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ENS Visa

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


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.

Obligations under the ENS (SC186) vis

What happens if I leave my employer (PR sponsor) without completing the 2/3 years of employment (depending upon my temporary visa), as per my 2/3 year employment contract? Will my 186 visa be cancelled or revoked?

This is a common question we receive from people who have already been granted Permanent Residency via the subclass 186 visa.

The answer depends. If you applied for the 186 visa without a genuine intention to work for your employer for the full 2/3-year period, and it is determined that the application was made with fraudulent or misleading claims, then you can lose your 186 visa.

However, if the application was made on genuine grounds, but the employment relationship has subsequently broken down, or ended due to the nature of normal staff turnover (or other standard employment issues) then your 186 visa will continue without any problems.

Once your 186 visa is granted, you have full permanent residency rights and therefore have no enforceable obligation that prevents you from changing your employer or your role. Generally speaking, the Department is unlikely to cancel your visa if you change employers unless you have provided false or misleading information in your visa application (as previously mentioned). It is also important to keep in mind that both you and your employer must comply with applicable Australian workplace and employment laws throughout your employment.

There is no condition on a 186 visa that states you must remain with your employer for 2/3 years; likewise, there’s no condition that your employer must keep you for 2/3 years either.

To be safe, you have to at least adhere to the following:

  1. You must commence employment with your employer within 6 months of being granted the visa; and
  2. Once you have commenced employment, and before considering to leave the job before 2/3 years, have made a genuine attempt to stay in the position with your employer.

At the end of the day, as long as you and your employer are on amicable terms if things end, then everything will be okay. Make sure to check your employment contract to adhere to the termination clause in relation to providing the correct notice period if you or your employer decide to end your working relationship.

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

Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS)