Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa (subclass 187)

This visa is a permanent residence visa for skilled workers who want to work in regional Australia.
Visa holders can live in Australia indefinitely, work, study, have access to Medicare and follow on to citizenship if chosen.
For the purposes of this visa Regional Australia is anywhere other than the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong, Perth and Melbourne.
Please check the specific postcodes with our accompanying factsheet “Eligible Post Codes for the RSMS Visa“.

This visa involves a two-step process:


1. A Nomination Application from an Australian employer;
2. A Visa Application by the individual seeking the visa.


This visa requires the individual to start employment with the nominating employer within 6 months
of their entry in Australia or after the visa grant, and remain in that employment for a full 2 years.


The Direct Entry Stream is the most popular for this visa and the requirements are:


For the Individual applying for the visa:


– Must be under 50 years of age;
– Must be nominated by an employer in regional Australia (as per above);
– Must have a Competent Level of English: unless from an English-speaking country (USA, UK, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand). Competent means a score of 6 in each component of the IELTS General Exam or equivalent TOEFL, PTE or CAE;
– Meet minimum skills and qualifications: most candidates have to demonstrate they have a qualification matching the minimum requirement for their occupation. Others have to obtain a positive Skill Assessment;
– Meet health and character requirements.


For Employers nominating a foreign worker to their regional operations:


– Must actively and lawfully operate a business in regional Australia;
– Must have a genuine need for a paid employee to fill a skilled position;
– Must offer a skilled position in the applicant’s field that is full time and ongoing for at least two years;
– The position must be in a certain list as defined by Immigration: not all roles appear there;
– The position must attract a salary package that matches the average market salary rate;
– The business and its directors must comply with Australian immigration and workplace relations laws;
– There must be no adverse information known about the business or any person associated with it;
– The employer must apply for an opinion about the position and the local job market, with their local Regional Certifying Body. This could be a government agency, a local chambers of commerce, a local council or a regional development body. This application will generate a third party opinion that will assist immigration in deciding if the employer is really not able to fill the position locally, if they tested the local work force appropriately before making the job offer to a foreign worker and will check any other issues. This normally involves publishing ads for the job and in some cases even involving a recruiter.


Erica Carneiro
Co-Founder, Director and Registered Migration Agent 0532487