186 Visa Requirements 2023: Comprehensive Guide

Posted by : ISA Migrations


186 Visa Requirements 2023: Comprehensive Guide

Australia’s allure, characterized by its dynamic economy, unparalleled quality of life, and scenic beauty, has consistently drawn skilled professionals globally. One of the primary gateways to this dream is the Subclass 186 Visa, more commonly known as the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS). This blog aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the 186 Visa Requirements to aid potential applicants in their journey.

 What are the 186 Visa Requirements?

The Subclass 186 Visa is a pathway for skilled workers to permanently live and work in Australia. It’s segmented into three distinct streams, each with its own set of 186 Visa Requirements:

  • Direct Entry Stream: Tailored for those possessing qualifications or ample experience in an eligible occupation.
  • Transition Stream: Crafted for 457 visa or 482 TSS Visa holders who’ve been associated with their nominating employer for a specific duration.
  • Agreement Stream: For aspirants sponsored under a labour agreement by an employer.

186 Visa English Requirement

Certain exemptions exist when it comes to validating your proficiency in the English language. If you possess a passport issued by any of the following countries: the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, or the United States, you are exempt from the requirement of furnishing English language test results.

However, for individuals holding passports from countries other than the aforementioned ones and are in the process of applying for a 186 visa, it is imperative to meet the English language proficiency criteria specified for the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) 186 Visa, which is classified as ‘competent.’ This level is equivalent to achieving a score of 6 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Test Required score
International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
At least 6 for each of the 4 components
Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based Test (TOEFL iBT)
At least 12 for listening, 13 for reading, 21 for writing and 18 for speaking
Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic)
At least 50 for each of the 4 components
Occupational English Test (OET)
At least B for each of the 4 components
​Cambridge C1 Advanced test
At least 169 in each of the 4 components

When you apply for the 186 visa, you’ll need to include your English language test results. Just remember that these results should be no older than 3 years when you submit your visa application.

Here’s the good news: Only the main applicant needs to meet the English language requirements.

General 186 Visa Eligibility Criteria

  • Sponsorship: At the forefront of the 186 Visa Requirements is the need for nomination by an Australian entity.
  • Experience: A pivotal part of the 186 Visa Requirements is having at least 3 years of relevant work experience.
  • Age: The 186 Visa Requirements stipulate that applicants should ideally be under 45, though exceptions do exist.
  • English Proficiency: Mastery over the English language is integral to the 186 Visa Requirements, with specific benchmarks set in tests like IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, etc.

Stream-Specific 186 Visa Requirements

  • Direct Entry Stream:
    1. Adherence to the 186 Visa Requirements means having either qualifications or experience in an eligible vocation.
    2. A positive skills assessment is a must.
  • Transition Stream:
    1. One of the 186 Visa Requirements is holding a 457 or 482 TSS Visa.
    2. A tenure of full-time employment with the nominating employer for at least 3 years (or 2 in certain scenarios) is mandatory.
  • Agreement Stream:
    1. The 186 Visa Requirements dictate being sponsored via a labour agreement.

Additional 186 Visa Requirements

  • Health & Character: Integral to the 186 Visa Requirements is the need to meet specific health and character benchmarks. This often involves medical screenings and police verifications.
  • Employer Nomination: A cornerstone of the 186 Visa Requirements is the role of the nominating employer. The visa application should ideally be lodged within 6 months post the nomination’s approval.

The Perks of Meeting the 186 Visa Requirements

Once you fulfill the 186 Visa Requirements, you can:

  • Work and study in Australia without restrictions.
  • Access Medicare, Australia’s public healthcare system.
  • Sponsor eligible family members for Australian residency.
  • Freely travel to and from Australia.
  • Pursue Australian citizenship, if the criteria are met.

Navigating the 186 Visa Requirements – The Application Process

  • Secure an Australian employer willing to sponsor you.
  • Ensure you meet all the 186 Visa Requirements and collate the necessary documentation.
  • Submit the nomination and visa application, adhering to the 186 Visa Requirements.
  • Patiently await the verdict on your application.
  • Post-approval, commit to working for the nominating employer for the stipulated period.


The 186 Visa Requirements offer a golden ticket for skilled professionals to embrace Australia as their new home. While the 186 Visa Requirements might seem intricate, a clear understanding and proactive preparation can simplify the voyage. For those considering this route, it’s prudent to seek counsel from migration specialists or agencies well-versed in the 186 Visa Requirements and Australian immigration to ensure a seamless application process.

Note: This blog serves as a holistic guide to the 186 Visa Requirements. For the most recent and detailed insights, always refer to the official Australian immigration portal or engage with our registered migration agent.

Tags: 186 Visa ,186 Visa Eligibility Criteria ,186 Visa Requirements ,Subclass 186 Visa
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