Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (Subclass 187) (‘RSMS Visa’)

​Introduction

This visa is a permanent residence visa for skilled workers who want to work in regional Australia. The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) allows employers in regional or low population growth areas of Australia, to sponsor employees who are foreign nationals for a permanent visa to work in Australia.

Visa applicants

As a visa applicant, you may be eligible for this visa if you:

  • have been nominated by an approved Australian employer in regional Australia (outside of the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong and Melbourne) within six months prior to making an application;
  • are under the age of 45 (there are exceptions available);
  • possess the required skills and qualifications for your nominated position – you need to hold relevant mandatory registration, license or professional membership, or already fully assessed as suitable by the relevant body;
  • have appropriate English language skills for Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream and Direct Entry (DE) stream (there are exemptions available);
  • meet health and character requirements; and
  • meet the requirements of the stream in which you apply.

Nominating Employer

As a nominating business, you can nominate a skilled worker for this visa if:

  • you actively and lawfully operate a business in Regional Australia
  • you have a genuine need for a paid employee to fill a skilled position
  • you offer a skilled position in the applicant’s field that is full time and ongoing for at least two years
  • you have met training benchmark requirement
  • you pay a market salary rate
  • you comply with Australian law including in relation to immigration and employment
  • there is no adverse information known about your business or any person associated with your business, or it is reasonable to disregard this information
  • the nominated has been approved by the relevant Regional Certifying Body in the regional area your business operates.

Streams

the Temporary Residence Transition stream

This stream may be available if your employer wishes to sponsor you for permanent residence and you hold either of the following:

  • Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482) - in the medium-term stream unless transitional arrangements apply
  • Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) - not granted under labour agreement arrangements or
  • related associated Bridging visa and have worked for your employer full-time in Australia on your TSS and/or subclass 457 visa(s) for at least:

    • three out of the previous four years (before the nomination is made) in the same position that they have nominated you for or
    • two out of the previous three years before the nomination is made, if transitional arrangements apply because you either held, or were an applicant for, a subclass 457 visa (which was subsequently granted) on 18 April 2017.

If you have already worked for your nominating employer as above, your skills do not need to be assessed. You must have at least vocational English. No Regional Certification is required for this stream.

the Direct Entry stream

If you do not meet the requirements under the TRT stream (for example, because you have never, or only briefly worked in Australia), never held or do not currently hold a 457 or TSS visa, this stream may then be available if your employer still wishes to sponsor you for permanent residence, and that you meet certain criteria to apply under this stream.

Process

Once you have identified the stream of which you wish to apply, this visa will involve a three-step process:

  1. a nomination application for a skilled position by an approved Australian employer (and a separate application to a relevant Regional Certifying Body in your area to seek supporting advice)
  2. a visa application by the proposed employee

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