By Zoe He -
Senior Partner at AILS
Many students came to us with excitement, telling us that finally after months of efforts in looking for a job someone is willing to hire them and even better, the employer can sponsor them for an ENS visa. Well, good news indeed, but is finding an employer all there is to it?
Today we are going to explore the requirements for ENS Direct Entry Stream, which many new graduates are considering to apply for but unfortunately few will meet the strict requirements.
Many of you may have known that there are three streams under ENS, the Temporary Residence Transition Stream, the Direct Entry Stream and the Labour Agreement Stream.
The Temporary Residence Transition Stream is for 457 visa holders who have worked for two years on a 457 visa in a nominated occupation with their nominating employer, who nominates them again in the same occupation for a permanent position.
A Labour Agreement Stream is for people sponsored by an employer through a labour agreement. Labour agreements are complicated and rare so we will not expand more on these. For most international students, the Temporary Residence Transition Stream do not apply to them because they have been on student visas, which leaves them with the only option- the Direct Entry Stream.
Requirements for ENS Direct Entry Stream include:
- Nomination: been nominated by an approved Australian employer within 6 months of the employer gaining this approval;
- Age: under 50 at the time of application, unless exempt;
- English: IELTS - at least 6 for each band or OET - at least 'B' in each component, unless exempt;
- Skills assessment: holding a positive skills assessment for the nominated occupation which is on the CSOL, unless exempt; (Note: Skills assessments cannot be more than three years old)
- Work experience: at least three years of full-time relevant work experience (Australian or overseas), unless exempt.
Among all the above requirements, one that worries our readers most may be the 3 years full-time work experience criterion, so we will discuss it in detail in this edition.
To meet the visa requirements, when applying for an ENS visa (Direct Entry Stream) the applicant must have at least 3 years of full-time work experience in the occupation for which they are nominated. The work experience does not have to be gained from Australian employment. It can be from overseas or a combination of overseas and Australian employment. Some key elements that must be considered when assessing whether your experience meet the ENS criteria are
- 3 years, full-time
- At required skill level
- Closely related to the nominated occupation
'3 years, full-time'
Under policy, at least 35 hours of work per week is considered full-time. Literally this is 156 weeks of employment with a load of 35 hours per week. The weeks do not need to be consecutive and there is no time frame over how long it took to accumulate it.
For our regular readers you will note that this 35 hour per week requirement differs from the 20 hours per week benchmark for allocating points under Schedule 6D we discussed in Volumes 322 and 328.
Immigration policy on ENS also recognises part-time work arrangements. If work experience is to be expressed in full-time terms, for part-time workers this can be calculated pro-rata. In other words, if part-time work, for example, is at 50% of a full-time load, the applicant can demonstrate 6 years of such part-time experience to meet the '3 years, full-time' requirement.
- Examples of reaching the 3 year criterion
- Working at the required skill level
- Closely related to your occupation work - Accountants and Bookeepers