Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS)

ENS stands for Employer Nominated Scheme and includes a non-regional Employer Nominated Scheme and also the regional sponsored version; Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS). The overall procedure is that a position is nominated by the supporting employer and then the visa applicant will apply for a permanent visa. Usually the nomination and visa applications are lodged together unless there is some doubt as to the nomination. There is an extra step of approval by a Regional Certifying Board (RCB) with RSMS required before a nomination can be approved (see below).

110_F_61326201_IEEPH6FobAxdSuYyN3tEjwMZR38awDv4RSMS is the government’s top processing priority permanent visa and it has increased the allocation significantly. Non –regional ENS visas are second priority ahead of the old Skilled –Sponsored (sub-class 176) and Skilled- Regional Sponsored (sub-classes 475 and 487) but still well above old skilled visa categories (Sub-class 175) and SkillSelect accessed visas such as the Skilled – Independent (sc189), Skilled – Nominated (sc190) and Skilled – Regional (Provisional) (sc489) visas.

 New ENS (SC186 & 187) visas occupation list

Employers wishing to sponsor under the ENS or RSMS can access the SkillSelect data-base in addition to sourcing their own candidates. See Skilled Migration

Decision Ready’ ENS & RSMS ChecklistsUpdate

DIBP have advised that from late December 2013 registered migration agents will no longer be able to lodge Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS)(Subclass 186) and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS)(Subclass 187) visa applications with the department via the ‘Decision Ready’ process. All applications lodged under the ENS & RSMS visa programmes will now be queued and allocated by date of lodgement with the department.


ENS /RSMS visa applicants are experiencing longer-than-usual processing times.

Processing times in these categories have increased. This is largely because of an influx of new applications since April 2017, when the overhaul of Australia’s skilled visa programmes was announced. According to the DIBP, applications are taking anywhere from six to 15 months (sometimes longer).

Applicants should be prepared to experience lengthy and inconsistent processing times associated with these types of applications.

For more information on Employer Nomination or Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) please click on the links.