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

.

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.

 

.

How much does this visa cost?

.

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

.

Secondary visa application charge (SVAC)

.

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

.

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.

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

  1. Jassi

    Hi peng
    I heard these days lot of refusals are coming from rsms especially cook, restaurant manager and retail manager . Is it true ?????
    I really appreciate your reply.
    Thanks alot !!!!!!!

    Reply
  2. Hao Hao

    Hi Peng,

    Hi Peng,

    I just got granted pr from 187.
    Unfortunately the business is going to have change of ownership soon.
    I’m not sure will i get hire as the same position from the new management or lose my job.

    What will happen to my visa??

    Reply
      1. Pari

        Hi Peng
        I am waiting from 18 months but it shows 15 months . How long I have to wait ? My lawyer said the department is not giving any response to his emails .

        Reply
        1. Zizi

          Hi Pari, have you applied onshore or offshore? And what is your occupation plz? It seems you are waiting for a very long time.

          Reply
  3. Tang

    Hi peng will there be any problem before leaving the nominated position before completing 2 years ? I jave been working with my employer for about 10months in RSMS 187 as my employer wants to give me a release letter and my employer advice me that after that i am free to leave and work anywhere. I am in WA.

    Reply
          1. Pari

            Hi Aman , I applied nomination in March 2016 & Visa in May 2016 ..still waiting ..don’t know how long I have to wait . Do you have any idea when our files will be open . Thanks Aman

  4. Samrat

    Hi Peng,
    I am in 485 visa and have applied 187 visa as well. My question is, if 187 visa refused is this effect to 485 visa.

    Reply
      1. Tej

        Hi Peng,
        I have applied subclass 187 while I am on student visa and my visa expiring this month. Will there be any difficulties in extending my student visa and can I still extend or obtain Student visa in future if 187 results doesn’t come positive thank you

        Reply
        1. Peng Cheng Post author

          Hi Tej,
          Sorry but I can’t provide advice in relation to your visa eligibility 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. Cherry

    Hello Peng, I have relatives in tasmania, is it possible for me to apply relative sponsorship and nominate residential care officer. I have 3 years experience here in Australia as a care service employee/ personal care assistant

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      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
  6. Harry

    Hello Peng,
    I really appreciate your replies to all queries. I have one as well. I am studying commercial cookery cert IV which I started on 15 Jan, 2017. My college shortened my course length to 8 months (ending 31 Aug, 2017) because of my some paid and unpaid previous experience. They told me that they did some units of my course with RPL. My question is, Can I apply RSMS based on this qualification? Your suggestion will be highly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Harry

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      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
  7. P.s

    Hi peng ,
    My question is as immigration exceeding processing time of 187 every month .now is 14 to 15 months. I applied my nomination in September 2016(chef) . can we hope for result in 12,13 months or we are in the same boat with new applicants .

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      I think that processing time will be around 12-14 months, although this could change since processing times have increased significantly recently.
      PC

      Reply
  8. Laura nunez

    Hi Peng Cheng,
    I read all the post and I’m not sure to understand something.
    Im actually in a student visa, take end the 18 of September of this years .
    I would like to apply for the visa 187. Can I do it onshore ? Or I have to do it offshore?
    During the processing time can I have a bridging visa and be (work) in Australia, or I have to wait in my own country?

    Thanks you so much..

    Reply
  9. Rose

    Hi,
    I rose, thank you very much for all the highlight concerning 187 visa. Just want to know if we are sponsor in regional region do we have to be a residence in regional area.

    Reply
  10. Reena

    Hi Peng, I applied 187 nomination last year in may n visa in June , but haven’t heard anything yet from immigration, but u please let me know now how much more time they can take because it’s already around 15 months.Thanks

    Reply
        1. Happy

          Hiii prachi
          Nothing yet its more than 12 month now ..
          I dont know what’s the actual timeline for 187 visa but hopefully we all get our answers soon ..:)

          Reply
  11. P singh

    Can someone please reply me.

    Hello Peng,
    I have a question for you if you don’t mind to answer it. I applied for RSMS in march 2017 file was ready to go but there was Indian police clearance wrong so, immigration approved my nomination on 2july 2017 but they asked for new police clearance to approved the visa they gave us time till 8th of august to provide that new police clearance which we did submit on July 28th.
    Any idea now how long will it take to get my visa done?
    Thanks 🙏

    Reply
          1. Rahul Madan

            Congratulations P Singh and best of luck for the future and if you could you plz answer one question that what was your occupation you applied this visa for? It will be great for many people to know and might be helpful. Thanks 👍

          1. P singh

            Yes I did apply visa and nomination together, but what actually happen on my Indian police clearance doesn’t have any date of issues so DIBP asked for new police cleanse to approve my visa and I already have submitted that 2 weeks ago and now I am just waiting for my visa done ✅ I don’t know how long they will take now ??

          2. AMAN DHILLON

            P Singh. You are very lucky coz it only took four months processing time for your application. Normally immigration Taking more than 12 months. I applied in may 2016.good luck bro.

          3. P singh

            But if my police clearance wasn’t wrong.
            Then I could have received my visa as well in 4 months. Now I don’t know hong long they will take🙄🙄🙄 but everyone is saying they usually grant visa in about a month

          4. zizi

            Hi P Singh, You are very luckly. What is your position? And did you take health examination in advance or you waited for officer? Thanks

    1. P singh

      I am confused with this website Peng replied me and now I can’t find what he said coz his reply is just disappear

      Reply
  12. Reena

    Hi Peng, I applied for rsms nomination n visa last year (2016)in may n still waiting for response. It’s about 15 months now . Would u please let me know how much more time they can take now

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Reena,
      Hopefully the Department will contact you in the next few months.
      Department’s processing time is very slow due to staff cut-backs.
      PC

      Reply
  13. Philina

    Hi Peng,

    Can I apply for RSMS visa if I have bridging visa A because i have brought my case to tribunal when my agents lodge me the wrong graduate visa (supposedly the agent should apply for the Post visa stream, what they do was applied me the old graduate visa stream which needs assessment from CPA Australia, which at that time I dont have (not requirement for Post_visa).

    Thanks
    Phil

    Reply
  14. Vichet Cii

    Hi Peng,
    I just got my visa ( subclass187) granted a few weeks ago, and my girlfriend is on a student visa which will be expired next year. We haven’t got married yet. I wonder can I sponsor her as my partner as if we get married before her visa expires?
    Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Vichet,
      Yes a spouse partner visa may be appropriate after you get married.
      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
  15. Owen Wu

    Hi Peng,

    Have you seen any applicants that they have waited a long time (like 11 months) but got refuses eventually? It seems most people who waited a long time have a high chance of success, is that true? Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Sorry but I don’t think that is true – I don’t think that you can take long processing time as a positive indication, if anything the opposite might be true.
      PC

      Reply
  16. MAYA

    HI PENG,i applied 187 visa RSMS October 2016.iam still didn’t get any reply .how long do i have to wait?can i study while iam on 187 visa?

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Maya,
      Department’s processing time is around 8-12 months.
      You can study as a 187 visa holder.
      PC

      Reply
  17. John

    Hii peng,
    Just a question i applied my rsms last year on july 21st is there any updates on how long are they going to take to process applications they r just changing timeframe every month do you know any reason why is that happening ?
    Thank you

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi John,
      Sorry but you’ll probably need to wait a few more months – department is very slow at the moment after the July 2017 changes.
      PC

      Reply
    2. Tony

      Hi , John
      I applied first week of july 2016 still no Answer. I know they processing May-June 2016. But havnt heard anything about July 2016.please let me know if you hear anything about July 2016 RSMS apps

      Reply
  18. Evelyn

    Good day Peng Cheng can I ask question about my situation I’m a EN license but I dnt have experience at this moment I studied cert. 4 of cookery. I’m Too much worried about my situation Is there any way that I can apply to be PR here.

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Evelyn,
      Sorry but I can’t provide advice in relation to your visa eligibility 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
  19. Happy

    Hi sir
    I have applied for rsms in august 2016 offshore ..do i need do medical examination now or when the case officer ask for it ..
    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      ​​You can either book your health examinations now, or wait for your case officer to ask for this – either option doesn’t affect the outcome for your application.
      PC

      Reply
      1. Happy

        Hi prachi
        Haven’t got any news yet ..they are taking so long …hopefully we will get the officer soon .. what about you ..when did you apply ?

        Reply
  20. Gustavo

    Hi Peng,

    Me and my wife are both on the student visa which expires in May/2018. If she gets a sponsorship now and apply for the RSMS next month for example, do you know if the DIBP will start looking to her process by the time of the application or they will wait for the expiration date of the student visa?
    What I am trying to say is, do you know if there is any chance to apply now for the RSMS and by the time that our visa expires, we have the visas granted? Or it is most likely that when our student visa expires they will give us a bridging visa and then we have to wait for another 10 months?
    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      ​Hi Gustavo,
      Department’s processing time is around 8-10 months. Department doesn’t need to decide your application before your current visa expires because you would get a bridging visa.
      PC

      Reply
  21. Deep

    Hi peng.

    My husband applied for 187 in august 2016 and we got RCB and are on bridging visa, waiting for response. In SA, I am studying diploma in childcare. Hoping for best but in case just wondering if anything happened, do I have to left my study in between.

    Thank you

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Deep,
      Generally speaking, your student visa should be affected if your husband’s 187 visa is refused.
      PC

      Reply
  22. Jeff

    Hello,

    Can anyone please give me authentic answer, if i am applying for 187 RSMS visa and i am on student visa currently after i lodge my visa do i still have to continue my studies same as student visa ?

    Reply
    1. Peng Cheng Post author

      Hi Jeff,
      Lodging a 187 visa doesn’t affect your current student visa or your obligations – your bridging visa only comes into effect after your current visa expires.
      PC

      Reply
      1. Neet

        Hi Peng, i am going to lodge my nomination file for 187. My current student visa is going to expire end of this month. If i lodge my file within one week then do i need to apply for student visa extension for my current study. Or can i quit my current study?

        Reply
        1. Peng Cheng Post author

          ​Hi Neet,
          After you lodge a 187 visa, you should get a bridging visa that allows you to stay in Australia after your current student visa expires.
          There shouldn’t be any study requirement condition on this bridging visa.
          PC

          Reply
          1. Neet

            Thanks for your reply Peng. Actually i am doing bachelor degree and i haven’t finished yet. I don’t need to extend my visa to finish this bachelor if my 187 already lodged? I can be on bridging visa right?

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