186 Visa Fees The Cost of Permanent Residency Application

186 Visa Fees – Nominating an Employee for Permanent Residence November 2023

The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) program enables an eligible employer to nominate a current or future employee for a 186 permanent visa under one of the available streams:

  • Temporary Residence Transition (TRT)
  • Direct Entry (DE)
  • Labour Agreement

The 186 nomination application is made to the Department of Home Affairs using its online lodgement facility and must be lodged before the employee’s permanent residence visa application.

The requirements for a successful nomination and visa application vary depending on the particular stream.

186 Visa Fees – Breakdown of Application Costs

How much will the ENS 186 visa application cost? 

In opposition with the TSS 482 visa fees which vary depending on the stream, the 186 visa fees are the same for all the streams:

  • Primary Applicant:A$4,640
  • Adult Dependent 18 and over:A$2,320
  • Child Dependent (under 18):A$1,160

These 186 visa fees can be paid by either the employer or the employee.

How much will the ENS 186 business nomination cost?

In order to lodge a 186 business nomination, the employer MUST pay two main application costs:

  • ENS 186 nomination fee:A$540 (subject to the stream and location)
  • SAF Small Business (annual turnover under 10M):A$3,000 one-off
  • SAF Large Business (annual turnover over 10M):A$5,000 one-off

Hypothetically, if the business has an annual turnover of less than 10 million and wants to nominate an employee for permanent residency, the 186 business nomination application cost is A$540 + A$3,000 (plus credit card surcharge of 1.4%).

The SAF charge is payable by sponsors at the time of nomination for Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) 186 visa and applies to all nominations on or after 12 August 2018.

Importantly, this amount cannot be claimed in any way from the employee as this will be a breach in the sponsor’s obligations.

There is no cost to nominate an employee for permanent residence if the position is located in regional Australia. 

186 Visa Fees – Refund Provisions 

A refund of the nomination fee/SAF charge may be provided in the following circumstances:

  • An ENS nomination application made under the Temporary Resident Transition stream has been withdrawn as the wrong occupation has been identified
  • An ENS nomination application has been withdrawn as the wrong stream has been identified
  • In the case of nominations lodged under a Labour Agreement: an ENS nomination has been withdrawn prior to the Labour Agreement process being concluded or an ENS nomination has been withdrawn as the nominated occupation has not been included in the concluded Labour Agreement, or the annual ceiling of the Labour Agreement has been reached.

The refund request must be submitted to the Department of Home Affairs in writing.

186 Visa Processing Times 

How long the Department will take to process the applications? 

Departmental processing times can vary quite considerably, typically within 9 to 25 months of lodgement for 186 TRT applications or 5 to 12 months of lodgement for 186 DE applications.

Typical 186 Visa Application Process

There are a series of steps in the typical visa application process:

  1. Gathering the information and documents necessary to assess your eligibility and prepare the application
  2. Assessing the information and documents that have been provided
  3. Preparing the 186 nomination application
  4. Lodging the nomination application with the Department
  5. Lodging the 186 visa application with the Department including paying the associated 186 visa fees
  6. Arranging and undergoing health checks and police. clearances
  7. The applications are allocated to a departmental officer for assessment
  8. The application is decided by the case officer

186 Visa – Visa Conditions and Sponsor Obligations 

Once an employee gets a 186 visa what will it allow the employee to do in Australia?

A 186 visa is a permanent resident visa and comes with NO conditions. This means that a 186 visa holder can live and work in Australia indefinitely, can live anywhere and can work for any employer. The 186 visa holder can access Medicare and other entitlements available to Australian permanent residents and citizens.

The 186 visa holder will be entitled to apply for Australian citizenship after at least 12 months as a permanent resident.

Are there any sponsorship obligations?

No. Unlike, the employer’s responsibilities towards 457 or TSS 482 visa holders, an employer does not have any sponsorship obligations towards a 186 visa holder.

Contact Visa Lounge Australia to start the process of nominating an employee for permanent residency 

How will Visa Lounge Australia prepare the nomination and visa application?

Please contact our team with any questions that you have.

We will respond to your immigration inquiry within two business days.

We want to ensure that the process is as simple and as streamlined for you as possible.

As experts in Australian immigration, VISA LOUNGE AUSTRALIA can help you and your business navigate the application process effectively and tailor a strategy suitable for your circumstances.

Published by Maddie Phillips

Australian Immigration Law Specialist with over 12 years experience, I provide high touch immigration solutions for businesses and individuals, all aspects of Australian immigration law. OMARA Licenced, Member Migration Institute of Australia and Australian Human Resources Institute.

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