The changes announced by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship ('DIAC') in relation to the Employer Nomination Scheme earlier this year are now in effect.

While in many instances the criteria remain the same, some points to note:

  • Applicants applying on the basis of having worked on their Subclass 457 Business Long Stay visa ('Subclass 457 visa') for two years, otherwise known as the temporary residence transition stream, must be sponsored by the same sponsor for permanent residence which sponsored the Subclass 457 visa.
  • Applicants may alternatively apply on the basis of having obtained a positive Skills Assessment from the relevant skills assessing authority for their occupation in addition to showing three years of relevant employment experience in that occupation. This is known as the direct entry stream.
  • Exemptions to the above streams are available if the applicant is being offered annual earnings of $180,001 or more. Further exemptions are available to holders of the Subclass 444 and 461 visas who have been working in their occupation for at least two years.
  • The Sponsor must be offering a full-time position of at least two years duration to the applicant (note that a permanent offer of employment is sufficient to meet this criterion as opposed to a fixed term contract).
  • The Sponsor must vouch that the applicant is being offered equivalent terms and conditions of employment to what would be offered to an equivalent Australian employee performing the same occupation.
  • Applicants must be less than 50 years of age, unless certain very limited exceptions apply.
  • All applications are to be lodged electronically in relation to the Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme visa.


DIAC's SkillsSelect website has gone live. This website is part of DIAC's initiative to create a central place for online lodgement in relation to General Skilled Migration visas, Business Skills visas and certain Employer Sponsored visas.

Applicants are required to submit an 'Expression of Interest' via this website in order to then receive an invitation from DIAC in order to apply for the relevant visa.

Note that applicants for the Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme visa who have an employer willing to sponsor them for permanent residence are not required to apply through SkillsSelect by lodging an Expression of Interest.

Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold ('TSMIT')

The Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold in relation to the Subclass 457 visa has increased to AUD51,400.

Sponsors must show that the position to be filled by the sponsored employee commands a base salary of at least this amount.

This minimum base rate of pay is indexed annually.