Employer Nomination Scheme FAQ
Who can apply under the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS)?
The ENS allows Australian employers to sponsor overseas workers for Australian permanent residency if the employer can offer employment for a period of at least three years in an approved occupation and can provide terms and conditions no less favourable than those of Australian workers in that occupation and location.
Employers in regional Australia should use the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS – subclasses 119 & 857), which has lower thresholds.
Do you have to be working in Australia to apply under the ENS?
No, applicants can apply from overseas as well. Overseas applications are made under Subclass 121 and those made by workers in Australia are made under Subclass 856. Most ENS applications are made in Australia by workers holding Subclass 457 (temporary working) visas as employers feel confident sponsoring a worker who is already a member of staff.
What is involved in an ENS application?
There are two parts to the application. The first part involves the nominated position being approved. Approval is granted if the employer demonstrates that the nominated position is in an actively and lawfully operating business, with a need for the nominated position. Further the application must demonstrate that the working conditions are no less favourable than an Australian worker would receive. The second part involves the visa applicant being approved based on having appropriate skills for the position, meeting English language fluency requirements and being of good health and good character.
Does TSMIT apply?
No as TSMIT is the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold and ENS is a permanent residency visa. However, all ENS occupations are required to be paid a minimum of AUD49,330 (or AUD67,556 for certain information technology occupations).
How long will it take to prepare an ENS visa?
It can take some time to collect the documents necessary to make an ENS application. The documents for the nomination application are usually held by the employer and easily collated. However, the supporting documents required for the visa application include identity documents for all visa applicants (original birth certificate, passport, identity card etc), proof of marriage and divorce (if appropriate), police clearance certificates, evidence of qualifications (for the primary applicant only), medical examination results and English language testing (in some cases) and it can take some time to gather these documents.
How long will the visa processing take?
The Dept of Immigration & Citizenship publishes average processing times regularly, based on caseload. As of 1 July 2012, the average processing time is 5 – 8 months. However, lodging a complete application will ensure the best processing time, as processing is delayed in relation to many applications when DIAC has to write requesting further information. Registered Migration Agents can also certify applications as “decision ready” and these applications are processed very quickly – in some cases in just a few weeks.
Mackey Lawyers regularly achieves processing times well under the published DIAC time frame and publishes its historical results
What are the DIAC fees?
As at 1 January 2012, the nomination fee is AUD520. The visa application fee is AUD3,105 if lodged onshore or AUD2,095 if lodged offshore. In addition there is a second installment charge payable if the primary applicant’s English fluency is below the required level (AUD8,240) and for any dependents 18 years or over with less than the required English language fluency an additional charge of AUD 4,110 is made.
What other costs are involved in an ENS application?
The other costs will depend on the applicant’s personal circumstances. There are fees involved for medical examinations (which vary depending on the age of the visa applicant and the location of the examination), translation of documents into English (if required), police clearance certificate costs (the cost of which varies from country to country), English language testing (the cost of which varies based on where the assessment is undertaken). If you choose to be represented by a migration agent then there will also be agent’s fees.