Direct Entry Employer Nomination Scheme 186 Visa Exemptions

Age, skills and work experience exemptions available to direct entry 186 visa applicants

In our newsletter last week we discussed the direct entry stream Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa (Subclass 186). In understanding that the requirements may be difficult to meet for certain highly skilled workers, there are exemptions that apply to the age restriction, English requirements, and skills and work experience criteria.Read Direct Entry Employer Nomination Scheme 186 Visa 

 

Age exemptions

The age limit for direct entry ENS 186 applicants is 50 years. There are exemptions to this that are available for:

  • Researchers, scientists and technical specialists
  • Senior academics
  • Medical practitioners in regional Australia
  • Medical practitioners previously working on a Medical Practitioner visa (Subclass 422)
  • New Zealand citizens and their family members

 

Researchers, scientists and technical specialists

If you are an ANZSCO skill level 1 or 2 researcher, scientist or technical specialist and your sponsoring organisation is an Australian government specific agency, you may be eligible to be exempted from the age restriction.

Examples of such occupations include chief of division, chief research scientist, corporate executive classes 1 to 3, director of institute, principal researcher and so forth. Examples of agencies include CSIRO, ANSTO, IP Australia, The Australian Institute of Marine Science and The Defence Science and Technology Organisation. Both these lists are not exhaustive.

This does not apply if the position you are being nominated for is for an Australian government agency but for the position is not a researcher, scientist or technical specialist. You are also ineligible for the exemption if the sponsoring organisation is a government subcontracted commercial body or the agency is at local government level.

 

Senior academics

If you are a senior academic that has been nominated by a university in Australia for a position at Academic Level B, C, D or E as a university lecturer [242111] or faculty head [134411], you would qualify for the exemption.

  • Level B – Lecturer, Lecturer B, Lecturer 1, Research Fellow
  • Level C – Fellow, Senior Lecturer, Senior Research Fellow
  • Level D – Associate Professor, Head of Department, Principal Lecturer, Principal Research Fellow, Reader, Senior Fellow, Senior Teaching Fellow
  • Level E – Dean, Head of School, Professor, Teaching Fellow

Higher educational institutes such as TAFE are not included in this exemption, even if you have been nominated as a university lecturer or faculty head.

 

Medical practitioners in regional Australia

Exemption is available if the applicant is a medical practitioner who has been working in their nominated occupation as the holder of a Medical Practitioner visa (Subclass 422) for the last 4 years before applying, and at least 2 out of the 4 years was located in regional Australia

You can find areas that have been classed as regional in this legislative instrument 

 

Medical practitioners previously working on a Medical Practitioner visa (Subclass 422)

Medical practitioners who have been working in their nominated occupation as a holder of a Medical Practitioner visa (Subclass 422) before become a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (Subclass 457) holder, and for at least 2 out of the 4 years, was located in regional Australia, are eligible for age exemption.

 

New Zealand citizens and family members

New Zealand citizens with Special Category visas (Subclass 444) and family members with New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship (Temporary) visas (Subclass 461) who have been working for their sponsoring employer in their nominated occupation for at least 2 years within the 3 years before applying for a direct entry 186 visa are eligible for age exemption.

The nominated occupation for the ENS 186 visa must be highly related – within the same occupation group. Work must be full time and this is a minimum of 35 hours a week. In counting the 2 years, paid leave may be counted but extended unpaid absences cannot.

If time has been spent overseas for work or training, it can be included in the 2 years provided that the training was arranged and paid for by the company, and the applicant was still paid for their time. It is important that if it was overseas work, that the nature of the position is inclined to require travel. In such cases a statement needs to be provided by the sponsoring company explaining the overseas work. A job description, payslips, tax documents and leave records should be provided to prove that the overseas work was within the boundaries as prescribed by regulations.

 

English exemption

Direct entry ENS 186 applicants are required to achieve at least a competent level of English proficiency. High income earners could be eligible to be exempted from meeting this requirement. High income earners are defined to be in the top ATO individual income tax rate bracket. As this is not a static number, you will need to check for what the top income tax rate bracket is at the time of your application. Currently (December 2016), the minimum earnings for a high income earner to forgo the English requirement is $180,001.

Earnings may include wages, non-monetary benefits (of a determined and agreed monetary value), allowances that have been packaged with salary and etc. It is not possible to include any payments that cannot be predetermined such as overtime, commissions and bonuses, reimbursements or contributions to superannuation. Clear evidence detailing the form and value of payment will be required to prove that the applicant falls under the high income earner category.

Nonetheless, the applicant will still be required to have a minimum of a functional English level.

Read about English proficiency tests 

 

Skills assessments and 3 year work experience exemptions

The requirement for a suitable skills assessment as well as three years of work experience may be waived if the applicant is in the following groups:

  • Researchers, scientists and technical specialists
  • Academics
  • Nominated earnings at least equivalent to ATO top individual tax rate
  • New Zealand citizens and their family members

 

Researchers, scientists and technical specialists

This exemption follows the age exemption for researchers, scientists and technical specialists as detailed earlier in this article. The applicant is taken to possess the appropriate skill level as Australian government agencies would have comprehensive vetting processes.

 

Academics

If the applicant is nominated for a position in a university in Australia at Academic Level A, B, C, D or E as a university lecturer [242111], university tutor [242112] or faculty head [134411] they will be exempt from producing a suitable skills assessment. Again, this does not apply to other higher educational institutes. This is in the expectation that universities would only offer sponsorship to only high calibre candidates.

  • Level A – Assistant or Associate Lecturer, Research Fellow, Demonstrator
  • Level B – Lecturer, Lecturer B, Lecturer 1, Research Fellow
  • Level C – Fellow, Senior Lecturer, Senior Research Fellow
  • Level D – Associate Professor, Head of Department, Principal Lecturer, Principal Research Fellow, Reader, Senior Fellow, Senior Teaching Fellow
  • Level E – Dean, Head of School, Professor, Teaching Fellow

 

High income earners

Skills assessments and the 3 years of work experience are waived for high income earners as well. The same rules apply as they do for the English exemption.

 

New Zealand citizens and their family members

Exemptions for skills assessments are available for New Zealand citizens with Special Category visas (Subclass 444) and family members with New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship (Temporary) visas (Subclass 461) who have been working for their sponsoring employer in their nominated occupation for at least 2 years within the 3 years before applying, under the same conditions that apply to this group for age exemptions.

amy (edit)

 

Amy Kim
Senior Migration Agent, Australian Immigration Law Services
MARN 1464419

 

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