Age exemptions for Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) (ENS) visas



Businesses have the option of sponsoring foreign workers for permanent residency through the Employer Nomination Scheme (Subclass 186) (ENS) visa (see here for further information). Typically, applicants must be under 45 when they submit their applications. However, there are a few exceptions to the norm, so some people might be able to apply for a visa even after they turn 45.

This application has two primary streams:

  • Stream for Temporary Residence Transition (TRT);
  • A stream called Direct Entry.
  • Depending on the application stream, there may be age exemptions.

Exceptions for Temporary Residence Transition stream applicants

Subclass 457 or 482 visa holders who have worked for their nominating employer in Australia for 3 out of the last 4 years are often eligible for the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream of the ENS visa. The following categories of people are excluded from the minimum age requirement for standard applications:

  • Academic candidates
  • Legacy 457 personnel
  • Applications for local medical professionals
  • Scientific candidates
  • Workers from Subclass 457/482
  • Coronavirus concession workers of subclass 457/482
  • 457 transitional workers who are under 50


  • Possess a subclass 457, TSS, or associated Bridging visa A, B, or C.
  • Generally, you must hold a subclass 457 or TSS visa and have worked full-time for your employer for at least three years.
  • Have been nominated during the six months prior to applying by an Australian employer whose nomination was approved.
  • As of July 1, 2022, holders of qualifying visas for the 457 and TSS – short-term streams may submit an application through the TRT stream. Following its start on July 1, 2022, the pathway will be available for two years; see eligibility for details.

Direct Entry applicants are exempt

Candidates for the direct entrance stream must have three years of post-degree work experience in addition to a skills evaluation. It is not necessary to have spent three years working for the employer making the nomination. These groups of people are eligible for the age exemption:

  • Academic candidates
  • Scientific candidates
  • Worker subclasses 444 and 461

Age exemptions

Normally, you have to be under 45 when you apply.

In the event that any of the following applies to you, you are free from this requirement:

  • You are proposed by an Australian institution as an academic (university lecturer or faculty head at Academic Level B, C, D, or E).
  • You are proposed by an Australian scientific government body as a scientist, researcher, or technical specialist at ANZSCO skill level 1 or 2.
  • You are a doctor who has held a 457 or 482 visa for at least three years and has worked in your nominated field for at least two of those three years while employed in regional Australia. The position is also located in regional Australia.
  • You possess a subclass 457 or 482 visa and have worked in the designated occupation for the selected employer for at least the last three years. During that time, you have earned at least the Fair Work High Income Threshold each year.
  • Your earnings and the high-income threshold are calculated pro rata for the years that were affected if, during that three-year period, COVID-19 forced you to stand down or work fewer hours. Applications submitted on or after November 24, 2020, and in regard to COVID-19-related temporary employment changes occurring since February 1, 2020, are eligible for this concession.

Temporary arrangements

If you are under 50 when you apply and you currently have (or previously applied for and were later granted) a subclass 457 visa, you are still eligible to apply for this visa.

Eligible holders of legacy subclass 457 visas will have access to an age exemption starting on July 1, 2022, while applying through the TRT stream. In order to qualify, the visa holder must:

  • possess a category 457 visa as of 18 April 2017 or earlier
  • having spent at least a year in Australia between 1 February 2020 and 14 December 2021.
  • satisfy all other criteria for nomination and visas

Beginning on July 1, 2022, the age exemption will be available for two years.


Parish Patience is here to assist if you wish to move to Australia as a skilled worker and require professional advice. Thanks to our more than 10 years of experience in the field of education and migration counseling, we are able to offer comprehensive solutions to the candidates and support them throughout the entire process.

Since 1888, we have been offering assistance and support for all types of Visas in Australia. We’ll make sure your application is processed correctly and quickly – so that it meets the requirements necessary to enter this great country! We provide comprehensive solutions to the candidates and support them throughout the entire Visa journey.

Please call our office on 02 9286 8700 or

Book a Consultation with Parish Patience Immigration Lawyers for Expert Advice on subclass 186 ENS Visa.


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