Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) Subclass 187 Visas

The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme or RSMS visa is a permanent employer sponsored visa which requires a job offer in a Regional Area of Australia.

RSMS Application Stages

There are in general three stages to an RSMS application:
  1. RCB Certification: the Regional Certifying Body will ensure that the position is genuine and in many cases require that the position has been advertised
  2. Nomination: review of the business and position by the Department of Immigration
  3. Visa application: there are three pathways, and generally the skill level is lower than for the ENS program. Applicants must be aged under 50, unless exceptional circumstances apply.

RSMS Regional Areas

In order to be granted an RSMS visa, the employee must be offered a position in a "regional area". The regional areas are specified by postcode by the Department of Immigration.

The following are considered Regional areas for the purposes of RSMS sponsorship:

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

Application Pathways

There are three possible application pathways for an RSMS visa:
  • Temporary Residence Transition: where applicants have worked with the employer on a 457 visa for the last 2 years. In this case, no RCB certification is required.
  • Direct Entry Stream: the position will need to be certified by an RCB. Applicants in trade occupations may require a formal skills assessment.
  • Agreement Stream: where the employer has a Labour Agreement

Benefits of Applying for RSMS over ENS visa

The requirements for RSMS are more straightforward than ENS in a number of important ways:
  • The employer does not need to meet the training requirement
  • The visa applicant requires a lower level of skill for the Direct Entry Stream - most applicants do not require a skills assessment, and there is no minimum work experience requirement
  • It is possible to apply for RSMS in a wider range of occupations than ENS
  • RSMS is the highest priority visa in the skilled migration stream

Common Issues with RSMS Visas

The main difficulties employers face when obtaining RSMS visas are as follows:
  • Identifying the correct eligibility stream
  • Obtaining an RCB approval - each RCB has different criteria and an approval may need to be individually negotiated with the RCB
  • Showing exceptional circumstances where visa applicants would not meet the usual requirements for Age, English language ability and skill level

Acacia's Expertise

RSMS has a much higher refusal rate than ENS - the main reason for this is that self-lodging applicants miss vital visa requirements.

Please book an immigration consultation to find out how Acacia can assist with your RSMS application.

Stay up to date - Subscribe to Immigration News!