Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS)
Both ENS and RSMS visas require employer support. In the case of the ENS that support is a nomination (often also generally referred to as sponsorship) of position by the employer. This is the first of a two stage process which is completed by the lodgment of the accompanying permanent visa.
From December 2013 ENS nominations (& visa applications) can no longer be lodged Decision Ready. Applications will be processed in receipt date order.
The Nominating employer must be lawfully operating in Australia, must be financially able to pay the position, must show that they have met the training benchmark –either as a 457 visa sponsor for the last two years, or as a Direct Entry nominator for the last 12 months. The nominating employer and must also pay market salary. The nominated position must be selected from Consolidated Skilled Occupation List (CSOL) Schedule 1 & 2 (see below)
The non-regional ENS visa is not points tested. Applicants must select an ANZSCO occupation from the CSOL- Schedule 1 & 2.
There are three pathways to apply for an ENS visa;
- Direct Entry Stream – A skill assessment from the relevant skill assessment authority (unless exempted) plus 3 years post qualification experience / the executive salary category ($250,000+ p.a.). Employers will also need to show that it meets either training benchmarks A or B (similar to the 457 visa program) and intends to pay market salary prior to being able to nominate an applicant(s).The age threshold for the ENS Direct Entry visa will be lowered to 45 on the 1 July 2017.
Applicants will also be required to have a score of 6 in each of the 4 parts of the IELTS unless they are in an exempted class of applicants;
- Temporary Residence Transition Stream – working on a 457 visa (the only qualifying visa) in the same occupation as the nominated position for a period of 2 years of the 3 years prior to application.
Where the employee has worked for the ENS nominator, employers will be required to show that they have met their continuing training commitment since sponsorship approval and market salary obligations under the 457 visa program
Applicants will also be required to have a score of 5 in each of the 4 parts of the IELTS unless they are in an exempted class of applicants; or
- Agreement Stream (includinng Labour agreements and Regional Migration Agreements)
Once granted, apart from the usual work health & safety obligations, the successful non-regional ENS visa holder will become a permanent resident without conditions.
Exceptional circumstances are no longer available for age, English and skill prior to application. There have been prescribed exemptions to these three factors set out in the Migration Regulations which appear to be much more restrictive – particularly age (maximum 50 years).
For further information on RSMS – Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme please click on the link.