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The 186 visa is a visa that for those wishing to gain the right to live and work in Australia as it grants permanent residency to the successful applicant. As it has a higher cost, a lengthy process and a high rejection rate, it is often difficult to find employers who are willing to nominate you as an applicant. However, if you have found a willing employer, you should ensure you are aware of the requirements on you in the process.

Process for 186 Visa

The process to obtain a visa 186 is quite a lengthy procedure. The first stage is only relevant to your employer, who must have their nomination of the position approved. You are required to submit your application within six months of the approval of your employer’s nomination.

Applicant Eligibility

The Government has imposed a criteria that all applicants for the 186 visa should meet. The main points are:

  • You must be under the age of 50
  • Note there are exemptions for those over 50 depending on the nominated position (e.g. if you are nominated as a senior academic by an Australia university)
  • You must have the required skills and qualifications for the position
  • Note you can avoid providing evidence of having taken a skills assessment if you can show you will be earning at or above the top individual income tax rate, currently at $180,001.
  • You must meet the necessary English language requirements
  • Note you can avoid this requirement if you have nominated earnings in line with the high salary exemption, which is the same amount as the top individual income tax rate.
  • You must meet health and character requirements

Documents Needed

All 186 applicants will need to obtain a certified copy for all the following documents:

  • Birth certificate or passports that prove your identity;
  • Marriage certificates or relationship registrations for anyone else included in your application (if widowed or divorced, then documents that can prove this);
  • Police checks from each country where you have spent over 12 months in for the past 10 years since turning 16, including Australia if applicable.

If you are using the Direct Entry Stream, there will be additional documents required to prove that you have the necessary skills and qualifications for the position:

  • Resume;
  • Evidence of qualifications (e.g. Bachelor’s degree);
  • Evidence of work experience (e.g. employment references);
  • Evidence of your skills assessment (or evidence that you are exempt from this);
  • Results of an approved English language test with the required marks (e.g. a minimum score of 6 in each test component for the IELTS), or evidence that you are exempt from this;
  • Note that there will be additional documents required if you are bringing children along.

If you need assistance with your visa 186 application, LegalVision’s employment lawyers can assist.


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