Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Subclass 187 (RSMS)
Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visas, or subclass 187 visas, are permanent residency visas available for skilled workers. They are available both to skilled workers who are already living and working in Australia as temporary residents, and to skilled workers living outside Australia. To be eligible for this visa, a worker must be nominated by an employer in regional Australia.
What does this visa allow you to do?
Once a 187 visa is granted, the visa holder must maintain the nominated occupation within the nominated postcode, for a minimum of two years, unless circumstances outside of their control arise which preclude this. Dependent family members may be included.
Who can apply for the Subclass 187 visa?
The subclass 187 visa has two streams, the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) Stream and the Direct Entry (DE) Stream. Each stream has different criteria.
How do I qualify for a Subclass 187 Visa?
The Temporary Residence Transition Stream
There are two cohorts of applicants who may apply through the TRT stream; those who had applied for or held a 457 visa before 18 April 2017, and those who applied for a 457 or 482 visa after 18 April 2017.
If your 457 visa was applied for pre 18 April 2017, and was subsequently granted, you can apply for the 187 visa once you have worked with your sponsor for a minimum of two years whilst the holder of this visa, on the basis of grandfathering arrangements set out by the Department of Home Affairs. You must be under 50 years of age.
If your 457/482 visa was granted after 18 April 2017, you can then apply for the 187 visa once you have worked for your sponsor for three years whilst the holder of this visa, provided your occupation is listed on the ROL. In this situation, you must be under 45 years of age.
All applicants in this stream must demonstrate that they have earned the salary nominated in their 457/482 nomination in each relevant year.
The Direct Entry Stream
Applicants in the DE stream must have an occupation on the MLTSSL or the ROL and must demonstrate that they have the skills required for the nominated occupation. The level of skill to be demonstrated varies in accordance with the occupation, however in all cases at least two years of employment at the skilled level is required.
Applicants must be less than 45 years of age.
How do I apply for a subclass 187 visa?
An employer nomination must be lodged on behalf of an applicant before a visa application can be made. This nomination will outline the nominated occupation, terms and conditions of employment, and the financial viability of the nominating business. Employers must also detail how the position came to be available and justify the need to nominate the applicant. The nomination must also be accompanied by the Skilling Australia Fund levy. A corresponding visa application can then be submitted. In some cases applicants will be required to provide a skills assessment that was obtained prior to lodging their visa application.
All 187 visa applications require a competent English score (IELTS 6 or equivalent, unless exempt), as well as evidence that the applicant meets the health and character requirements.
Common ScenariosI have been granted a 482 visa based on an occupation which is on the STSOL. My sponsor and employment are based in a regional postcode. Can I apply for permanent residence?
Yes. If you meet the criteria for a 187 in the Direct Entry stream, you may apply for this because you are based in a regional area, if your occupation is listed on the ROL. Alternatively, you can apply for the 187 visa in the TRT stream once you have worked for your employer for three years as the holder of your 482 visa.
My current visa is due to expire and I intend on lodging a 187 visa application. My occupation of Chef requires that I first obtain a skills assessment. Due to time constraints, can I obtain a skills assessment post-lodgement?
No. Unless an exemption is met, skills assessments are a time of application criteria.
TSS assists RSMS visa applicants and their employers throughout these applications, identifying the correct stream for the individual application and navigating the complexities associated with each. We provide advice and application management from start to finish to ensure the best possible permanent residence outcome. We also assist with the skills assessment process where applicable.