What is the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme?

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 regional Australia.

The employee may be a highly skilled worker from overseas or a highly skilled temporary resident currently in Australia.

This visa involves a three step process:

  1. Regional Certification Board (RCB) approval
  2. Nomination by an approved Australian employer and,
  3. A Subclass 187 visa application by the skilled worker.

The applicant can be in or outside Australia when an application is made for this visa. The applicant must have a valid substantive visa or a bridging visa A, B, or C to apply for this visa in Australia.

The Subclass 187 visa has three streams:

  1. The Temporary Residence Transition stream is for 457 visa holders who have worked for two years, while holding a subclass 457 visa, in the same occupation, with their nominating employer who wants to offer them a permanent position in that occupation.
  2. The Direct Entry stream is for applicants who have not worked on a 457 visa with their nominating employer for two years but who are formally qualified in their occupation or have sufficient experience in their occupation to meet the skills requirement for the visa. In the case of trade occupations applicants may need a positive skills assessment in their occupation.
  3. The Agreement stream is for applicants sponsored by an employer through a labour agreement.

Who can qualify for a Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) subclass 187 visa?

You can qualify for this visa if:

  • You have been nominated by an approved Australian employer operating a business in regional Australia. Broadly speaking regional Australia includes anywhere in Australia, excluding the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong and Melbourne. (For the complete list of postcodes specified as regional Australia, click here).
  • Your nomination was approved less than six months prior to applying for your visa.
  • You are under the age of 50 at the time of lodging your application, unless you are exempt from the age requirements.
  • At time you lodged your visa application you have the required skills and qualifications for the position you have been nominated for.
  • If there are mandatory registration, license or professional membership requirements for your nominated occupation in the state you are being nominated for a position you must hold the mandatory registration, licence or professional membership at the time you apply for the visa.
  • At time of applying for the visa you must have appropriate English language skills for the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream or the Direct Entry (DE) stream unless you are exempt from the English language requirements.
  • You and your dependant family members must meet health and character requirements
  • You must meet the particular requirements of the stream through which you apply for your subclass 187 visa.