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Understanding Employer Sponsored Permanent Residence

Employer sponsored Permanent Residency

Navigating employer sponsored permanent residence applications can be complex. To help with this we have provided an overview of these below.

Employer sponsored permanent residence is broken up into the following two visa categories:

  1. Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa (187 visa)

    The 187 visa is designed for skilled workers living and working regionally. Regional locations are defined by their postcode. Please check with Hammond Taylor prior to lodging a 187 visa to make sure the postcode you are employed in is regional.

  2. Employer Nomination Scheme Visa (186 visa)

    The 186 visa is designed for skilled workers in metropolitan areas, but may also be used by skilled workers in regional areas.

186/187 visa streams

The 186/187 visas have two streams (or pathways) through which applicants can apply. These are the Direct Entry (DE) and Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) streams.

The TRT stream is for employees who have worked with their employer in the same nominated occupation for 3 years full-time on a 482 (previously 457 visa), or 2 years if subject to transitional arrangements discussed below.

The DE stream is used for employees who do not meet this work requirement.

Similarities between visa types and streams

There are a number of similarities between the 186 and 187 visas including:  

  • The employee’s nominated occupation must be on the Medium to Long-term Skills Shortage List  (MLTSSL).
  • Age limit for the employee is 45 years at the time of application (unless exemptions apply).
  • The employee must have a competent level of English (unless exemptions apply).
  • Employer must offer a full time skilled position for no less than 2 years from grant of the visa.
  • Employer must pay the sponsored employee at least as favourably as an Australian in the same role with the employee’s level of skills and experience. 
  • If the employment ceases to be available before the visa is granted the visa will be refused or can be withdrawn.

Differences between visa types and streams

We have included below a comparison of the differences between the 186, 187 and TRT and DE streams. These differences will impact which visa option and stream is most advantageous for an employee to apply under. Please contact Hammond Taylor if you would like assistance to confirm which options are best for your circumstances.

 

186 (TRT)

186 (DE)

187 (TRT)

187 (DE)

Regional Certifying Body Assessment

N

N

N

Y

Skill Assessment

N

Y

N

Y*

Worked for 3 yrs with a sponsor on a 457/482 visa

Y

N

Y

N

3 years of full-time work experience (any employer)

N

Y

N

Y

Health Waiver available

Y

N

Y

N

*trade occupations unless qualifications were obtained in Australia.

Terms from the table

  1. Regional Certifying Body Assessment: Approval by a local body which looks at whether the employee’s skills are needed in the local area
  2. Skill Assessment: A letter from an industry body confirming the employee has the skills required to perform the occupation in Australia. Each occupation is allocated to a specific skill assessing body.
  3. Health Waiver: If the employee or a member of their family do not meet the health requirement then there is a discretion for the Department of Home Affairs to waive this.

Transitional arrangements

Those who held or had applied for a 457 visa, on or before 18 April 2017 are eligible for transitional arrangements if they lodge an application in the TRT stream for either a 186 or 187 visa. These include:

  • Working for your employer for 2 (not 3) years before applying
  • Age limit of 50
  • Ability to apply regardless of whether your occupation is on the MLTSSL.

Who can pay the costs of the application?

The costs may be shared between employer and employee except that the employer must pay for the Skilling Australians Fund Levy (SAF). The SAF is $3,000 for employers with a turnover of under $10 million or $5,000 for employers with a turnover of $10 million or more.

Next steps

Before applying for a 186 or 187 visa under either stream we recommend you speak to a Migration Agent who can assess your individual circumstances. Please contact Hammond Taylor if you would like to discuss your situation in more detail.