Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) – Subclass 187 Visa

 

The Subclass 187 RSMS visa is a permanent residency visa that requires the sponsorship of a nominating employer for a role that is located in ‘regional Australia’.

The main difference between a 187 RSMS visa and a 186 Employer Nominated Scheme visa is that for a 187 visa, you need to be nominated by your employer to work in their business which is located in a part of regional Australia. Regional Australia is defined by postcode. Your nominated role must be performed in one of these eligible areas.

While only certain postcodes are eligible for RSMS in New South Wales (NSW), Victoria and Queensland, the entire states of Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and Northern Territory are deemed to be regional and eligible for RSMS. This means that you may be able to apply under RSMS even if you are  nominated to work for an employer in metropolitan Perth, Adelaide, Hobart, Canberra or Darwin.

There are two separate pathways or streams for the 187 visa. You can satisfy the requirements of either stream before applying for the 187 visa. The streams are called the Direct Entry stream, and the Temporary Residence Transition stream.

 

Main eligibility requirements for 187 visa

 

In order to obtain a 187 visa, the visa applicant and the employer will need to satisfy a number of requirements, including the following key requirements:

  • The visa applicant needs to perform the nominated role at the employer’s business premises which is located in a regional area. Regional areas which are eligible are defined by postcode. While only certain postcodes are eligible for RSMS in New South Wales (NSW), Victoria and Queensland, the entire states of Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and Northern Territory are deemed to be eligible
  • If the visa applicant is applying under the Temporary Residence Transition stream, then the applicant needs to complete 2 years of full-time work as a 457 visa holder
  • If the visa applicant is applying under the Direct Entry stream, then the role that the visa applicant is nominated to perform needs to align with an eligible ANZSCO occupation which are all ANZSCO occupations that specify a Skill Level of 1, 2 or 3
  • If the visa applicant is applying under the Direct Entry stream, then the employer will need to lodge an application to the relevant Regional Certifying Body to demonstrate that there is a genuine need for the visa applicant and that the position cannot be filled by an Australian citizen or permanent resident who is living in that area. This generally means that the employer will need to advertise the nominated role in the local newspaper and/or online for a period of 2-4 weeks
  • Visa applicant must satisfy the English requirement for this visa, or one of the available exemptions
  • Visa applicant’s salary must be consistent with the ‘Australian market rate’ for the nominated role

Please note that the above listed requirements are not the only requirements that the visa applicant and the employer/sponsor need to satisfy in order to obtain a 187 visa. The above does outline the key requirements.

 

 

Commitment that you make as a Subclass 187 visa applicant

 

In the visa application form, as the applicant, you are required to declare that you:

  • Agree to work in the nominated position for at least two years
  • Understand that if you as the applicant, or any family members included in the application or third parties acting your behalf, provide (or have provided in a previous application) false or misleading information, or bogus documents either knowingly or otherwise, the visa application will be refused and you may be subject to three year bar in relation to visas to which the fraud criterion applies. Any visa granted may be cancelled.

Effectively, this means that when your visa application is lodged, you must have the intention to work for your sponsoring employer in your nominated role for at least 2 years from the date that the 187 visa is approved.

What are the consequences if you end your employment before completing 2 years following the approval of your visa? Have a read of this post which explains the potential consequences.

 

Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream

 

To apply under the Temporary Residence Transition stream, you need to complete two years of employment with the employer that sponsored you for your 457 visa. Employment with a different 457 visa sponsor cannot be counted towards the two years. You need to have been working in the role that you will be sponsored for under the Subclass 187 visa application for at least 2 out of the last 3 years (excluding periods of unpaid leave).

 

English language requirement – TRT stream

 

You need to have ‘vocational’ English language ability which is satisfied if any of the following applies to you:

  • If you hold a passport from the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Ireland or New Zealand; or
  • The English examination scores that you need to achieve for Vocational English are as follows:
Listening Reading Writing Speaking
IELTS 5 5 5 5
TOEFL iBT 4 4 14 14
PTE Academic 36 36 36 36
OET B B B B

 

You are exempted from having to satisfy the English language requirement if:

  • You are a Minister of Religion nominated by a religious institution, or
  • Your guaranteed annual earnings for your nominated position is at least equivalent to the highest current Australian individual income tax rate (currently $180,001 per annum), or
  • If you have completed at least 5 years of full-time study in a secondary and/or higher education institution where all the tuition was delivered in English

 

Direct Entry (DE) stream

 

To apply under the DE stream, the following needs to be satisfied:

  • The tasks required (and accordingly the nominated position) corresponds to an occupation at an ANZSCO skill level of 1, 2 or 3. These skill levels generally correspond to occupations which are managerial, professional, or trade based.
  • There is a genuine need for the nominator to employ this employee and that the position cannot be filled by an Australian citizen or permanent resident who is living in that area. Applicants need to show, amongst other criterion, that the position is required and genuine given the nature of the employer’s business, the business’ size and operations, whether the business is expanding or diversifying their activities and whether there is a vacancy in the business. Some Regional Certifying Bodies require evidence of advertisement and responses to them from job applicants to demonstrate that the position had been advertised locally and that no suitable candidate was found.
  • The relevant Regional Certifying Body (RCB) has approved the relevant 187 nomination application.

 

Regional Certifying Bodies (“RCB”)

 

A RCB is required to provide advice to the Department in relation to whether the above criteria have been satisfied, that is, the position is genuine given the nature of the business and the position could not be filled by an Australian permanent resident or citizen. They basically conduct their own assessment using similar evidence as that provided for the 187 nomination application, and any additional supporting evidence as specified by the relevant RCB.

RCB application and approval is only required for the 187 DE stream. It is not required for the TRT stream.

Each region has its own RCB and you need to choose the appropriate RCB to conduct this assessment based on your employer’s location (a list of RCBs can be found here). It is also important to note that most RCB charge a fee for this service.

 

 

Relevant work experience

 

The work experience requirement was recently changed. Previously, for certain trade occupations such as Cook, Chef, Plumber etc., you needed to demonstrate 2 years of on-the job training completed as part of your course, or 2 years of relevant work experience.

For these trade occupations, the visa applicant now just needs to demonstrate that he or she has the relevant qualifications or relevant work experience to satisfy the ANZSCO framework. If the applicant relies on an Australian qualification, that qualification must be as specified within the ANZSCO framework for that occupation. For example, if the nominated position were that of a cook (ANZSCO 351411), the applicant must demonstrate one of the following:

  1. hold a relevant AQF Certificate IV or
  2. hold a relevant AQF Certificate III including at least two years of on the job training or two years of post-qualification work experience or
  3. have at least 3 years of relevant experience.

 

Skill Assessment

 

A skill assessment for your nominated occupation is generally not required unless your nominated occupation is one of these listed trade occupations. If your nominated occupation is one of these listed trade occupations, then you need a positive skill assessment or you need to have a relevant Australian qualification that satisfies that ANZSCO requirement.

 

English language requirement – DE Stream

 

The English language requirements for the Direct Entry and Temporary Residence Transition streams are different.

You need to have ‘competent’ English language ability which is satisfied if:

  • If you hold a passport from the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Ireland or New Zealand; or
  • The English examination scores that you need to achieve for Competent English are as follows:
Listening Reading Writing Speaking
IELTS 6 6 6 6
TOEFL iBT 12 13 21 18
PTE Academic 50 50 50 50
OET B B B B

 

You are exempted from having to satisfy the English language requirement if:

  • You are a Minister of Religion nominated by a religious institution, or
  • Your guaranteed annual earnings for your nominated position is at least equivalent to the highest current Australian individual income tax rate (currently $180,001 per annum)

 

Common eligibility requirements

 

Irrespective of whether you are applying under the Direct Entry or Temporary Residence Transition stream, you need to satisfy these common requirements:

  • You can apply for this visa if you hold a substantive visa, or a bridging visa A, B or C. If you hold a bridging visa, you won’t need to address Schedule 3
  • Age requirement
  • Equivalent terms and conditions of employment
  • If it is compulsory for you to obtain registration or licencing for you to practice in your nominated occupation, then you need to obtain this at the time of your application

 

Age requirement

 

You need to be under 50 years of age at the time that you lodge your application. There are only a few allowed exceptions to this requirement for those applicants that are 50 years of age or over which are outlined below:

  • Ministers of religion nominated by a religious institution
  • Researchers, scientists and technical specialists at ANZSCO skill levels 1 or 2 who have been nominated by an Australian government agency
  • Senior academics employed by a university in Australia
  • And for Temporary Residence Transition stream only: Persons holding subclass 457 visas, who have a) worked for their nominating employer for at least the 4 year period preceding the visa application and b) been paid at least the Fair Work High Income Threshold (as of 1 July 2013, this amount is $129,300) for each of these 4 years

 

Equivalent terms and conditions of employment

 

  • Your sponsoring employer needs to demonstrate that the terms and conditions of your employment are no less favourable than the terms and conditions of employment for an equivalent Australian citizen or permanent resident (known as the ‘market rate’ requirement). Your employer can show this by providing a copy of the contract of an Australian citizen or permanent resident that is working in the same position and location as your nominated role under the Subclass 187 visa application (other evidence of the Australian’s salary may be acceptable such copies of payslips or payment summaries).
  • If there is no much equivalent Australian, then your employer can provide evidence of what the Australian market salary rate is for your nominated role and show that your guaranteed annual salary is at least equal to the market rate (e.g. provide salary survey data for your industry and role).

.

Dependents who are over 18 – Functional English language ability

.

This applies for both the DE and TRT streams.

All adult dependents who are over 18 years of age will need to demonstrate ‘functional’ English language ability. This can be demonstrated in a number of ways:

  1. Achieve English examination results outlined below; or
  2. Complete all years of primary education and at least 3 years of secondary education at educational institutions in which all instruction was conducted in English; or
  3. Complete at least 5 years of secondary education at institutions in which all instruction was conducted in English; or
  4. Complete in Australia at least 1 year of full-time study or equivalent part-time study towards a degree, higher degree, diploma, or associate diploma at an institution or institutions where all the instruction was conducted in English; or
  5. Hold an award (being a degree, a higher degree, a diploma or a trade certificate) that required at least 2 years of full-time study or training; and all instruction (including instruction received in other courses for which the person was allowed credit) for that award was conducted in English.

Required Scores to establish Functional English are as follows:

Test component Average test score
IELTS 4.5
TOEFL iBT 32
PTE Academic 30

 

The application process

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You can only lodge an application using the Department’s online portal.

You can only prepare the online visa application form once your nominating employer has at least started to prepare the nomination application for your role (which is also prepared using the online portal). This is because you need the nomination application TRN which will be issued to your employer once they have started to prepare the nomination application.

You can lodge your visa application while you are inside or outside of Australia (but you won’t be granted a Bridging Visa A that is associated with your Subclass 186 visa application if you are outside of Australia at the time of lodgement).

After you have lodged the application, you upload the supporting documents electronically. As part of the initial application, you do not need to submit any actual paper work or forms. It is all online.

In my experience with NSW applications, normal processing time is 3-8 months.

 

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How much does this visa cost?

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The below is just a list of the relevant government lodgement fees:

  • 186 nomination application: $540
  • Base application fee: $3520
  • Additional applicant charge for each additional adult that is 18 years and over: $1760
  • Additional applicant charge for each additional adult that is 18 years or under: 880

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Secondary visa application charge (SVAC)

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This needs to be paid if anyone in your application who does not satisfy the English language requirement that applies to them. However, as the primary applicant, you need to meet the English language requirement. If you do not meet the English language requirement – then one of the exemptions outlined above must apply to you. If one of the exemptions apply to you as the primary applicant, then you need to pay the SVAC if you also do not have ‘functional’ English language ability.

This fee is paid at the time of decision so your case officer will contact you at the time that the payment is required.

As the primary applicant, if you don’t have functional English language ability, then the SVAC is $8,520. For other adult dependents that can’t demonstrate functional English, the SVAC is $4,520.

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Frequently asked questions

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  1. Q: For the TRT stream, can I count work that I completed under another visa like 485 and student visa?
    A: No
  2. Q: For the TRT stream, can I count work completed with a different employer?
    A: No
  3. Q: For the TRT stream, can I lodge my application before I complete 2 years of full-time work if I am close to completing 2 years?
    A: No – you must satisfy the 2 year requirement at the time of application

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How we can help

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Please Contact Us if you require our assistance.

Our Client Testimonials reflect:

  • the excellence of our work
  • our willingness take on the difficult cases and achieve the outcomes that our clients want
  • our willingness to cater our services to the precise needs of our clients, including working outside of normal business hours and providing limited assistance where needed such as  helping to resolve a specific issue or issues with a particular application
  • our ability to assist business and private clients from all over Australia and the world! We are based in Sydney NSW, however, we have assisted business and private clients from all over Australia and the world. We have never had issues with assisting clients that we don’t get to meet in person

 

* Subject to completion of assessment, and confirmation that we can assist with the application.

201 thoughts on “Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) – Subclass 187 Visa

  1. Den

    Hi Peng,

    I am preparing for employer nomination (visa 187 for Agricultural techinician), the processing time is 6 months, but I just want to ask is there any thing that I can help to make it faster. I have been waiting for 1 year to get Skill assessment for technician, also asking few reference letter from clients and business partner such as seed, chemical company and letter from Australian agriculture department proved that I have been through some government project. All those things above will help it process faster? Have you ever seen a nomination granted within a month or less interim of 187 visa?

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
  2. Simmi

    Hi Peng
    I applied my application for 187 in November 2016 after I completed 2years on 457 .Is that have any different processing time than direct entry streem 187 or is same and how long their time now
    Thanks Simmi

    Reply
  3. Harry

    Hello Peng,
    Thanks for previous reply. Your this blog is really helpful. I want one more information that if I am already done with nomination and RCB and I apply for visa (rsms 187), Will that shortens the processing time?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Rahul

      Hi Peng

      I am presently on a 457 visa which got approved in SEP 2016.
      My employer was happy to offer me a direct entry sponsorship so we filled for 187 last year november.

      Now my partner wants to study in uni, but as we are on 457 we will have to pay international student fee.
      Can we request the department to speed up the process for our 187 based on her university enrollment, as she can get the Commonwealth student help if we are granted the visa.
      Please give your opinion.

      Thanks

      Reply
        1. Rahul

          Thanks for your reply.

          Can you please tell me whats the averange time for 187 processing that you have experienced recently.

          Reply
  4. twinkle

    HI

    My 187 visa on process .my employer is on financial crisis. She said she is going to give me redundancy letter.
    Hopefully my visa will coming within this 1 month time. But employer is not ready to wait till that time. I will loose my job and my visa. What do I do.

    Thanks,
    twinkle

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Twinkle,
      Sorry but I can’t provide advice just based on your comment information.
      Please see Contact Us page and in relation to our Consultation Service – feel free to contact us if you need advice in relation to your visa options.
      PC

      Reply
  5. Yudhvir

    HI Peng,
    I have submitted my employer nomination (RSMS visa) in Nov 2016 for WA. Do you have any idea how much time they take for desicion.

    Reply
  6. Sumit

    Hi i am sumit i ve got my 187 visa approved in 2015 may and after two months my employer sold business and i remain in regional area and still working in regional area my citizenship is due in july is it goin tobe any problem or mot please let me know

    Reply
  7. Gary

    Hi peng, i am currently working in a salon as a hairdresser in nsw as 187 visa holder. My employer wants to change the workplace address near the city. But i am still going to stay in nsw regional. And will continue with my work wherever my employer go. My point is can my employer move wherever she wants to even i am there as 187 visa holder? Would i still be able to apply for my citizenship from the place i am currently living? Plz reply. Thank you so much..

    Reply
  8. Choi

    Hi peng.

    Thank you all the post. They are really helpfull.

    Here’s my situation. I got 457visa in Aug 2013 and I have worked for only one employer.

    The thing is I applied ENS in FEB 2016 and nomination refused because of not satisfying training bench mark and employer doesn’t want to do it again. Which means my sponsorship would end up with nothing.
    I have worked in the restaurant for 3and half year already and it’s genuine.

    Question is am I able to apply for the RSMS through TRT stream? Or there’s otherthings I have to know?
    I haven’t got any qualification though. I got 457 visa by my previous working experience in my country

    Thank you Peng.

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Choi,
      Sorry but I can’t provide advice just based on your comment information.
      Please see Contact Us page and in relation to our Consultation Service – feel free to contact us if you need advice in relation to your visa options.
      PC

      Reply
  9. Jacob

    Hi Peng, hope you’re doing well!
    I’ll get straight to the point:

    I’m currently on the student visa in Adelaide (regional Aus) that expires 15/03 this year. I’ve done Diploma of Business and got IELTS results enough for visa 457, 187.
    According to migration agent who I spoke with, I’m eligible to apply for visa 187 as a restaurant manager or store manager due to my experience, even if I worked as a Food and Beverage Attendant and Store Assistant Manager. Unfortunately I’m still haven’t found any employer who would sponsor me, so have to apply for another student visa but this time I’m taking Diploma of Hospitality. Assuming, while doing diploma of hospitality and working at the restaurant, after few months that restaurant wants to give me sponsorship on restaurant manager position. The questions are:
    1) Does Diploma of Business that I’ve done is indeed sufficient for that position?
    2) Am I eligible to apply for visa187 while on student visa and doing diploma of hospitality?
    3) Do I have to finished Diploma of Hospitality to be eligible for that visa?

    Thank all of you in advance.
    Jacob

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Jacob,
      You may be able to apply after you obtain your relevant diploma qualification.
      Sorry but I can’t provide advice just based on your comment information.
      Please see Contact Us page and in relation to our Consultation Service – feel free to contact us if you need advice in relation to your visa options.
      PC

      Reply
  10. Sunny

    Hi peng..
    Actually i have heard from someone that rsms will be no longer in Wa after 11th of march 2017.. is that right?
    My visa is going to finish of 15th of april. But i have to go overseas for some urgent work before that. I will be leaving on 15th of march and will be returning on 3rd of april. would it be any problem if i will travel??
    Will they allow me to comeback or not?
    Should i travel or not?
    Thankyou.

    Reply
  11. ALEX

    hi..DEAR ..PENG CHENG.i am overseas pharmacist i have clear kaps exam for pharmacy…i need to be clear English exam

    my question… i have some link for rsms visa…. i need full registration for rsms visa ….

    my question that i can apply rsms if i have only provisional registration….procedure to complete pharmacist…

    assessment…kaps..English exam…provisional registration…intern program…written..oral exam…general registration..

    some state grant 190 OR 489 AFTER KAPS…ENGLISH EXAM

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Alex,
      Sorry but I can’t provide advice just based on your comment information.
      Please see Contact Us page and in relation to our Consultation Service – feel free to contact us if you need advice in relation to your visa options.
      PC

      Reply
  12. Nick

    Hi Peng,

    I am studying commercial cookery cert4. I am working in a small restaurant.My employer is willing to sponsor me . But he is already sponsoring 3people (1 chef on 457 and 2 front staff on 187). My worries is that my place is sponsoring too many people and my application will be refused .so I want to ask how many staffs can a small business do sponsorship.

    Thank you.

    Nick

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Nick,
      Sorry but I can’t provide advice just based on your comment information.
      Please see Contact Us page and in relation to our Consultation Service – feel free to contact us if you need advice in relation to your visa options.
      PC

      Reply
  13. Thusi

    Hi Peng,
    I have submitted my employer nomination in May 2016 and applied for 187 VISA in June 2016. Still no response from the department. My agent doesn’t give any update. I cannot see anything since it was applied via agents immi account.
    1. What is the obligation for my agent to me? Is he suppose to give me access to check online?
    2. Now its almost 9 months. Do you know which month applications processing now?
    3. I’m not sure if the agent upload all the docs I sent him. Does the department ask for more documents if they need or do they make the decision from whats available?

    Thanks for your help.

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Thusi,
      1. They don’t have to give you access to their account since it would have all their client applications.
      2. Your application is probably past standard processing time – probably looking at July-Aug 16 applications.
      3. That is at their discretion – they can just make a decision or ask for more information.
      PC

      Reply
      1. Thusi

        Hi Peng,
        Thank you very much for your help. It is very helpful.
        Also why they open files newly submitted before they have old ones. What is that depend on?
        If it is based on how much documents we provided, how do they know that even without appoint a case officer?

        Thanks again.

        Reply
        1. Peng Cheng Post author

          We are sorry but we don’t have information in relation to the Department’s internal processes so we can only provide average processing time information for standard applications. We suggest that you speak with the Department if you need specific information in relation to your application.
          PC

          Reply
      2. Rim

        Hi peng, i am currently under 187 visa sub class working with my employer as a hair dresser but now the employer wants to move the salon to somewhere else near sydney cbd. Does that make any changes in my visa statuts.

        Reply
  14. Harry

    Hi Peng,
    I am currently studying on 573 subclass and enrolled in Commercial Cookery Cert. IV as secondary study. I will be completing it in August. I have got job, and my employer is ready to sponsor me as a cook. Can I start with RCB and Nomination before my course completion?

    Regards,
    Harry

    Reply

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