Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa Application – Subclass 187

The subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa is a permanent residence visa for skilled workers who have been nominated by an Australian approved employer. As this is a permanent resident visa it affords holders the right to live in Australian indefinitely, as well as unrestricted work and study rights. Permanent Residents have access to Medicare benefits and can apply for Australian Citizenship when eligible.

To be able to apply for a Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa, an Australian business must provide a nomination. If persons wishing to apply for a 186 visa have not received a nomination from an Australian employer, they submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) via SkillSelect where prospective employers and State Governments can view and decide to provide a nomination.

There are three streams that are covered by the subclass 187 visa including the Temporary Residence Transition Stream, the Direct Entry Stream and the Agreement Stream. The visa process is twofold; an application from an Australian employer to become an approved Australian business sponsor, followed by the visa application under the nominated stream.

The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa is very similar to the Employer Nominated Scheme (subclass 186) visa. The main difference is the addition locational criteria. The position that the applicant is nominated for under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa (subclass 187) must be located in ‘regional’ Australia. The regional requirement excludes employment in the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong and Melbourne.

General Requirements

Application for the Employer Nominated Scheme are required to meet the general requirements as well as the criteria specific to the stream they have been nominated under.

All applications must meet the following criteria:

  • Be under the age of 50, unless exempt.
  • Meet the skills, qualification, registration/licencing requirements association the nominated position.
  • Meet the English Language requirements by completing an English language test. The level of English required differs on the stream. The Temporary Residence Transition Stream, requires at least vocational English. The Direct Entry Stream requires at least competent English and the Agreement Stream requires an English level as nominated in the agreement.
  • Meet the Health requirements.
  • Meet the character requirements. Applicants will be required to provide police clearances from any country that they have resided in for 12 months or more.

Applicants can apply on shore or offshore, depending on the stream that they are applying for, however visa application must be lodged within 6 months of an approved nomination. Applicant applying onshore in Australia must hold a substantive visa or a bridging visa A, B or C.

The Temporary Residence Transition Stream (TRTS)

The TRTS is for applicants who already hold a temporary work subclass 457 visa in a regional area and have worked for at least two years in the same occupation with their nominating employer. The TRTS allows the employer the opportunity to offer the applicant a permanent position within that occupation.

The Direct Entry Stream (DES)

The DES is aimed at applicants who have never worked in Australia, have briefly worked in Australia or are temporary residents who do not qualify for the Temporary Residence Transition Stream.

Applicant for the DES must also meet additional criteria including that they must have a minimum of three year relevant work experience, achieve a positive outcome in a skills assessment and achieve a level of ‘competent’ in an English language assessment.

There are certain circumstances where applicants may be exempt from meeting the skill assessment and work experience criteria including; if an applicant is nominated as an academic by an Australian university, is nominated within the ANZSCO skill level 1 as a scientist, researcher or technical specialist, earn more than AUD180,001 or if the applicant is the holder subclass 444 or 462 visa and have worked with their nominated employer for the past two years.

Regional Certifying Bodies (RCB) must provide advice on the employer nomination under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme’s Direct Entry Stream before it can be approved by the Department of Immigration. A certifying body is an organisation which has been approved for this purpose by the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection.

The Agreement Stream (AS)

The AS is relevant for applicants who will be sponsored by an employer who has negotiated a formal labour agreement with the government. The applicant must meet the age, skill and language requirements included in the labour agreement.