Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme
Notice – The details of this scheme have been changed in April 2017. We will update this page as more details come to hand.
Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) Subclass 187 Visa
The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) is designed to assist regional employers nominate skilled migrants to fill a full time vacancy (available for at least two years) when there is a genuine need for a paid employee in a business located in regional Australia.
The RSMS category is not points tested and applicants may be overseas or already in Australia on a temporary visa. RSMS covers all areas of Australia except Brisbane, Gold Coast, Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong and Melbourne.
Generally, applicants under the RSMS need to be less than 50 years of age, meet a certain level of English language proficiency and have qualifications and skill requirements relevant to the nominated occupation.
There are objective exemptions available for age, skills and English language ability.
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 pay a “market salary rate”
- you comply with Australian immigration and workplace relations laws
- there is no “adverse information” known about your business or any person associated with your business.
Three Stream Options
You must nominate the applicant in one of the three streams and meet the requirements of that stream.
- Temporary Residence Transition stream – for Subclass 457 Visa holders who have worked for their employer for at least the last two years in the same occupation and the employer wants to offer them a permanent position in that occupation.
- Direct Entry stream – for applicants who have never or only briefly worked in Australia.
- Agreement stream – for applicants with a Subclass 457 Visa who are being sponsored by an employer through a labour or regional migration agreement.
Temporary Residence Transition Stream
Use this stream if you have already sponsored the applicant for a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (Subclass 457):
- The employee must have worked in the nominated position in your business, on a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa as a primary visa holder, for at least two years before the nomination is lodged.
- The nominated position must be full time, ongoing, available for at least two years and be consistent with the position in which the applicant has already worked.
- You must have met the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa training requirements and continue to do so.
Direct Entry stream
Use this stream if you want to nominate an applicant to fill a position that is:
- an occupation classified at skill level 1 to 3 in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO)
- full time, ongoing and available for at least two years.
Regional Certifying Bodies (RCB)
You must obtain advice from a regional certifying body about the position you want to fill. You may have to pay a charge to obtain advice from a RCB for the position you want to fill. The RCB’s advice can be submitted to the Immigration Department before or after lodging you have lodged an online employer nomination application.
RCBs are a diverse network of state and territory government agencies, local chambers of commerce, local government councils and regional development bodies. Advice provided by an RCB is intended to ensure all RSMS direct entry stream nominations have been scrutinised by a third party who is familiar with local labour market conditions and who may be able to provide information on regional matters which the department may not be aware of.
The RCB’s advice is intended to ensure all RSMS Direct Entry stream nominations have been scrutinised by a third party who is familiar with local labour market conditions and who may be able to provide information on regional matters which the Department may not be aware of.
The RCB assesses the employer’s nomination against the following criteria:
- genuine need for a paid employee in a business operated by the employer that is actively and lawfully operating in a regional area of Australia
- terms and conditions of employment are the same as those that would apply to an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident performing the same work in the same location
- nominated position cannot be reasonably filled from the local labour market.
Currently there are a range of RCBs covering regional areas in all Australian states and territories. Contact the relevant regional certifying body for more information.
Use this stream to nominate an applicant through a labour agreement that has been negotiated with the government before you lodge the nomination.