There are several visa options that allows your business to sponsor overseas skilled workers to work in Australia. These are:
  • Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482)
  • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (Subclass 186)
  • Regional Sponsored Skilled Migration Scheme (RSMS) (Subclass 187)
  • Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) (Subclass 400)
  • Training (Subclass 407)

Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482)

Subclass 482 visa is the most commonly used visa program to sponsor foreign workers to fill skilled positions in Australia on a temporary basis.

The application process includes three stages:
Step 1: Apply for Standard Business Sponsorship
Step 2: Lodge Employer Nomination
Step 3: Lodge Visa Application

Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (Subclass 186) and Regional Skilled Migration Scheme (RSMS) (Subclass 187)

Employers seeking to fill a full-time position within their organisation on a permanent basis can nominate skilled individuals from overseas, or workers who are currently in Australia on a temporary basis, for permanent residence under the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS), for a subclass 186 visa, or if the position is located in regional Australia, under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS), for a subclass 187 visa. Once granted, subclass 186 or 187 visas allow the individuals to remain in Australia indefinitely although they will need to apply for a Resident Return visa to travel to Australia following an initial period of 5 years.


Both ENS and RSMS visa programs consist of three eligibility streams:

  • Direct Entry stream (DE) — general pathway for individuals who do not qualify to apply under the TRT stream or who are applying from overseas.

  • Temporary Residence Transition stream (TRT) — streamlined pathway for eligible subclass 457 visa holders transitioning to permanent residence.

  • Agreement stream — pathway for applicants sponsored by employers that have entered into a labour agreement with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (the Department) to sponsor skilled workers for permanent residence. Labour agreements would generally be negotiated in circumstances where the employer intends to nominate foreign workers for positions located in an unrelated business (on-hire), where the nominated occupation is not included on the list of eligible occupations for ENS program, or where further exemptions are required in relation to English language or the skill of the applicants.

The application process is divided into two stages for EN and three stages for the RSMS:

  • Apply with the relevant state for the Regional certifying body (RCB) - only applies for RSMS (DE)

  • Nomination stage — relates to the employer and the position being nominated.

  • Visa application stage — relates to the primary applicant for a visa and any family members included in the visa application.

Key points:

  • For ENS, the applicant's skills have been assessed by the specified authority as suitable for the occupation and the applicant has been employed in the occupation for at least 3 years, unless exempt;

  • For ENS the training benchmarks need to be meet;

  • ​RSMS doesn't need to meet the training benchmark;

  • There is no nomination fee associated with the nomination in TRT and DE streams of RSMS.

  • The business is actively and lawfully operating in Australia (

  • The offer of employment is for a full-time position for at least 2 years and without express exclusion of the possibility of extending the period of employment (a contract that provides that the position is permanent and on-going is sufficient to satisfy this criterion and under policy, full time is defined as being at least 35 hours a week)

  • The market salary rate provisions are met