187 Australian Permanent Work Visa – Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS)

The 187 Visa is a Permanent Visa for people Nominated by a business operating in ‘Regional Australia’.

This visa allows the holder and accompanying family members to remain permanently in Australia. The employee must commence work within six months of approval and continue to work for the employer in the regional area for 2 years.

The processing time for the 187 visa can take from 2 – 8 months.

The 187 Visa requires Three separate applications; Regional Certification, Employer Nomination Application and a Visa Application.

Benefits of Applying for RSMS (187 Visa) over ENS (186 Visa)

  • Under the Direct Entry Stream the employer does not need to meet the training requirement applicable to other business sponsored visas.
  • There is a wider range of occupations with a lower skill requirement.
  • There is no minimum work experience requirement and most occupations do not need a Skills Assessment.
  • RSMS (187 Visa) has the quickest processing time in the Skilled Migration Program.
  • There is no application fee for the Nomination application; however there is a fee for the Regional Certification.

Requirements

There are two distinct pathways that enable applicants to obtain this visa:

  • The Temporary Residence Transition Stream enables existing 457 visa holders who have worked for their sponsoring employer for 2 years to apply based on a further Nomination by their existing employer.
  • The Direct Entry Stream enables Visa applicants who demonstrate the required qualifications and/or experience to apply for this visa if Nominated by their employer.

The Temporary Residence Transition Stream

The following requirements must be met for the RSMS Temporary Residence Transition Stream.

Nomination Application 

  • The business is actively and lawfully operating in regional Australia.
  • The position is full-time and available to the visa applicant for at least two years.
  • The business demonstrates that an Australian employee cannot be sources from the local labour market and that there is a genuine need for the business to employ the visa applicant.
  • The position has been certified by a Regional Certifying Body (RCB).
  • The visa applicant is offered equivalent terms and conditions of employment including Market Salary Rates.
  • The tasks to be performed in the occupation correspond to a skill level 1-3 of the ANZSCO description.
  • There is no adverse information known about the business or its associates.
  • Meet the Training Requirement.

Visa Application

  • Be under the age of 50 at time of application.
  • Meet English Language requirements (IELTS 5). Accompanying family members aged over 18 must have English Language ability of at least IELTS 4.5 or pay a Secondary visa application charge.
  • The position that was approved in the 187 Nomination relates to the current holder of the 457 held on the basis that the holder held that visa for at least 2 years.
  • Hold registration, licencing or membership for the Nominated Occupation (if required).
  • Visa applicant and accompanying family members must meet health and character requirements. Medical tests and Police Clearances are required.

Limited exemptions apply to Age, Skill and English Language ability.

The Direct Entry Stream

The following requirements must be met for the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) Direct Entry Stream.

Nomination Application

  • The business is actively and lawfully operating in regional Australia.
  • The position is full-time and available to the visa applicant for at least two years
  • The business demonstrates that an Australian employee cannot be sources from the local labour market and that there is a genuine need for the business to employ the visa applicant.
  • The position has been certified by a Regional Certifying Body (RCB).
  • The visa applicant is offered equivalent terms and conditions of employment including Market Salary Rates.
  • The tasks to be performed in the occupation correspond to a skill level 1-3 of the ANZSCO description.
  • There is no adverse information known about the business or its associates.
  • Under the Direct Entry Stream the business does not need to meet the training requirement applicable to other business sponsored visas. There is no application fee for the Nomination application; however there is a fee for the Regional Certification.

Visa application

  • Be under the age of 50 at time of application.
  • Meet English Language requirements (IELTS 6). Accompanying family members aged over 18 must have English Language ability of at least IELTS 4.5 or pay a Secondary visa application charge.
  • The Visa applicant must be eligible to hold registration, licencing or membership for the Nominated Occupation (if required).
  • The Visa applicant holds a relevant qualification or can provide evidence of relevant work experience for the nominated occupation at the required skill level.
  • The visa applicant will be paid at the ‘market rate’.
  • Visa applicant and accompanying family members must meet health and character requirements. Medical tests and Police Clearances are required.
  • Visa applicants nominated in designated Trade occupations (ANZSCO Skill level 3) who did not obtain their qualification in Australia are required to undertake a skills assessment. There is no requirement for skills assessment if the nominated occupation is not on this list.

Limited exemptions apply to Age, Skill and English Language ability.

Regional Certification Application

Prior to the lodgement of the Nomination application a Regional Certifying Body (RCB) Application must be lodged  to approve the position on offer to the visa applicant. The RCB has a responsibility for assessing that the employer is offering the Market Rate of salary, that an Australian employee cannot be sourced from the local labour market and that there is a genuine need for the business to employ the visa applicant.

RCB’s are appointed by the Department of Immigration for each different regional area. Each RCB has different criteria and an approval often has to be negotiated with the appointed body. There is a fee determined by the RCB for making an application.

Labour Market Testing

There is a requirement that as part of the Nomination and Regional Certification Applications that the business demonstrates that it cannot find a suitably qualified Australian candidate for the position from the local area. We can advise on how best to demonstrate this given your particular circumstances.

RSMS Regional Areas

The following are considered Regional areas for the 187 RSMS Visa:

  • Western Australia
  • South Australia
  • Tasmania
  • ACT
  • Northern Territory
  • New South Wales (NSW) – all areas excluding: Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong
  • Victoria – all areas excluding Melbourne
  • Queensland– all areas excluding Brisbane

Application Fees

Service Fees
RSMS Visa Application Fee $3520
Professional Fees $4400
* Regional Certification Fee determined by individual Regional Certifying Bodies.