The Subclass 186 visa and Subclass 187 visa are demand-driven programs which allow employers to nominate skilled workers for permanent residence to fill genuine vacancies in their business.
The Subclass 186 visa is available nationally, while the Subclass 187 is for skilled workers who want to work in regional Australia.
Both these programs comprise three streams:
- the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream is for Subclass 457 visa holders, or Subclass 482 visa holders, who have worked in Australia for a specified period with a nominating employer who wishes to offer them a permanent position;
- the Direct Entry (DE) stream is for people nominated by an employer for permanent residence; and
- the Agreement stream is for people sponsored by an employer through a labour agreement negotiated between an employer and the Minister.
The new measures implemented with the reforms to the temporary work visas for the Subclass 186 visa and the Subclass 187 visa include:
- creating a labour agreement stream in the nomination criteria in regulation 5.19. This will align the process for labour agreement nominations with the process for Direct Entry (DE) and Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) nominations;
- a requirement for the nominating employer to select the appropriate stream. The Department will only assess the selected stream;
- a requirement that the primary applicant is 45 years of age or under (reduced from 50) at time of visa application for the TRT and Labour Agreement streams. Transitional arrangements will apply to applicants who held, or had applied for, a Subclass 457 visa on 18 April 2017, which was when the Government announced the changes, to ensure they are not disadvantaged;
- a requirement that the primary applicant has at least three years relevant work experience, as compared to the two year work experience requirement in the Subclass 482 visa;
- a requirement that an applicant nominated in the TRT stream has worked, at the time of nomination, for three years out of the previous four years in the position in relation to which the Subclass 457 visa or Subclass 482 visa was held. Transitional arrangements will apply to applicants for the TRT stream who held, or had applied for, a Subclass 457 visa on 18 April 2017 to ensure they are not disadvantaged;
- aligning the TRT with the DE stream by requiring an applicant’s nominated occupation to be on the MLTSSL at the time of nomination. If the position is in a regional area, additional occupations will be available for selection. Transitional arrangements will apply to applicants who held, or had applied for, a Subclass 457 visa on 18 April 2017 to ensure they are not disadvantaged by this new requirement;
- applying the AMSR framework, including the associated Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT) to the TRT and DE streams of the Subclass 186 and Subclass 187;
- as with the Subclass 482 visa, applying the expanded definition of adverse information to the Subclass 186 and Subclass 187 programs;
- a requirement that visa applicants hold, or are eligible to hold, any mandatory licensing or registration required for their specified occupation at the time their employer lodges a nomination application for that person;
- a requirement that employers nominating a skilled worker through the DE stream of the Subclass 187 demonstrate that the position cannot be filled by an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident who is either living in the same local area or willing to move to that local area;
- a requirement that employers nominating a skilled worker through the DE stream of the Subclass 187 are endorsed by a Regional Certifying Body (RCB) which is located in the same State or Territory and is responsible for the local area where the position is located;
- provision to refuse a nomination if a decision maker has information that a person nominated in the TRT stream has been performing a different occupation to their nominated occupation, or at a lower skill level;
- provision to refuse a nomination if the decision maker is not satisfied that the business has the capacity to lawfully and actively operate for at least two years and employ the nominee for that period at no less than the AMSR;
- repeal of the Agreement stream of the Subclass 187 visa; and
- the addition of new VAC refund provisions for the Subclass 186 and Subclass 187 visas.
If you have any questions regarding the Subclass 186 or Subclass 187 visa application, please don’t hesitate to contact our team of Immigration Lawyers and Registered Migration Agents.