From 457 Visa to the 186 Visa: Transition to a Permanent Stay in Australia

If you currently hold a 457 Visa, you may be eligible for the 186 Visa under the Employer Nomination Scheme in Australia. This is a temporary work visa which permits holders to apply for permanent residency after two years of work with the same employer.

What makes it different from the Regional Sponsored Permanent Residence Migration Scheme visa subclass 187?

It doesn't have any restrictions as to where you can live and work in Australia. This explains why many foreign workers have moved from the 457 work visa to the 186. After all, it is just one step to making your stay in Australia permanent, providing you meet the employment criteria.

What are the two streams under the 186 Visa?

The Temporary Residence Transition Stream

This provides skilled workers a streamlined pathway to transition from the 457 visa to the 186 visa, provided that they have been working for their current employer for at least two years. This makes it eligible for sponsor nomination for a permanent visa.

The Direct Entry Stream

For an applicant to qualify, they need to obtain a Skills Assessment and demonstrate three years’ worth of work experience at the skilled level. They may also need to meet requirements for the English language competency, unless exempted. Between the two streams, The Temporary Residence Transition Steam may seem an easier option. However, it will depend on your conditions of employment. Successful applicants of both visa streams will gain permanent residency.

Can any employer nominate a skilled worker for the 186 Visa?

No. For an employer to be eligible for the Employer Nomination Scheme, they must:

  • Meet training benchmark requirements
  • Meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT)
  • Nominate a salary that is within market salary rates
  • Nominate a position that is ongoing, full time, and available for of 2 years, at least.
  • Meet these requirements and your stay in Australia will be permanent.

For more information about visas and migration to Australia, speak to a Registered Migration Agent at or call +44 (0) 131 625 6900.

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