (scientific) specialist at ANZSCO skill level 1 or 2 by an Australian scientific government agency
    • you currently hold a Special Category (subclass 444) or New Zealand citizen’s family member (subclass 461) visa and have worked for the employer who nominated you, in the nominated position, for at least 2 years in the last 3 years immediately before you apply. The 2 years excludes periods of unpaid leave.
  • You must have your skills assessed (skills assessment)
  • You might be required to sit an English Test
  • You must be nominated by:
    • a Standard business sponsor or
    • someone who has applied to be a Standard business sponsor
  • Meet Health, and character requirements
  • You are personally liable for all your healthcare costs while you are in Australia. Medical insurance helps limit your financial liability.
    • You must have adequate health cover for the whole of your stay to be granted this visa. Your cover should cover you for medically necessary treatment, including transport.
Processing times
  • 75% of applications: 11 months
  • 90% of applications: 16 months

NOTE: processing time excludes time for a skills assessment to be done and approval of the employer as sponsor

  • 75% of applications in 38 – 45 days
  • 90% of applications in 74 – 90 days

NOTE: processing time excludes time for a skills assessment to be done and approval of the employer as sponsor

For a personal assessment, and specific advice on your options for one of the employer sponsored / nominated visas, and to receive professional advice on the steps you need to follow, including the skills assessment criteria, Register with us

Subclass 491 Visa (Invited Pathway) – Provisional Residence State Sponsored Visa (Skilled Visa) for Australia

The 491 visa is a skilled (points tested and invited) visa for applicants that are sponsored by a state or territory government (or eligible family), and that intend applying for a provisional residence visa (as a pathway towards Permanent Residence)

* a holder of a 491 visa signs an undertaking to reside in the sponsoring state or territory for the first 3 years after taking up residence, and must live and work in that designated area for 3 years as requirement to then apply for a permanent residence visa


  • You must be invited to apply for the visa
  • You must lodge an EOI
  • You will need to be nominated by an Australian state or territory or sponsored by an eligible relative
  • You must be under 45 to be invited
  • The Pass Mark (points Test): you need a minimum of 65 points (including state sponsorship points which adds 15 points)

Visa Type: Provisional (Temporary) Residence

Processing time (for the visa stage):

  • 75% of applications: 7 months
  • 90% of applications: 8 months

Application Details

Holders of a 491 visa can:

  • stay in Australia for up to 5 years
  • live, work and study in a specified region of Australia
  • travel to and from Australia as many times as you want, while the visa is valid
  • For skilled workers who want to live and work in Australia
  • You can bring your family
  • If you get this visa, you might be able to apply for the Skilled Regional (Permanent) visa (subclass 887)

How do you apply ?

  • You have to have a Nominated Occupation for Australian Skills Visa on the relevant skilled occupation list list AND on the specific state’s occupation list (and fully satisfy the criteria for that occupation)
  • You can apply offshore or onshore (unless you have a condition on your visa prohibiting you from making an application in Australia eg. a 8503 condition)

This is a 4 step application

  1. You have to pass a skills assessment by a relevant skills assessment authority
  2. Then submit an EOI
  3. Then be invited to apply for state sponsorship, and when invited, apply for state sponsorship  OR if sponsored by eligible family then have the sponsorship in place (note eligible family must reside in a designated area in order to sponsor, and be settled permanent residents or Australian citizens)
  4. Then, when invited to apply (you get an immediate invite to apply from the DoHA when then state approves your sponsorship), apply for your visa within 60 days

You must satisfy other criteria such as:

Note however that many applications will realistically only receive an invite if you are able to claim high points AND meet state specific criteria

To qualify for the Skilled Sponsored (Provisional) Visa under the relative sponsorship nomination, your sponsor must have lived for at least 1 year and still be a resident of one of the Designated Areas outlined below.

You must be related to the person being sponsored OR their partner as one of the following:

•    A non-dependent child – including a stepchild
•    A parent – including a step–parent
•    A brother or sister – including a step-sibling
•    A niece or nephew – including a step–niece or nephew
•    An aunt or uncle – including a step–aunt or uncle

Designated Areas

Skilled Designated Area Sponsored Visa Postal Codes
State or TerritoryDesignated Area
South AustraliaAnywhere
Northern TerritoryAnywhere
Australian Capital TerritoryAnywhere
QueenslandPostcode areas: 4019-4028, 4037-4050, 4079-4100, 4114, 4118, 4124-4150, 4158-4168, 4180-4899
(anywhere except Brisbane metropolitan area)
Western AustraliaAnywhere
New South WalesPostcode areas: 2311-2312, 2328-2333, 2336-2490, 2535-2551, 2575-2739, 2787-2898
(anywhere except Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong)

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