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Do you want to sponsor someone to work and live in Australia on a permanent resident work visa? If you meet the requirements, you could be eligible to sponsor your employees for an employer sponsored visa.  

About the 186 visa 

The 186 visa is a permanent residency visa requiring an employer’s sponsorship within Australia. It allows skilled workers to live in Australia permanently while working for a nominated employer. 

There are several benefits of an employer sponsored visa, including the opportunity to live, work and study in Australia permanently, sponsor family members for permanent residency and enrol in the country’s healthcare program, Medicare. 

A 186 visa is valid for five years after the date it was granted; however visa holders can apply for Australian Citizenship or a Resident Return Visa if they choose to extend their stay. 

There are three streams available for Visa 186:

Temporary Residence Transition stream: This visa is best suited to a skilled worker who is already in Australia working on a 457 Visa. If you’ve worked for the same employer for three years (not required to be continuous work, but must be the same organisation), your employer can nominate you for a 186 visa.  

Direct Entry stream: Under this stream, you may not be required to complete three years of work experience. You’ll be able to apply if you complete a positive skills assessment and your employer is willing to nominate you.

Labour Agreement stream: This visa is for skilled workers nominated by an employer who is part of a labour agreement developed alongside the Australian Government. If you currently work for or will work for an employer who is part of a labour agreement, this stream may be suitable for you. 

186 Visa Criteria 

To successfully obtain an employer sponsored visa, applicants are required to meet the following criteria:

  • Be nominated by an Australian employer  
  • Your nominated occupation must be on the list of eligible skilled occupations
  • Have at least three years of skilled work experience in the nominated occupation 
  • Be under the age of 45 
  • Have competency in the English language 

How to Sponsor Someone for a 186 visa 

To nominate an employee, a sponsor must meet the following requirements: 

  • The employer must lodge the nomination to the Australian Department of Home Affairs (DHA) 
  • Have employed the visa applicant for three years or willing to nominate them earlier based on their skills and competency in the relevant occupation. 
  • If applying for the Labour Agreement Stream, the sponsor must have a current labour agreement in place.

Application process 

Both the applicant and the sponsor have roles in the employer sponsored visa application process. The sponsor is firstly required to lodge their nomination to the DHA.

Applicants – how to apply

Once your employer has lodged their nomination, you are required to apply within six months of its approval. 

186 visa requirements include the submission of the following documents:

  • Proof of ID
  • Proof of English language skills
  • The results of your skills assessment 
  • Proof of any qualifications, licences, registrations or references from previous employers
  • Documents proving your good character
  • Certificate of health
  • Proof of health insurance

If you’re bringing your partner, spouse or other family members with you, you’ll also need to submit the following documents:

  • Proof of ID
  • Marriage certificate or proof of registered relationship
  • Divorce papers (if applicable)
  • Documents proving their good character
  • Proof of dependency (if applicable) 
  • Proof of English language skills

How can Techvisa help?

We’re not kidding when we say we have an obsession with ensuring the migration process is as simple as possible for your business, your new employee, or you as an individual!

We’re offering a free assessment of your business to ensure you are eligible and from there will advise you on the process, based on whether you’re a start-up or an established company.

From this very first assessment until the day your new employee walks through the door, we are there to help make the visa journey as easy as possible. From assisting the applicants in preparing and lodging the expression of interest to catering evidence for the case and helping the applicant in obtaining Australian citizenship, we are here to help. 

If you want to find out more or start your assessment, get in touch with the team at Techvisa!

186 Visa FAQs

Want to know more about 186 visa requirements? Review our frequently asked questions. 

  • Is visa 186 permanent residency? 

Yes, the 186 visa allows skilled workers to permanently live and work in Australia, with no restrictions on travelling in and out of the country. 

  • What are the costs of a 186 visa?

All three streams of the 186 visa cost $4,115. Payment is required in full when submitting your application. 

  • Can I bring my family members with a visa 186?

The employer sponsored visa Australia offers all the benefits of permanent residency for visa holders and their families. Your partner, dependent children/ step-children, or your partner’s dependent children can be included in your application. 

  • How long does a 186 visa last?

The 186 visa expires five years after it was granted; however, visa holders are eligible to apply for Australian Citizenship or a Resident Return Visa if they want to continue living and working in Australia. 

  • How long will it take to get a 186 visa?

The 186 visa processing time is dependent on the stream you apply for: 

  • Direct Entry stream 5-8 months
  • Labour Agreement stream 15-24 months 
  • Temporary Residence Transition stream 9-16 months