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186 visa: How to simplify the path to Australian residency for your employees

05/03/2024 by
The Marketing Team
If your team is chasing their dream of living and working in Australia, securing a 186 visa may be the perfect vehicle. This Business Kitz guide will walk you through the nitty-gritty of obtaining and maintaining the 186 visa. Whether you're discovering the visa categories, eligibility requirements or wondering about the application process, rights and […]
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If your team is chasing their dream of living and working in Australia, securing a 186 visa may be the perfect vehicle. This Business Kitz guide will walk you through the nitty-gritty of obtaining and maintaining the 186 visa.

Whether you're discovering the visa categories, eligibility requirements or wondering about the application process, rights and obligations; we have you covered. We'll also answer common questions about the visa, including its renewal and relationship between employer and employee.

Introduction to 186 Visa

Navigating the 186 visa process as an employer and an immigrant can be overwhelming. This piece provides a primary guide to understanding the 186 Visa, its types, and eligibility criteria.

What is a 186 Visa?

The 186 Visa is a type of Permanent Residency Visa provided by the Australian government. Especially designed for skilled workers, the 186 visa enables permanent residency in Australia. With sponsorship from an approved Australian employer, your team can seize the opportunity to live and work long-term in Australia.

What are the categories of a 186 Visa?

There are three main categories under the 186 Visa- the Direct Entry stream, the Temporary Residence Transition stream, and the Labour Agreement stream. While the first is for employees with skills in demand, the second is for those who have already worked in Australia under a 457 or TSS Visa. Lastly, the Labour Agreement stream is for employees who are sponsored by an employer through a Labour Agreement or Regional Migration Agreement.

What are the eligibility requirements?

Each category of the 186 Visa has specific eligibility requirements. In general, applicants must be nominated by an approved Australian employer and possess appropriate skills and qualifications. They should also meet any additional requirements of the specific stream they are applying under. For example, the Direct Entry stream demands at least three years of relevant work experience, and for the Temporary Residence Transition stream, two years of work in Australia is a must. Additionally, applicants also have to meet health and character requirements.

Application process for 186 Visa

Applying for the 186 visa can be a complex move that requires a careful understanding of specific steps and the extensive paperwork involved.

What the steps to apply for a 186 Visa?

To streamline the application process for the 186 visa, your employee can follow these steps:

  1. Determine your eligibility through employer nomination or labour agreement stream.
  2. Get a positive skills assessment in your nominated occupation from an authorised evaluating authority.
  3. Submit an Expression of Interest and get an official invitation to apply.
  4. Prepare all required documentation.
  5. Apply for the 186 visa online through the Department of Home Affairs' website.

Remember to check all conditions and guidelines detailed by the Department of Home Affairs before submitting your application.

What are the documents required for a 186 Visa?

Several documents are needed by your employee to support the claims made in your 186 visa application. These may include:

  • Proof of identity (passport).
  • Skills assessment report.
  • English language test results.
  • Work experience evidence.
  • Medical checks and police certificates.

Make sure you keep up-to-date, certified copies of these documents and provide translated versions if they're not written in English.

What are the application fees and payment methods?

The application cost for a 186 visa can vary depending on your situation and the specific stream you apply under. The standard application fee is around $4,045 for the main applicant, with additional fees for family members included in the application.

Your employee can pay these fees online through the Department of Home Affairs’ website using a credit or debit card. Be aware that some cards may incur an additional surcharge. Note that all fees are listed and processed in Australian dollars.

Rights and obligations under 186 Visa

Once your employee has applied for and has been granted a 186 visa, it is important to understand the rights and responsibilities that come with it. In this section, we’ll take you through the various entitlements that come with this visa, your employees obligations as a visa holder, and the conditions for retaining the visa.

What are the rights granted with the 186 Visa?

With a 186 visa, your employee is given a range of rights that can significantly improve their lifestyle in Australia. These include the right to live, work, and study in Australia indefinitely. Additionally, your employee will now have unrestricted access to Medicare, Australia's health care scheme, and the right to apply for Australian citizenship when eligibility requirements are met.

What are the responsibilities for 186 Visa holders?

As a 186 visa holder, your employee now also has certain responsibilities that must be upheld. Firstly, your employee should always abide by all Australian laws. Secondly, they should maintain adequate health insurance while in Australia. Lastly, your employee should always inform the Department of Home Affairs of any changes to their situation such as a new address, change in partner status, or any travel plans outside Australia.

What are the conditions of 186 Visa?

The 186 visa has several conditions tied to it. In addition to the above mentioned responsibilities, your employee must remain working with you (as their nominated employer) for at least 2 years after the visa is granted. If there is a significant change in the tasks associated with their nominated occupation, they may need to seek the department's approval before continuing with the position. Lastly, your employee must ensure that they always abide by Australian workplace laws and standards.

Common questions about 186 Visa

What is the processing time for a 186 Visa?

The processing time for a 186 visa can vary depending on a multitude of factors such as the accuracy of the information provided, the amount of supporting documentation, and the response times of third parties. On an average, the processing time for the Direct Entry stream is around six to nine months, while the Labour Agreement stream may take up to a year. However, keep in mind that these are estimates and can vary.

What is the renewal and cancellation process?

In most situations, the 186 visa, once granted, permits permanent residency, and thus, may not need to be renewed. If your employee has to leave Australia for a considerable period, you will need a Resident Return visa (RRV). Regarding cancellation, a 186 visa may be revoked if the visa conditions are breached or if the information provided during the application process is found to be misleading or false.

What about family members and a 186 Visa?

A 186 visa allows your employee to include their family members in the application. This includes their spouse or de facto partner, and dependent children. The family members must meet eligibility requirements, including health and character conditions. After the visa is granted, family members are also entitled to live, work, and study in Australia.

What about switching Employers with a 186 Visa?

Switching employers with a 186 visa may be possible, but it depends on the stream they were granted with the visa. If your employee has obtained the 186 Visa through the Direct Entry stream, they may switch employers. However, if the visa was granted under the Transitional stream, they are obligated to work for you for at least two years.

What are the steps after receiving 186 Visa?

Once their 186 visa has been granted, it's advised that they inform you of their new visa status. Moreover, your employee should familiarise themselves with the visa rights and conditions. This includes the right to live and work permanently in Australia, enrol in Medicare, and sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residency.

Recap on navigating 186 Visa

Having walked through the 186 visa process, you should now be familiar with its categories, eligibility requirements, and application process and feel confident in supporting your employee through their application process. Remember, the visa comes with its own set rules, rights, and responsibilities that need to be abided by.

We also delved into some common questions about the 186 visa. These touched on issues such as processing time, renewals, including family members, switching employers, and the necessary steps to take after receiving the visa. Remember, these details are crucial for ensuring a smooth experience with your 186 visa.

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The Marketing Team
Business Kitz Marketing team are experts in their field. You can expect the best business guides and updates on employment law here.
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