Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187)

Features

​This visa is a permanent residence visa for skilled workers who want to work in regional Australia. It allows you to work in Australia under one of three streams:

  • the Temporary Residence Transition stream
  • the Direct Entry stream
  • the Agreement stream.

Eligibility

You must:

  • be nominated by an approved Australian employer for a job in regional Australia
  • are under 50 years of age, if you are applying under the Temporary Residence stream, or you are under 45 years of age if you are applying under the Direct Entry stream
  • meet the skills, qualifications and English language requirements of the position
  • meet the other requirements of one of the streams of this visa.

Length of stay

Permanently

Cost

From AUD 3,670

Information about the 1 July 2017 changes is available. See 1 July 2017 changes to skilled visa programmes.

Learn about...

The process

Processing time

Stream75 per cent of applications processed90 per cent of applications processed
Temporary Residence Transition stream 8 Months 9 Months
Direct Entry stream 15 Months 18 Months
Agreement stream Unavailable due to low volume of applications. Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

Last updated 16 November 2017 (for month ending 31 October 2017)

Processing times vary.

For more information read Global visa and citizenship processing times.

The streams

Temporary Residence Transition stream

The Temporary Residence Transition stream is for subclass 457 visa holders who have worked for at least two out of the three years (before the nomination is made), while holding a subclass 457 visa, in the same occupation with their nominating employer (who is not subject to a labour agreement and who has lodged a valid nomination with us under the Temporary Residence Transition stream), who wants to offer them a permanent position in that occupation.

Direct Entry stream

The Direct Entry stream is for:

  • people who have been nominated by their employer under the Direct Entry stream
  • people who have never, or only briefly, worked in Australia
  • temporary residents who do not qualify for the Temporary Residence Transition stream.

Agreement stream

The Agreement stream is for subclass 457 visa holders nominated by an employer through a labour agreement.

Eligibility - All streams

Who could get this visa

You might be able to get this visa if you:

  • have been nominated by an approved Australian employer in regional Australia within six months before you apply
  • are under the age of 50, if you are applying under the Temporary Residence stream, or are under the age of 45, if you are applying under the Direct Entry stream
  • at time of application lodgement, have the required skills and qualifications for the position you have been nominated for – you must hold any mandatory registration, license or professional membership, or you must already be fully assessed as suitable by the relevant body
  • at time of application lodgement, have appropriate English language skills for Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream and Direct Entry (DE) stream.
  • meet health and character requirements
  • meet the requirements of the stream in which you apply.

Age

If you are older than 50 years of age, you can still apply for this visa.

English language requirements

You can show that your English is adequate by providing evidence at the time of application.

Health

You must meet certain health requirements. The results of your health examinations are generally valid for 12 months.

This applies to all members of your family unit included in your application, whether they are migrating or not.

You are able to organise your health examinations upfront before lodging a visa application.

Character

You must meet certain character requirements. You must be prepared to provide a police certificate from each country you have lived in for 12 months or more during the past 10 years after you turned 16 years of age. Do not arrange for police certificates until we ask you to.

This applies to you and all members of your family unit listed in your application, whether they are migrating or not.

Additional eligibility

Temporary Residence Transition stream

You might be able to get this visa under the Temporary Residence Transition stream if you are the holder of a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) and you satisfied the primary criteria for that visa.

At the time you make your application, you must provide evidence with your online application.

Direct Entry stream

You might be able to get this visa under the Direct Entry stream if one of the following applies to you:

  • have been nominated for a position under this stream and that nomination has been approved
  • you have never, or only briefly, worked in Australia
  • you hold a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) but do not qualify for the Temporary Residence Transition stream
  • you are applying directly from outside Australia.

At time of application lodgement, you must provide evidence with your online application that you:

Agreement stream

You might be able to get this visa under the Agreement stream if you are being sponsored by an employer through a tailored and negotiated labour agreement.
Your employer can advise if such an agreement is in place for your industry or occupation.

You must meet the age, skills and English language requirements stated in the agreement.

The visa

About this visa

The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187) is for skilled workers who want to work in regional Australia. This visa involves a two-step process, firstly, nomination by an approved Australian employer and then an application under the nominated stream. It is part of the Permanent Employer Sponsored Visa program.

You can apply for this visa only after you have been nominated by an employer in regional Australia.

What this visa lets you do

This visa allows you and your family to live in Australia and work permanently in regional Australia.

This is a permanent residence visa. It allows you and any family members who have also been granted this visa to:

  • stay in Australia indefinitely
  • work and study in Australia
  • enrol in Medicare, Australia's scheme for health-related care and expenses
  • apply for Australian citizenship (if you are eligible)
  • sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence
  • travel to and from Australia for five years from the date the visa is granted (after that time, you will need a resident return visa or another visa to return to Australia).

Expression of interest

If you do not have an employer who will nominate you, you can submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect. Prospective employers and state and territory governments can then view your details and decide whether to nominate you for skilled migration.

Your EOI must specify which stream you want to be considered for. No supporting documents are required at this time. You can lodge your EOI while you are in or outside Australia.

Information about business and employment in various states and territories is available:

Location

You can be in or outside Australia when you apply. If you are in Australia, you must hold a substantive visa or a bridging visa A, B or C.

How long the visa lasts

This visa is a permanent residence visa.

Cost

From AUD 3670

How to pay
    This visa is paid in two parts, called instalments:
  • Pay the first instalment when you lodge your application.
  • Pay the second instalment when we tell you to. You will not be granted the visa unless it is paid.
Additional family members

There is also a fee for additional family members who are coming to Australia with you.

Estimate the cost of your application

The visa pricing estimator is an online tool that calculates the total cost of your visa.

Visa pricing estimator

Other costs

You might have to pay other costs, such as the costs of health assessments, police certificates, or any other certificates or tests. You are responsible for making the necessary arrangements.

Family

You can include the following people in your visa application at the time of lodgement:

  • your partner
  • your child/step-child or your partner’s child/step-child.

For detailed information regarding who you can include in your application see including family members in your application.

The application must include documentary evidence of their relationship to you.

Members of your family unit must be able to show that they meet health and character requirements.

Workers in Australia

Workers in Australia – including visa holders with permission to work – have rights under Australian workplace law.

The Fair Work Ombudsman’s Pay and Conditions Tool (PACT) provides information on pay rates, shift calculations, leave arrangements and notice and redundancy entitlements.

See also: Workplace rights for all visa holders working in Australia

Your obligations

You and your family must comply with all visa conditions and Australian laws.

We might cancel this visa if you do not make a genuine effort to begin employment with your employer within six months of:

  • your first entry to Australia if you were granted this visa while you were outside of Australia; or
  • the visa being granted if you were granted this visa while you were in Australia.

We might also seek to cancel this visa if you begin employment but do not remain in the position for the full two years.

If this happens, you will have a chance to explain, in writing, why your visa should not be cancelled.

Employers

Information for employers who want to nominate a skilled worker (and members of their family unit included in their application), for this visa.

Who can nominate a skilled worker for this visa

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.

You must nominate the applicant in one of the three streams and meet the requirements of that stream.

Temporary Residence Transition stream

Direct Entry stream

Agreement stream

Market salary rate

You must provide terms and conditions of employment that are no less favourable than those that would apply to an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident doing equivalent work in the same workplace.

You must prove to us that you will pay your skilled worker the market salary rate.

Follow these steps

VisaProductPageInfoGraphic.pngSteps for employers

Follow these steps if you want to nominate a skilled worker (and members of their family unit included in their application) for this visa.

There is information on steps to apply for applicants

  1. Gather documents

    Prepare your documents

    You need to provide documents to prove the claims you make in the application. The documents are listed in the Document checklist. Some documents could take some time to obtain. You should have them ready when you lodge the application to reduce any delays in processing.

  2. Lodge your nomination

    Lodge your nomination online

    You must lodge your nomination application online. More information is available in Employer Sponsored (ENS/RSMS) visa online applications.

    You must provide all relevant documents when you apply. You can log back into your account and attach further documents at any time

    Complete nomination applications are likely to be processed more quickly. Incomplete ones can be delayed and, on occasion, refused.

    Although there is no charge to lodge a nomination application for the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme you might have to pay a Regional Certifying Body for their advice in relation to a Direct Entry stream position.

  3. After you lodge

    Nomination decision

    If your nomination is approved, we will send you a letter containing your nomination approval number.

      If this nomination is not approved, we will send you a letter stating:
    • why your nomination was refused
    • your rights (if any) to a merits review of the decision and relevant time limits.

    Report changes in your circumstances

    You need to contact the relevant visa processing office to report any changes in circumstances that could affect the processing of your nomination.

    When you write to us, you must include:

    • your business name
    • your ABN (for businesses in Australia) or other identifier (for businesses outside Australia)
    • the number we give you when you lodge your nomination online. This is usually a Transaction Reference Number (TRN).

    Providing all this information helps us locate your application quickly.

VisaProductPageInfoGraphic.png Steps for applicants

Follow these steps if you are an applicant for a Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187).

  1. Before you apply

    ‘No further stay’ condition

    Contact us if you are not sure whether your current visa conditions prevent you from applying for a further visa while you are in Australia. Applicants holding substantive visas with no further stay condition might be able to lodge applications for this visa in certain circumstances.

    Your passport

    You need a valid passport or other travel document for this visa. If you plan to get a new passport, you should do so before applying for your visa. If you get a new passport after you have lodged your application, give the details of your new passport to one of our offices.

    You might be able to update your passport details using ImmiAccount .

  2. Gather documents

    Prepare your documents

    You must provide documents to support your application for this visa.

  3. Apply

    Apply for the visa online

    You must apply for this visa online. More information is available in Employer Sponsored (ENS/RSMS) visa online applications.

    You must provide all relevant documents and pay the visa application charge by credit card when you apply.

    Upload your documents using your ImmiAccount when you lodge your online application. This will help reduce delays in processing the application.

    More information

      Please refer to preparing your application, for information on:
    • certifying and translating documents into English
    • communicating with us
    • using a migration agent
    • authorising another person to receive information from us
    • receiving assistance with your application.
  4. After you apply

    After you have lodged your application and documents, we will acknowledge that we have received your information.

    You can track and manage your application using ImmiAccount.

    Wait for a decision

    Your application could take longer if you need character or health checks (including x-rays), if you need to provide more information, or if your application is incomplete.

    Outside Australia

    If you apply for this visa from outside Australia, do not make arrangements to travel to Australia until you are advised in writing that you have been granted a visa. Wait for a decision from us before you leave your job, sell your home or book your travel.

    In Australia

    If you apply for this visa in Australia, you could be eligible for a Bridging visa that allows you to stay in the country lawfully while your application is processed. If you are given a Bridging visa A, you can apply for a Bridging visa B (BVB) to travel outside Australia while you wait for a decision.

    Provide more information

      You can provide more information to us at any time until a decision is made on the application. If you want to correct information you provided, use:
    • Form 1023 - Notification of incorrect answer(s) (99KB PDF).

    We could also ask you for more information. You will have to respond by a set date. After that date, we can make a decision about your application using the information that we have.

    You can provide additional information, including Form 1023, using ImmiAccount.

    If another person gives us information that could result in you being refused a visa, we will usually give you the opportunity to comment on the information.

    Visa decision

      If the visa is granted, we will let you know:
    • when you can use the visa
    • the visa grant number
    • any conditions attached to the visa.
      If the visa is not granted, we will let you know:
    • why the visa was refused
    • your review rights (if any). Where applicable, your sponsor can apply for the decision to be reviewed
    • the time limit for lodging an appeal.

    Contact information

    If documents need to be provided, use your online ImmiAccount. For other information, contact the relevant processing area.

    Tell us of changes

    Tell us if your circumstances change. This includes a new residential address, a new passport, or a pregnancy, birth, divorce, separation, marriage, de facto relationship or death in your family.

    More information is available in the Tell us of changes tab.

Tell us of changes

VisaProductPageInfoGraphic.pngEmployer

Changes to your circumstances

You need to contact the relevant visa processing office to report any changes in circumstances that could affect the processing of your application.

    When you write to us, you must include:
  • your business name
  • your ABN (for businesses in Australia) or other identifier (for businesses outside Australia)
  • the number we give you when you lodge your application online. This is usually a Transaction Reference Number (TRN).

Providing all this information helps us locate your application quickly.

Contact information

If documents need to be provided, use your online ImmiAccount. For other information, contact the processing area. nsw.pse@border.gov.au
GPO Box 9984
Sydney NSW 2001

VisaProductPageInfoGraphic.pngApplicant

Changes to your circumstances

Tell us if your circumstances change. This includes a new residential address, a new passport, or a pregnancy, birth, divorce, separation, marriage, de facto relationship or death in your family.

    You can use the following forms:
  • Form 929 - Change of address and/or passport details (86 KB PDF) — if you move to a new address or change your passport
  • Form 1022 - Notification of changes in circumstances (77 KB PDF) — if there are other changes in your circumstances.

You might be able to update your address and passport details using ImmiAccount.

If you do not provide us with the details of any new passport issued to you, you could experience significant delays at the airport and might be denied permission to board your plane.

Withdrawing your application

You can withdraw the application at any time before we make a decision about it. To do this, send us a letter or email to ask for the withdrawal. Your request must include your full name and date of birth. You should also include your file reference number, client ID, or a Transaction Reference Number.

All applicants 18 years of age or older, wishing to withdraw, must sign the request for withdrawal.

Estimate the cost of your visa

* Price will be displayed in Australian dollars unless changed.
The following Visa Pricing Estimator requires you to answer the questions as accurately as possible to provide you with an estimate for lodging a visa application. The estimator might not include the second instalment of the visa application charge which is payable for some visas. Please note this is an estimate for a visa application, if you have already lodged your application and you want to change/add applicants please refer to the Visa Pricing Table. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection Visa Pricing Estimator will give you an estimate of the charges you may need to pay to lodge a visa application. This is paid after you have made your application but before the visa can be granted. Read the department's full disclaimer. The Commonwealth of Australia does not guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of any material in the Visa Pricing Estimator.