Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) - Subclass 187

This visa program offers a direct pathway to permanent residency for those applicants who are either skilled applicants from overseas or already residing in Australia on a temporary visa.

The Regional Skilled Migration Scheme (RSMS) is of particular benefit to business owners in regional Australia as it allows the employer to nominate skilled foreign workers and employ them on a full time permanent basis. 
 

Application Process

This type of visa is known as a subclass 187 and the application process involves two stages:

  • The employer lodges a nomination application; and

  • The nominated worker lodges a visa application.
     

Employer Criteria

An employing entity must satisfy the following criteria:

  • The business must be lawfully operating in Australia;

  • The employer must demonstrate there is a need to fill the position;

  • The employer must pay and treat the nominated person (employee) no less favourably than an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident performing the same work;

  • The employer commits to employing the nominated person (employee) on a full-time basis for a period of two years; 

  • The employer must demonstrate that the position cannot be filled locally by either an Australian citizen or permanent resident;

  • The employer complies with relevant workplace relations laws;  

  • The nominated position is located in a regional area of Australia; 

  • The nominated position must be listed as an occupation at skill level 1 to 3 as set out in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) as published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics; and

  • The Regional Certifying Body has approved the nomination.

 

Application Streams

The most common RSMS visa applications can be made using one of the following streams:

1) Direct Entry Stream

Direct Entry Stream is a pathway for visa applicants who are either overseas or in Australia when they apply but are not eligible to apply under the Temporary Residence Transition Scheme.

The visa applicant must satisfy the following criteria if nominated under the Direct Entry Stream:

  • The applicant can either be in or outside of Australia at the time of application. If in Australia the applicant must hold an Australian substantive visa or a relevant Bridging visa;

  • Demonstrate that they are suitably qualified to hold the position they have been nominated for;

  • Demonstrate that they hold any necessary registration or licensing associated with the nominated position
    (if applicable);

  • Demonstrate that they meet the character and health requirements;

  • Demonstrate that they are under 45 years of age; and

  • Demonstrate that they have competent English ability (unless exempt). (Current IELTS test score requirements to satisfy competency is “6” in each of the four test components).

 

2) Temporary Residence Transition Stream:

Temporary Residence Transition Stream is for those visa applicants who currently hold a 457 visa and have worked for their current sponsor in their nominated position for two years.

The visa applicant must satisfy the following criteria if nominated under the Temporary Residence Transition Stream:

  • Demonstrate that they have worked for their current sponsor on a 457 visa in their nominated position for a period of two years;
  • Demonstrate that the new nomination is the same as their nominated 457 occupation;

  • Demonstrate that they have at least vocational English ability (unless exempt). (Current IELTS test score requirements to satisfy vocational English is “6” in each of the four test components.);

  • Demonstrate they meet the character and health requirements; and

  • Demonstrate that they are under 45 years of age (unless exempt).

Please note that Regional Certification is not required for the Temporary Residence Transition Stream but the employer must demonstrate that they have met and continue to meet the training requirements of a standard 457 business sponsor.