The Subclass 187 RSMS (Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme) visa is a permanent residence visa for skilled workers who would like to work in regional Australia, there are three different streams:
the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream
the Direct Entry stream
the Agreement stream.
Important Note: the Subclass 187 visa will be closed from the 16 November 2019.
187 TRT & Direct Entry
The Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream is for:
subclass 482 visa holders who have worked for at least three (3) out of the previous four years (before the nomination), or two (2) years out of the last three (3) years under 457 grandfathering provisions for 457 visa holders who qualify.
while holding a subclass 457 or a 482 visa,
in the same occupation with their nominating employer,
who is willing to offer them a permanent position in that occupation.
No RCB (Regional Certifying Body) certification required
The Direct Entry (DE) stream is for:
people who have been nominated by their employer under the Direct Entry stream
people who have never, or only briefly, worked in Australia
temporary residents who do not qualify for the Temporary Residence Transition stream.
RCB (Regional Certifying Body) certification is required to certify the 187 nomination.
The Agreement stream is for:
subclass 457 visa holders nominated by an employer through a labour agreement.
The Subclass 186 Employer Nomination (ENS) visa is an Australian permanent residence (PR) visa for skilled workers. It allows Subclass 186 visa holders to work in Australia under one of three streams:
the Temporary Residence Transition stream
the Direct Entry stream
the Agreement stream.
To be eligible for this visa under any any stream you need to:
Nomination - have been nominated by an approved Australian employer.
Age - be under 45 years of age, if you would like to apply under either the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream or the Direct Entry (DE) stream(including your spouse).
Age - be under 50 years of age if you would like to apply under the 457 grandfathering provisions.
Skills/Qualifications - meet the skills, qualifications & registration or licensing requirements.
English Ability - have at least competent English at least 6 in each band for IELTS (or equivalent e.g. PTE 50 in each) or higher (unless exempt).
Health/Character - meet the health and character requirements.
meet the requirements of the stream in which you apply.
If you are lodging an application in the Direct Entry stream and you are required to complete a full formal skills assessment, you must also provide a positive skills assessment with your visa application (unless exempt). A skills assessment provided after you have applied for your visa cannot be accepted.
You can apply for this visa only after you have been nominated by an Australian employer and that nomination has been approved.
Requirements for the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream:
hold a Subclass 457 Temporary Work visa or a 482 TSS visa.
have at least competent English at least 6 in each band for IELTS (PTE 50 in each) or higher (unless exempt).
subclass 457 visa holders who have worked for at least two (2) out of the previous three(3)years (before the nomination) (under grandfathering provisions), or
subclass 482 visa holders who have worked for at least three (3) out of the previous four years (before the nomination),
No skills assessment required for TRT stream applications.
Requirements for the Direct Entry stream, all of the following must apply:
you have been nominated for a position under this stream and that nomination has been approved.
you have never, or only briefly, worked in Australia.
you currently hold a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) but do not qualify for the TRT stream.
have at least three (3) years of relevant work experience.
If you are lodging an application in the Direct Entry stream and you are required to complete a full formal skills assessment (482 TSS or 485 skills assessments are not accepted) that was completed within the last 3-years, you must also provide a positive skills assessment with your visa application (unless exempt). A skills assessment provided after you have applied for your visa cannot be accepted.
The Agreement stream applies if you are being sponsored by an employer through a labour agreement for certain occupations (e.g. meat workers).
Cost Visa Application Charges (VAC) for Employer Nominated visas Subclass 186 & 187 are as follows: primary applicant $4,045, secondary adult applicant $2,025 and secondary child applicant $1,010.
(VAC’s are updated and correct as of the 1st July 2019).
Training Benchmarks have been replaced by the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) Levy, however, they still apply to sponsors who employ 457 visa holders and for some 186 TRT stream applications.
SAF Levy - Subclass 186 ENS & 187 RSMS Nominations:
$3,000 SAF levy per nomination payable at the time of nomination lodgement (for employers who have an annual turnover of less than $10,000,000).
$5,000 SAF levy per nomination (for employers who have an annual turnover of more than $10,000,000).
Note: The SAF levy is payable in addition to the nomination charge amount of $540.
There are limits for the SAF for each financial year period:
$5,500 for a permanent residency visa nomination (186 or 187 visas, through Temporary Residency Transition or Direct Entry)
$8,000 for 482 TSS visa nomination (regardless of the occupation list)
$540 nomination application charge (may be waived for certain regional areas)
Refunds of the SAF levy are only available in any of the following scenarios:
The sponsorship and visa applications are approved, but the overseas skilled worker (visa holder) does not arrive/commence employment with the employer.
The employer's sponsorship and nomination application for the overseas skilled worker is approved, but the associated visa application is refused on health or character grounds.
A TSS visa holder leaves the sponsoring employer within the first 12 months of employment where the visa period was for more than 12 months. Refunds will only be available in this scenario for unused full years of the SAF levy. Note: This does not apply to ENS or RSMS holders who leave their employer within the first 12 months of employment.
The nomination fee is refunded (for example where a concurrent sponsor application is refused).
Important Note: SAF Levy refunds are discretionary.
Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa (date of commencement 16 November 2019)
The Subclass 494 skilled employer sponsored visa will commence on the 16 November 2019.
This visa will effectively be the closest alternative to the current Subclass 187 RSMS visa.
There will be a total of 9,000 places allocated to the Subclass 494 visa program every year.
The Subclass 494 visa is a provisional visa and does not grant permanent residency immediately like the Subclass 187 RSMS visa, however, a Subclass 494 visa holder (or their partner) may be eligible to apply for the Subclass 191 skilled regional permanent residency visa once they are eligible.
Is my employer able to nominate me on a Subclass 494 visa?
· Your employer’s business must be located in a designated regional area of Australia (excluding Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Perth and Melbourne). Newcastle, Wollongong and the NSW Central Coast will become designated regional areas.
· Your position is on the relevant occupation list (over 700 occupations)
· Your employer will need approval from the Regional Certifying Body (RCB) in your area
· The position must be full-time, genuine and likely to be available for five years
· You must be paid at the market salary rate
What are the requirements for the Subclass 494 visa?
· You must hold a full skills assessment (other than for a 485 or 482 TSS visa)
· You must have at least three (3) years of full-time (38 hours a week) post-qualification relevant skilled work experience (or part-time equivalent 20 hours a week, or two part-time jobs)
· You must be under <45 years of age
· You must demonstrate Competent English (IELTS 6.0 in each band or equivalent in another test such as Pearson PTE 50 in each component)
Does the subclass 494 visa lead to permanent residency?
The Subclass 494 is valid for a period of 5 years.
You can apply for permanent residence through the Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa when the following is met:
1. You have worked in the designated regional area for at least three (3) years, whilst holding a Subclass 494 visa, and
2. You can show earnings of at least $53,900 annually for three (3) years. If you have a partner included in your Subclass 494 application, only one of you needs to show the three years of annual salary (through tax returns) at or above >$53,900. Your partner can be the primary applicant for the Subclass 191 visa if they can demonstrate that they meet the requirements.
Employer nomination by an employer is NOT required to apply for the Subclass 191 visa. This is different to the Subclass 187 RSMS visa.
What happens to 187 applications not decided by 16 November 2019?
If a Subclass 187 nomination, RCB (Regional Certifying Body) certification and visa are lodged prior to 16 November 2019, the applicant is not subject to the new visa arrangements.
Restricted from applying for other visas
Holders of Subclass 491 and Subclass 494 visas or who last held these visas, are restricted from applying for the following visas, unless they have completed at least three years in a designated regional area, unless exceptional circumstances exist:
Subclass 124/858 - Distinguished Talent Subclass 132 - Business Talent Subclass 186 - Employer Nomination Scheme
Subclass 188 - Business Innovation and Investment Subclass 189 - Skilled - Independent Subclass 190 - Skilled - Nominated Subclass 820 - Partner (Temporary)