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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)
  • Please see latest 187 visa changes commencing 18 March 2018 here

In summary you must meet the below criteria for the 187 VISA (RSMS) – (2019 update)

  • Have an occupation on the 187 Visa Occupations List (RSMS List)
  • Meet the English language requirements: IELTS (or equivalent test) score of 6 in each component.
  • Age: a maximum age requirement of 45 at the time of application will apply to Direct Entry stream
    applicants. A maximum age requirement of 50 at the time of application will continue to apply to Temporary Residence Transition stream applicants
  • Integrity: A range of amendments have been introduced to enhance the integrity of the ENS and RSMS visas, including through requiring the nominated position to be genuine, and removal of the English language and skills exemption for applicants whose nominated earnings would be over $180,000.
  • The Department of Immigration will collect Tax File Numbers for these visa holders, and data will be matched with the Australian Tax Office’s records to ensure that visa holders are not paid less than their nominated salary

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. The regional areas are specified by postcode by the Department of Immigration.
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 45, unless exceptional circumstances apply.
RSMS Regional Areas: 
  • The whole of Western Australia- all areas excluding Perth
  • 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- Except the greater Brisbane area and the Gold Coast
There are THREE possible application PATHWAYS for an RSMS visa: 1.     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 and an English level equivalent to IELTS 6 is required.
2.     Direct Entry Stream: the position will need to be certified by an RCB, and the employee will need English level equivalent to IELTS 6. Applicants in trade occupations may require a formal skills assessment .
3.     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 the 186 ENS mainly because:

  • The employer does not need to meet the training requirement (SAF Levy after March 2018)
  • The visa applicant requires a lower level of skill for the Direct Entry Stream – most applicants do not require a skills assessment (although 3 years work experience is required now)
  • It is possible to apply for RSMS in a bigger range of occupations than ENS
Common Issues with RSMS Visas: The main difficulties employers face when obtaining RSMS visas are:

  • Obtaining an RCB approval – each RCB has different criteria
  • Showing exceptional circumstances where visa applicants would not meet the usual requirements for Age, English language ability and skill level