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[NEWS] 186 ENS & 187 RSMS: Summary of Key Changes

Australian Immigration News

Last week brought about some major changes to the 186 Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) and 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visas. Here is an easy-to-understand summary of the changes, prepared for you by our expert migration specialists.

(You can also read more about the key 482 TSS visa changes here)



When: In effect from 18 March 2018

The 3 Streams: The ENS and RSMS visas will still have the following streams:

1. Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) Stream: For those who have worked with the nominating employer on a TSS visa in the Medium-Term stream for at least 3 out of the last 4 years in the same nominated position

2. Direct Entry: For those nominated by an employer for PR but do not qualify for the TRT stream

3. Labour Agreement Stream: For those who have a nominating employer who has eligible labour agreements with the Commonwealth Government



* Please note: Transitional arrangements apply to applicants who held or had applied for a 457 visa before 18 April 2017. Certain exceptions also apply depending on factors such as your current visa, salary, occupation. For the most accurate advice on your situation, you should always consult our migration specialists in a 1-to-1 session.

1. Time for 186/187 TRT Stream Eligibility (Increased): You must now be on the 457 or TSS visa for 3 years before you can apply for the 186 & 187 visas via the Temporary Residence Transition stream.

2. Eligible occupations changed (186: HALVED | 187: No Change):

  1. Firstly, the occupation lists have been changed yet again (see new lists here).

  2. Secondly, whilst 187 occupations remain the same, perhaps one of the BIGGEST changes to the entire Skilled Migration Programme is to do with 186 eligibility.

  3. Now, only TSS visa holders with occupations on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)* are eligible for PR through the 186 visa. If your occupation was any of the 252 on the Short Term List, unfortunately you are no longer eligible for the 186 visa.

3. Maximum Age (Decreased): Maximum age reduced from 50 to 45. NOTE: If you're considering the TSS --> TRT pathway for PR, since you also now need to be on the TSS visa for 3 years before you can apply for the TRT stream, you'll should be well prepared as you approach 41 years of age.

4. English Requirements (No Change): You will still be needing a minimum of 6.0 across all IELTS bands.

5. Work Experience Requirements for DE Stream (186: No Change| 187: NEW): 187 visa applicants are now required to have the equivalent of 3 years of full-time work experience, similar to the 186 visa requirements.

6. Skills Assessment Requirements (Increased):

  • 186 TRT stream applicants: You may be required to provide a positive skills assessment, especially if they had not provided one as part of their previous 457 or TSS visa applications.

  • 187 DE applicants: From July 2018, you will be required to provide a skills assessment, even though you currently do not need to because your occupation is on the relevant legislative instrument.

7. RCB Requirements (Changed): RCBs must now assess whether the positions nominated under the 187 DE stream cannot be filled by an Australian who is also, in addition to living in the same local area, willing to move to that local area.

8. Salary Requirements/Financial Capacity (Changed): All streams of the 186 and 187 visas now require the sponsor to demonstrate that they have the capacity to pay the annual market salary rate for the visa applicant for the next 2 years.

9. Sponsor's Training Requirement (Removed): The previous benchmark system (1 or 2% of total payroll) has been removed, and is currently set to be replaced by the SAF levy for the TSS visa in coming weeks.

10. Maximum Age of Dependent Children (Increased): Children not yet turned 23 can now be included as dependent children, this has increased from the previous age of 21.


If you have any concerns about the news above and how it affects you, feel free to book in a FREE 1-to-1 consultation and get a peace of mind today!


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