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Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187) visa

Get an Australian 187 visa

A Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187) visa is a visa that allows skilled workers who are nominated by their Australian employer in regional Australia to live and work permanently within Australia.

Contact an Australian Migration Agent today if you need help, guidance or advice in relation to applying for a Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187).

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What is an RSMS 187 visa? (Temporary Residence Transition stream)

The RSMS visa is a skilled visa that allows skilled overseas workers in regional Australia to be sponsored by their Australian employer to receive permanent residence. While there used to be multiple streams for the RSMS visa, this has since been replaced by an alternative set of visas.

The remaining stream, the Temporary Residence Transition stream, now exists in order to facilitate the nomination of regional area employees who held a subclass 457 visa on or after the 18th of April 2017 or held a subclass 482 visa in the medium term stream on or before the 20th of March 2019.

TSS visa holders typically will not fall within this category, and as a result will need to apply through the Temporary Residence Transition stream for the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 187) visa.

Visa applicants should be aware that the direct entry stream for a RSMS visa has since been closed

For those who are eligible to apply for the RSMS visa, they will need a nominating employer when making an application.

When a RSMS visa is granted, it will provide the visa applicant Australian permanent residency and allow them to remain in Australia permanently. Visa holders however will be required to work for their approved Australian employer in a regional area for a further two years, after which their work rights become unrestricted. This can be a regional area in any of the Australian states and territories (Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory)

If applicants are unsure what visa they are eligible for or need advice in relation to their pathway to becoming an Australian permanent resident (or an Australian citizen), an Australian Migration Agent is well placed to provide the necessary guidance and assistance.

Eligibility requirements for a subclass 187 RSMS visa in Australia

The Australian Government, through the Department of Home Affairs, sets the eligibility criteria that must be met in order for applicants to be eligible for a RSMS visa in the Temporary Residence Transition stream. Some of the requirements that must be met include:

  • Applicants must have been nominated for their position by the Australian employer who is sponsoring the visa application
  • Applicants must have worked for their nominating employer for at least two years before applying for this visa subclass
  • Applicants must have all of the necessary qualifications, registrations and licences as required for this occupation
  • Applicants must be considered either a transitional subclass 457 TSS visa or subclass 482 TSS visa worker
  • Applicants must be no more than 45 years old
  • Applicants must meet the relevant English language requirements
  • Applicants must meet various health and character requirements
  • Applicants must sign the Australian values statement
  • The Department will also assess applicant’s visa history when assessing their visa eligibility, including any valid visa they have held (including any related bridging visa) or if they have had a visa cancelled or related adverse information.

Benefits of the 187 visa

As mentioned previously, the RSMS visa gives applicants a pathway to permanent residence in Australia without needing a state nomination or invitation to apply like some other skilled visas. Resultingly, an RSMS visa has a number of benefits for applicants. These include:

  • The ability to remain in Australia indefinitely
  • The ability to work and study in Australia
  • The ability to enrol in Australia’s public healthcare scheme (Medicare)
  • Sponsor eligible relatives’ visas
  • Travel to and from Australia for 5 years (with a Resident Return Visa being required after that period to re-enter Australia)
  • Apply for Australian citizenship (if eligible)
  • A minimum salary of $70,000 per year (plus superannuation, Australia’s retirement saving scheme)

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Subclass 187 visa checklist

When making a RSMS visa application, various relevant documents and supporting evidence is required.

Due to the different circumstances of each application, it is hard to identify all of the relevant documents that should be included with any application. However, the following is a list of things that should be in most applications:

Consulting an Australian Migration Agent can assist applicants in uncovering what specific documents need to be included, with an Australian Migration Agent also being able to assist in compiling these documents.

  • Valid Passport
  • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
  • Divorce/death certificate for previous spouse (if applicable)
  • Proof of name change (if applicable)
  • National identity card (if applicable)
  • Birth certificates
  • Current CV or resume
  • Evidence of relevant qualifications
  • Evidence of a positive skills assessment / skills assessment (if applicable)
  • Evidence of registration or licensing (if applicable)
  • Reference letter from former employers
  • Evidence of professional membership (if applicable)
  • Evidence that you have worked for your current employer for at least two years on a TSS visa 
  • A signed employment contract
  • A written reference letter 
  • Nominated position details
  • Salary details (including reference to the annual market salary rate)
  • Evidence that the business is actively and lawfully operating
  • Military service record or discharge papers (if applicable)
  • Medical checks 
  • Police clearance certificates from former countries of residence 
  • English test results

How the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme 187 visa works

The RSMS visa application process occurs over two different stages

Firstly, similar to TSS visa applications, the visa applicant’s sponsor must lodge a nomination for the position which the visa applicant is going to fill within their business. The position which is nominated by the employer must be the same position which the visa applicant was nominated for on their TSS visa. The nomination must be approved by the Department before a visa can be granted, and while it is possible to progress to the second stage of the application process before the nomination is finalised, this is not generally recommended and should only be done after receiving advice.

The second stage of the application process is lodging the visa application. To correctly lodge a RSMS visa application this includes providing the relevant application form that includes all of the necessary supporting evidence as well as paying the correct visa application charge to the Department. As the RSMS visa is a permanent visa, applicants will need to meet higher health and English language requirements than those needed for temporary visas such as the TSS visa.

At Australian Migration Agents, we can provide further information or guidance to the process of applying for a RSMS visa and assist parties in making an application that maximises the applicant’s chances of success.

Future visa pathways after your Temporary Skill Shortage 187 visa

As previously alluded to, if applicants are granted a RSMS visa, they will become Australian permanent residents as this is a substantive visa. This means that unless they are leaving and returning to Australia after 5 years of being a visa holder (where a Resident Return visa becomes required), visa applicants will not need to apply for another visa and will be able to remain in Australia indefinitely. These visa holders are also able to sponsor eligible family members and can choose to become an Australian citizen if they are eligible

Benefits of using a registered migration agent for your 482 visa

Using a registered migration agent, like an Australian Migration Agent, has several benefits. Not only does the involvement of an Australian Migration Agent give applicants the opportunity to maximise their potential of receiving a visa grant, but an Australian Migration Agent can help to alleviate the stress and complexity associated with applying for a visa in Australia. Furthermore, Australian Migration Agents are knowledgeable and experienced in helping applicants apply for a skilled visa.  Australian Migration Agents can provide help at any stage of the process through:

  • Consultation and engagement
  • Preparation and support
  • Submission and communication
  • Representation and success

If applicants need assistance applying for a visa or are unsure how to do so, contact an Australian Migration Agent today.

RSMS 187 visa costs

When making a RSMS visa application, there are two main associated costs:

Department fees

The relevant fees for the Department of Home Affairs in relation to a RSMS application are as follows:

  • Nomination stage - there is no application fee under the Temporary Residence Transition stream
  • Nomination stage - Skilling Australians Fund levy $3,000-5,000 (based on business turnover)
  • Visa stage - application fee $4,640

Professional Services Fees

At Australian Migration Agents, our pricing is customised to suit the individual requirements of each of our clients, recognising that each visa application is unique. We opt for a fixed-fee approach, providing our clients with transparency and predictability in the costs associated with making a visa application, unlike some other billing types. Additionally, we offer various payment options and flexible payment plans, ensuring that our services are accessible to clients in different financial situations

Visa application steps

The visa application process can be challenging and time-consuming, but our team at Australian Migration Agents handles this daily and understands the requirements needed for successful outcomes. Get in touch to discuss your eligibility and explore the most budget-friendly services available to you.

Book a consultation

Step 1

Consultation and engagement

Organise a consultation time to speak with one of our agents. You can meet with us in person, via Zoom or telephone. Following this, we will send you paperwork that confirms our engagement to represent you.

Step 2

Preparation and submission

We will prepare written submissions in support of your visa application. This will be based on your individual circumstances, and supported by evidence where appropriate. We then submit your application to the relevant body (Department of Home Affairs, courts or tribunal)

Step 3

Representation and success

We will keep you informed about your application, and notify you of the outcome. If you receive an unfavourable outcome and we can reapply, we will!

187 Visa processing times

When a visa application is being processed by the Department, the time it takes for a decision to be made can depend on several factors. This includes delays that can be mitigated where an application is invalid, incomplete or inaccurate. As the Department handles visa applications on a case-by-case basis, it is hard to give an exact estimate of how long this process will take.

Visa applicants should be aware that the Department does provide a provisional timeline on their website for the processing of RSMS visa applications. Currently, the processing time estimated is between 12 to 19 months, subject to the approval of the nomination.

Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme 187 visa considerations

Visa applicants should be aware that the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187) visa is only available to certain eligible applicants. Where applicants are not eligible for a subclass 187 visa, there may be other visa types that are available.

Similarly, an Australian Migration Agent cannot guarantee that a visa will be granted following an application being made, as the Department has sole discretion over the adjudication of visa applications. Despite this though, an Australian Migration Agent is committed to helping visa applicants make strong applications that contain all of the relevant information for the Department to make a favourable decision. Furthermore, at Australian Migration Agents, we are committed to helping visa applicants and sponsors at any stage of the application process.

Australia-wide services

Our skilled team offers in-person and virtual appointments, which means we can provide immigration assistance and advice regardless of where you live in Australia.  

Frequently asked questions

Read our most frequently asked questions

What is a regional-sponsored visa?

The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187) visa is a permanent visa type available for those who fall into the Temporary Residence Transition stream’s eligibility. This is because all other streams have been transitioned to alternative visa types.

Is subclass 187 a permanent visa?

A Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187) visa is a permanent visa that provides Australian permanent residence when granted

What is the difference between 187 and 186 visas?

There are differences between the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187) and the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) visa. The central difference is that the subclass 187 visa is only available for workers in regional Australia that fall within its eligibility category.

Most Temporary Skills Shortage (subclass 482) visa holders will likely apply to become a permanent resident under the subclass 186 visa.

How long does a 187 visa take?

Eligible temporary visa holders will only be able to apply for a RSMS visa once they have completed at least 2 years of employment on their current visa. Once the application for a RSMS visa has been lodged, the Department estimates that it will take 12 to 19 months for the visa to be processed.

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