Subclass 186 Direct Entry – Requirements

One of the biggest advantages of applying for a Subclass 186 Direct Entry visa is that you do not have to spend three years with the same employer before applying.


The minimum requirements of the Direct Entry stream of this visa are set out below:



The business seeking to employ you must:

  • be actively and lawfully operating in Australia
  • genuinely need you to work in the nominated position under its direct control, and,
  • have the capacity to employ you in this position for at least two years



The position to be filled must:

  • be full-time and available for at least 2 years from the time your visa is granted
  • be an occupation included on the current Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL)
  • be subject to conditions of employment that are no worse than those that apply (or would apply) to Australians performing equivalent work in the same location.
  • have a salary that is:
    • at least $53,900 per year (excluding any non-monetary benefits) AND
    • at least the annual market salary rate (AMSR) for your nominated occupation


NOTES: The AMSR for your nominated occupation (excluding non-monetary benefits) must also be no less than $53,900 per year. The AMSR is the salary that an Australian earns (or would earn) for performing equivalent work on a full-time basis for a year in the same workplace at the same location. You will be exempt from the AMSR requirement if your salary is more than $250,000 per year.


NOTE: Certain occupations on this list will be subject to additional requirements (e.g. salary, type of business operated by the employer, nature of the position). Please contact us for further details based on your particular circumstances.


Visa Applicant

As the visa applicant, you must (unless a specific exemption applies in any case):

  • have competent English (e.g. IELTS 6) or
  • hold a valid passport issued by the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland (and you are a citizen of that country)
  • have your skills assessed as suitable for your nominated occupation by the relevant skills assessing authority
  • have at least three years of full-time experience in your nominated occupation
  • be under 45 years of age
  • meet any mandatory licensing, registration or professional membership requirements for your occupation


NOTES: In each case, your English test results and your Skills Assessment  must have been undertaken within the last three years (unless the skills assessment is valid for a shorter period).




Stage 1: Nomination Application

This application is lodged with the DHA on behalf of your employer, and relates to the skilled position that you have been offered, which must meet the requirements referred to above.

Your employer is required to supply documents to the DHA in support of this application, the nature and extent of which will vary depending upon the particular circumstances of the business.


Skilling Australians Fund Levy

Employers must pay a one-off Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy for EACH subclass 186 nomination lodged with the DHA. The amount payable varies based on the employer’s annual turnover: For employers with an annual turnover of LESS THAN AU$10 million, the SAF levy is AU$3,000 per nomination. For employers with an annual turnover of AT LEAST AU$10 million, the SAF levy is AU$5,000 per nomination. The SAF levy must be paid upfront, at the time that the nomination is lodged. Please contact our office for further information regarding the SAF levy


Stage 2: Visa Application

Your visa application is lodged on your behalf with the DHA either at the same time as the nomination application or within six months of the DHA’s approval of the nomination.

The main criterion is that you fulfil the above requirements, including  standard health and character checks.

Once the DHA has approved both applications, you will be granted a permanent visa.

You may be in Australia or outside Australia when your visa is granted.


How long does it take?

The time that it takes the DHA to process your application is dependent upon its processing time service standards, and may also vary due to a number of other factors, including the complexity of your case, perceived risk factors and processing priorities. Please contact us for current information regarding likely processing timeframes for this type of application.


Want to get the ball rolling and get started on you Permanent Residence Subclass 186 Direct Entry application? Of course you do! Book your consultation now! Click here to book.