Australia Regional Sponsored Migration Visa

Explore the Australia Regional Sponsored Migration Visa process

The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) Subclass 187 visa is a permanent employer-sponsored visa that requires a job offer in a regional area of Australia. To be eligible for this visa, applicants must be nominated by an Australian employer who operates in a regional location and meets specific requirements such as having a genuine need for a skilled employee and paying a market salary rate.

Applications generally consist of three stages:

  • RCB Certification: The Regional Certifying Body ensures that the position is genuine and complies with labor market testing requirements.
  • Nomination Application: The employer submits a nomination application to the Department of Home Affairs.
  • Visa Application: The applicant applies for the visa using the nomination number assigned by the department.

For direct entry stream applicants, the maximum age requirement is 45 years at the time of application. However, for the temporary residence transition stream, applicants must have held a 457 or 482 visa and worked for their employer for at least two or three years depending on the lodgement date of their previous visa.

Additionally, there is a new Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (SESR) Subclass 494 visa, which offers a pathway to permanent residency for skilled workers who wish to live and work in regional Australia. This visa replaces the former Direct Entry stream of the Subclass 187 visa.

Understanding the Subclass 187 Visa

The Subclass 187 visa, also known as the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa, is designed for skilled workers nominated to work in regional Australia. This visa not only allows you to work in regional areas but also offers pathways to education, study, and citizenship, provided you meet the eligibility criteria.

Essential Checklist for Subclass 187 Visa Application

Submitting a well-prepared application is key to a successful Subclass 187 visa journey. The following checklist highlights the essential documents you need to gather:

  • Passport: A copy of your passport’s information page, valid at the time of application.
  • National ID: If available, provide a copy of your national identification card.
  • Skill Assessment Evidence: Demonstrating your aptitude for the intended work position.
  • Name Change Documentation: Documents pertaining to any name changes.
  • Forms 956 and 965a: Essential forms for sponsor authorization and visa applicant nomination.
  • Character Documentation: Providing proof of good character.
  • Licensing/Registration/Membership Proof: If applicable to your case.
  • English Language Proficiency Evidence: Proof of English proficiency for the nominee.
  • Partner Inclusion Documents: If bringing a partner, relevant identity, character, and relationship documents.
  • Family Members Under 18: If including minor family members, birth certificates, consent forms, and more.
  • Family Members Over 18: For adult dependents, identity, relationship, and character documents.
  • Sponsor’s Documents: Your sponsor’s obligations are crucial. They need to submit documents such as the employment contract, business legality proof, financial statements (if required), and more.

Eligibility Criteria

The Subclass 187 visa offers a pathway to success, provided you meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Skills and Qualifications: Possessing the requisite skills and qualifications for the intended work position.
  • Qualified Sponsor: Nomination by a qualified sponsor, adhering to specific qualifications.
  • Age Requirement: You should be under 45 years of age at the time of application.
  • Previous Visa Holders: Holding one of the following visas:
    • 457 visa
    • 482 (TSS) visa
    • Bridging visa A, B, or C
  • Sponsored by Same Employer: Sponsored by the same employer for at least 3 years out of 4 before applying.
  • Occupation on Skilled Workers List: Your occupation should be on the skilled workers list for Subclass 187.
  • Matching ANZSCO Code: Your occupation’s ANZSCO code should match that of your previous 457 or 482 visa.
  • Bridging Visa Holders: If holding a bridging visa post your 457 or 482 visa, it should have been received after the visa’s expiration.


Exemptions provide flexibility within the Subclass 187 visa eligibility criteria. Noteworthy exemptions include:

  • Age Exemption:
    • Nominated for an academic position at an Australian university.
    • Nominated by an Australian scientific government agency with specific skill levels.
    • Health worker with significant regional experience.
    • Earning income surpassing Fair Work High Income Threshold during visa 457 or 482 tenure.
    • Granted visa 457 or 482 at 50 years old in April 2017.
  • Skills Occupation List Exemption:
    • Held a subclass 457 visa or applied for it by 18th April 2017.
  • Competent Language Requirement Exemption:
    • Evidence of completing 5 years of secondary education in an English-instructed institution.
    • Proving functional English proficiency.

Understanding Sponsor Eligibility

Your sponsor, often your employer, plays a pivotal role in your Subclass 187 journey. Your sponsor should meet several eligibility criteria, including:

  • Continuity: Your sponsor should be the same as the one who sponsored your 457 visa or subclass 482.
  • Lawful Business Activities: Your sponsor’s business must engage in lawful activities without a disreputable reputation.
  • Legitimate Regional Presence: The business must be legally active in regional Australia.
  • Genuine Need for Employee: Your sponsor should genuinely require an employee for a regional position.
  • Salary and Payment Obligations: Your sponsor must pay at least AUD250,000 or the annual salary market rate over two years.

Visa Costs

Securing a Subclass 187 visa comes with associated costs. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the expenses involved:

  • Visa Application Fee: The Subclass 187 visa application fee is AUD4,045.
  • Second Instalment Fee: If any additional applicant over 18 can’t prove English language proficiency, a fee of AUD4,890 per applicant applies.
  • Functional English Fee: If exempt from proving Competent English, you must pay AUD9,800 when requested by the Department of Home Affairs.
  • Additional Family Members Fee: A fee applies for each family member applying with you.

Processing Times

Processing times for Subclass 187 visa applications vary but generally take about a year, depending on individual circumstances.

Including Family Members in Your Application

The Subclass 187 visa allows you to include various family members in your application, such as:

  • Spouse/Partner: Share your Australian journey with your significant other.
  • Minor Children/Step-children: Extend the opportunity to your younger family members.
  • Adult Dependent Children/Step-children: Your adult dependents can also join you.
  • Grandchildren/Step-grandchildren: Both minor and adult dependents can be included.

Remember that health and character requirements apply to all family members, even those not applying with you initially.

Travel and Residency

With a Subclass 187 visa, you can enjoy unrestricted travel within Australia for five years. After this period, the travel facility attached to your visa expires. To maintain your permanent residence status, consider applying for a Resident Return Visa to extend your travel options.

Adhering to Conditions and Obligations

A successful Subclass 187 visa journey requires adherence to specific conditions:

  • Employment Commitment: You must work for your sponsoring employer in regional Australia for at least two years.
  • Timely Employment Start: Begin employment within six months of visa approval or your entry into Australia.
  • Legal and Regulatory Compliance: You and your family members must follow Australian laws and regulations throughout your stay.

Subclass 187 Visa Changes: Adapting to Evolving Policies

As of November 16, 2019, the RSMS direct entry stream of Subclass 187 visa applications was closed. This change was driven by the introduction of Subclass 494 visa, which provides a streamlined pathway for regional sponsorship.

The Australia Regional Sponsored Migration Visa, Subclass 187, presents a remarkable opportunity for skilled nominees seeking to contribute their expertise to regional Australia. With its diverse benefits and comprehensive application process, this visa pathway can lead to rewarding experiences and growth in your professional and personal life. If you’re ready to embark on a journey that combines your skills with Australia’s regional development, the Subclass 187 visa is your gateway to success.

Embrace this opportunity, gather your documents, and embark on a journey that could reshape your future. Start your Subclass 187 visa application process today.

In summary, the Subclass 187 visa, also known as the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa, offers a pathway to skilled nominated workers eager to contribute to regional Australia. With its comprehensive eligibility criteria, detailed checklist, and step-by-step application process, this visa can pave the way for both professional and personal growth. By embracing the Subclass 187 journey, you can unlock opportunities that enrich your life and career while playing a vital role in regional development.

So, if you’re ready to take the leap, begin your Subclass 187 visa application today and set the wheels in motion for a transformative experience in Australia. Make your immigration process hassle-free. Connect with experienced professionals offering comprehensive immigration services.

What are the differences between the regional sponsored migration visa and other types of visas?

The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) Subclass 187 visa is a permanent employer-sponsored visa that requires a job offer in a regional area of Australia. One of the main differences between the RSMS visa and other types of visas is that it is designed to fill labor shortages in rural areas by allowing regional employers to sponsor skilled foreign workers. Another difference is that the RSMS visa provides a transitional pathway to permanent residency once the visa holder has worked for their sponsor for at least three years.

In contrast, the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Subclass 482 visa is a temporary employer-sponsored visa that allows Australian employers to sponsor overseas workers to fill skilled positions that cannot be filled by Australian workers. The TSS visa is available for up to four years and has two streams: the short-term stream and the medium-term stream.

Another visa that is similar to the RSMS visa is the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (SESR) Subclass 494 visa, which offers a pathway to permanent residency for skilled workers who wish to live and work in regional Australia. This visa replaces the former Direct Entry stream of the Subclass 187 visa.

Overall, the RSMS visa is unique in that it is designed to address labor shortages in regional areas of Australia and provides a pathway to permanent residency for skilled foreign workers. In contrast, other visas such as the TSS visa and the SESR visa have different requirements and are designed for different purposes.

What are the other types of visas available in Australia?

Australia offers numerous visa categories tailored to various needs and situations. Here’s a brief overview of some common visa types:

Skilled Visas:
– Subclass 189 – Skilled Independent Visa – permanent visa
– Subclass 190 – Skilled Nominated Visa – permanent visa
– Subclass 491 – Skilled Regional Visa – temporary visa (can then lead to permanent 191 Skilled Regional Visa)
– Subclass 858 – Global Talent Visa – permanent visa

Family Visas:
– Partner visas – for couples finding love in Australia
– Parent visas – for establishing Australian residents to bring their parents across
– Child Visas – for children of Australian residents

Student Visas:
– Student visa – for international students seeking education in Australia
– Training visa – for participants taking part in workplace-based training in Australia

Work Visas:
– Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Subclass 482
– Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) Subclass 186
– Permanent Residence Visa Subclass 191 – Skilled Regional
– Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) Subclass 187
– Skilled Employer-Sponsored Regional (SESR) Subclass 494
– Temporary Work (International Relations) visa Subclass 403 – Pacific Australia Labor Mobility stream
– Working Holiday Maker (WHM) Program Subclass 462 and Subclass 417

Other Visas:
– Visitor Visas – for tourists visiting Australia
– Bridging visas – for individuals whose immigration application is being processed
– Medical Treatment Visa Subclass 602
– Business and Investment Visas
– Humanitarian Visas
– Dependent Child Visa Subclass 445
– New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship Visa Subclass 461
– Orphan Relative Visas Subclass 117 and Subclass 837
– Remaining Relative Visas Subclass 115 and Subclass 835
– Temporary Activity Visa Subclass 408
– Temporary Graduate Visa Subclass 485
– Temporary Work Visa Subclass 400 – Short Stay Specialist

Please note that this summary is not exhaustive; additional visa types exist based on specific conditions and situations. For detailed information regarding any particular visa, consult the official sources.