Employer Nominated Visas 101 | Differences Between the 186, 482 & 494 Visas

30 Jan



Many of our clients, readers and subscribers have asked us what the differences are between the Subclass 186 Employer Nomination Scheme Visa, the Subclass 482 Temporary Skills Shortage and the Subclass 494 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa.

You may recall the Subclass 494 Visa replaced the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Subclass 187 (RSMS) Visa, which was a permanent residence visa. Whilst dubbed a “replacement” however, the 494 visa  isn’t really a proper replacement –  as you must hold a Subclass 494 Visa for 3 years if you want to progress to permanent residence (via the Subclass 191 Visa).

With the demise of the Subclass 187 visa, we are left with three major employer nominated visas.


These are the:


  • Subclass 482  Temporary Skills Visa
  • subclass 494 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa
  • Subclass 186 Employer Nominated Scheme Visa


Let’s have a brief look at the differences between these visas types


Comparison: Subclass 482 vs  Subclass 494 vs  Subclass 186


  Subclass 482 TSS Subclass 494, Regional Sponsored Subclass 186 ENS
MLTSSL & STSOL (look at combined occupation list)Subclass 494 OccupationsMLTSSL
Medium Stream - MLTSSL
ROL (Regional Occupation List)

Short Term Stream - STSOL

Labour Agreement Stream
Employer Sponsored Stream

Labour Agreement Stream
Direct Entry Stream

Temporary Residence Transition Stream (TRT) (accessible after three years holding a TSS visa in the Medium Stream)
Where can you live/work?
Anywhere in Australia, unless your occupation is on the ROL - the position must be in a regional area - or Labour Agreement stipulates region.All applicants must live work & study in a regional area.Anywhere in Australia
Visa grant period
2 Years Short Term Stream

4 Years Medium Stream
5 Years 5 Years
Skilling Australian Fund Levy (SAF) Liability? (LMT)

$1,200/Year of Visa grant if Turnover less than $10 Million

$1,800/Year of Visa grant if Turnover more than $10 Million

$3000 once off payment if Turnover less than $10 Million

$5000 once off payment if Turnover more than $10 Million

$3000 once off payment if Turnover less than $10 Million

$5000 once off payment if Turnover more than $10 Million
Labour Market Testing (LMT)
Yes (with some exceptions) Yes No
Skills Assessment?
Depends on occupation and country of passport. Yes Yes - Direct Entry stream

No - TRT stream
Maximum age?
No limit Under 45 (Note there is no upper age limit for the Subclass 191 follow-on visa) Under 45
English requirements
Medium Stream IELTS 5

Short Term Stream - 4.5 IELTS

Labour Agreement Stream - Concessions for English

Concessions available for the Labour Agreement stream
Experience requirements
Two years experience in the nominated occupation or a related field. Employed in the nominated occupation for at least three years on a full-time basis Direct Entry -3 years experience in the nominated occupation.

TRT - must have been employed in the nominated occupation (or a closely related occupation) by the same employer, or an associated entity of the employer for three years (or two years if you're in the transitional 457 group)
Health provisions
Health waiver possible (4007)Employer Sponsored stream - Health waiver available (4007)

Labour agreement stream - no Health waiver (4005)
Direct Entry stream - no Health waiver (4005)

TRT - Health waiver available (4007)
Pathways to Permanent Residence?
Medium Stream - after three years with the same employer - Via the Subclass 186 TRT Stream - employer nomination required.

Short Term Stream - no pathway to permanent residence
Permanent residence pathway available via the Subclass 191 visa, after three years of holding a Subclass 494 visa. No new nomination required. The Subclass 186 visa is a permanent residence visa.
Must work for the nominating employer in the nominated occupation. Several conditions. Most important one is that the visa holder must live work and study in the regional area. Change of employer requires a new nomination and new visa application. No conditions.
Sponsorship requirements
Nominating employer must be an approved business sponsor. Nominating employer must be an approved business sponsor. Nomination by the employer only required. No need for the employer to be an approved business sponsor.
Eligibility for Medicare
No Yes Yes


Link to terms used & extra information.


Need help?


Need some help with your visa choices and to find out which is the best pathway for you?  Contact us today on +61 3 9573 5200  or book a consultation online and get brilliant tailored advice about how to migrate to Australia and which Australian Visa is best for you.


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