Exploring 186 Visa Processing Times: A Comprehensive Guide

As an aspiring immigrant or an employer seeking to sponsor a skilled worker, understanding the 186 Visa processing time is crucial. In today’s fast-paced world, the process of obtaining an Employer Nomination Scheme Subclass 186 can be a daunting and time-consuming task. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of 186 Visa processing, shedding light on the timelines and procedures you can expect.

Introducing the 186 Visa

Before we delve into the processing times, let’s clarify what a Visa Subclass 186 entails. The Subclass 186 Visa, also known as the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) Visa, is designed for skilled foreign workers who have been nominated by an Australian employer. It is a pathway to permanent residency in the Land Down Under and offers numerous benefits to both employees and employers.

Understanding 186 Visa Processing Times

The processing time for a 186 Visa can vary depending on various factors. It’s important to note that these times are subject to change and can fluctuate due to workload, application completeness, and other external factors. However, on average, the processing time for a Subclass 186 Visa is as follows:

Temporary Residence Transition Stream

Stream Description: This stream is for 457 Visa holders who have worked with their employer for at least two years and wish to continue working in their nominated occupation.

Processing Time: Approximately 16 to 18 months.

Direct Entry Stream

Stream Description: The Direct Entry Stream is for individuals who have not previously held a 457 Visa or have held one but do not qualify for the Temporary Residence Transition Stream.

Processing Time: Approximately 15 to 19 months.

Agreement Stream

Stream Description: This stream is for individuals nominated by an employer through a labour agreement.

Processing Time: Approximately 15 to 19 months.


Factors Influencing Processing Times

Several factors can impact the processing time of your 186 Visa application. It’s essential to be aware of these variables to set realistic expectations:

  1. Application Completeness: Ensure that all required documents and information are provided to expedite the process.
  2. Health and Character Checks: Any delays in obtaining necessary health or character clearances can prolong the processing time.
  3. Demand and Workload: High demand for visas or an increased workload at the Department of Home Affairs can extend processing times.
  4. Stream Selection: Choosing the appropriate stream for your situation is vital, as different streams may have varying processing times.

Tips for a Smooth Visa Application Process

To navigate the 186 Visa application process efficiently, here are some essential tips:

  1. Thorough Documentation: Ensure all documents are complete, accurate, and up to date.
  2. Plan Ahead: Start your application well in advance to account for potential delays.
  3. Professional Assistance: Consider seeking professional guidance or using a migration agent to streamline the process.
  4. Regular Updates: Keep track of your application’s progress and respond promptly to any requests from the Department of Home Affairs.


In conclusion, understanding the 186 Visa processing time is crucial for anyone considering immigration to Australia through this pathway. While the timelines may vary, being well-prepared and informed can significantly expedite the process. Remember that patience and diligence are key when embarking on this journey towards Australian permanent residency. In order to help you achieve your educational and immigration goals, our team of knowledgeable and trained immigration consultant Perth offers comprehensive support.


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