Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme permanent residency

Update on ENS/RSMS applications from DIAC

There are no longer Decision-ready applications.

However, current processing times are on average 4-6 months from date of lodgement.


Regional Sponsored Migration Schemevisa - sc. 187 (on-shore and off-shore)

Charges & Fees - information valid as of 1 January 2015

1st Visa Application Charge primary applicant


1st Visa Application Charge additonal applicant over 18$1760
1st Visa Application Charge additonal applicant under 18$880

2nd Visa Application Charge (if secondary applicant over 18 cannot prove functional English)


No Sponsorship Charge



The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) is a visa scheme that enables regional employers to employ skilled overseas nationals to fill genuine, full time positions where it can be shown that these positions cannot be filled from within the local labour market.

There are three RSMS streams: the Direct Entry Stream, the Temporary Residence Transition Stream and the Agreement Stream. Each of these streams has different eligibility criteria, requirements and application processes.

Temporary Residence Transition Stream

This streamlined visa pathway enables regional employers to nominate an overseas skilled worker for permanent residence if that worker:

  • is currently on a Subclass 457 visa working for the nominating employer; and
  • has held a Subclass 457 visa and worked for the nominating employer in the nominated occupation (or a very closely related occupation) for two (2) years.

Regional Certifying Body (RCB) assessment is NOT required for RSMS nominations under the Temporary Residence Transition Stream.

Agreement Stream

This is a permanent residence visa pathway for applicants whose employer holds a labour agreement for the occupation in which they are being nominated. Applicants applying under this stream will need to meet the skills and experience, English language proficiency, age and other requirements in the applicable labour agreement.

The same conditions as for the Temporary Residence Transition Stream apply.

Regional Certifying Body assessment is NOT required for RSMS nominations under the Agreement Stream.

Direct Entry Stream

Thisis a permanent residence visa pathway that enables a regional employer to sponsor a skilled overseas worker directly from overseas or an overseas national who is in Australia but is not eligible to be sponsored under the Temporary Residence Transition Stream.

Regional Certifying Body assessment IS REQUIRED for RSMS nominations under the Direct Entry Stream.

If applying under the Direct Entry Stream, all Northern Territory employer nominations under RSMS must be assessed by the Department of Business and Employment (DBE). 

Employer eligibility

For an employer to be eligible to nominate a position under RSMS it must:

  • be operating an active and lawful business in regional Australia
  • have a genuine need for a paid employee to fill a skilled position
  • offer a genuine, skilled position in the applicant's field of expertise that is full-time and ongoing for at least two years. (note: the two years employment is calculated from the date of grant of the RSMS permanent residence visa by DIAC to the overseas nominee.)
  • offer no less than a market rate salary and employment terms and conditions that accord with those provided to Australian citizens and permanent residents in similar positions
  • comply with all relevant Australian immigration and workplace relations laws
  • Nominate a skilled position. The position must be an occupation that is classified at skill level 1 to 3 in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification ofOccupations (ANZSCO) - (Direct Entry stream)

Employee eligibility

For an overseas national to be sponsored under RSMS under the Direct Entry Stream the applicant must have the skills, qualifications and language requirements required for that visa stream.

The employee must have:

  • qualifications and skills relevant to the nominated occupation
  • if theemployee's qualifications are obtained from outside Australia,where required, a positive skills assessment by the relevant assessing authority is mandatory. This applies to all trade occupations, including cooks and chefs.
  • competent English (IELTS 6 in each band).

 For more information please contact us.