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Migrating under the Employer Nomination Scheme

  • Immigration Law
  • Christian Tager
  • No Comments
  • January 1, 2011

Migrating under the Employer Nomination Scheme

Since 14 July 2010, the Commonwealth Government has given employer sponsored applications for general skilled migration the highest level of priority.

This includes applications under the Regional Skilled Migration Scheme and the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS).

The ENS enables employers to sponsor employees for permanent residence.  Only Australian businesses can take advantage of the ENS program.  The sponsor must demonstrate that the business is established in Australia, and is in a satisfactory financial position.  The sponsor must establish that it has a satisfactory record of training Australian employees.

The nominated position must be on the current ENS occupations list.  It is important to consult an up to date list prior to lodging an application as this list was revised a number of times throughout 2010.  The list covers a very broad range of occupations.   On 5 December 2010, the Commonwealth Government added a number of occupations to the ENS occupations list, including the following:

  • chief executive or managing director;
  • advertising manager;
  • art administrator or manager;
  • conference and event organiser;
  • liaison officer;
  • jewellery designer;
  • web designer;
  • food technologist;
  • biotechnologist;
  • education reviewer;
  • network administrator;
  • ICT systems test engineer;
  • fisheries inspector;
  • primary products inspector;
  • construction estimator;
  • fitter and turner;
  • snow sport instructor

Aside from appearing on the ENS occupations list, the position must be for a minimum three year period with the possibility of renewal.  In addition, the position must meet the minimum gazetted salary level:

  • $65,020 for most IT workers; or
  • $47,480 for other occupations.

The applicant must meet one of the following three criteria.

  1. The applicant’s skills must have been assessed as suitable by the relevant skills assessing authority and, unless exceptional circumstances apply, have at least three years full-time work experience in the occupation.
  2. The position has a base salary of at least $250,000.
  3. The applicant has been in Australia on a long-stay temporary work visa (most commonly a 457 visa) for the last two years and has worked for the nominating employer for at least the last 12 months.

There are additional requirements.  Applicants must demonstrate that they have the appropriate skills, qualifications and experience to fill the position, and meet any mandatory licensing, registration or professional membership requirements without further training.  Applicants must generally be under age 45, although a waiver is available in “exceptional circumstances”.  The applicant  must have at least vocational English (although this requirement can also be waived).  The applicant and any dependents must also satisfy health and character requirements.

If your business is seeking to sponsor an employee under the ENS, it is important to have current information regarding the program.  Sometimes complex issues may arise in the application process, including obtaining a waiver for the maximum 45 age limit and the stringent English requirements.