This visa is appropriate for the skilled workers who have a company in Australia willing to sponsor them.
This Visa constitutes three streams which are mentioned below:
- The Temporary Residence Transition stream is for subclass 457 visa holders who have worked for two years and their employer wants to offer them a permanent position
- The Direct Entry stream is for people who have never, or temporarily, worked in the Australian labor market
- The Agreement stream is for people sponsored by an employer through a labor or regional migration agreement
How this visa works
The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187) is applicable for skilled workers from other countries or skilled temporary residents who currently live and work in Australia. It is part of the permanent Employer Sponsored visa program.
To apply for this visa, you must:
- be nominated by an approved employer for a position in their business in regional Australia
- be younger than 50 years of age
- meet the skills and qualifications requirements
- meet English language requirements
There are exemptions relating to age, skills and English language ability. These depend on your nominated occupation, salary and past work experience.
If you do not have an employer who will nominate you, you can lodge an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect. Prospective employers and state and territory governments can then view your details and decide whether to nominate you for skilled migration.
If you owe any amount of money to the Australian Government, you may not be eligible to be granted a visa until you have made arrangements to pay the debt.
Visa application process:
If you are nominated to apply for this visa, you must lodge your application online within six months from the date the nomination was approved.
Please make sure that your visa application is lodged soon after your employer nomination is processed. You also need to select the correct stream. In case of failure to do so may lead to an invalid visa application.
When you apply, you must select one of the visa’s three streams mentioned below:
- choose the Temporary Residence Transition stream if you are a subclass 457 visa holder. This implies that you who have worked for your employer for two years in the nominated occupation and your employer wants to offer you a permanent position in that occupation. Please note you must have a nomination application lodged under Temporary Residence Transition stream to be eligible for this option.
- choose the Direct Entry stream if you have never, or for a short period, worked in the Australian labor market. Even if you have not held a subclass 457 visa for the last two years with your nominating employer, or if you are applying directly from a country other than Australia you need to choose this stream. If you have a nomination lodged with the department before 01 July 2012, you must lodge the visa application under this stream.
- choose the Agreement stream if you are being sponsored by an employer through a tailored and negotiated labor agreement or regional migration agreement.
You can apply for this visa if you:
- want to live and work in regional Australia, excluding the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong and Melbourne
- have been nominated by an approved Australian employer located in regional Australia
- are younger than 50 years of age
- meet the skills, qualifications and English language requirements
Requirements before applying for visa
The skills, qualifications and language requirements depend on the stream you choose for the visa application. These include,
Temporary Residence Transition stream
If you apply for the Temporary Residence Transition stream, your skills do not need to be assessed because you have already worked for your nominating employer for two years in Australia.
You must have at least the knowledge of vocational English.
This stream is available only to people who hold a subclass 457 visa. People who hold other 400 series visas may qualify to apply for a permanent residence visa through the Direct Entry stream.
Direct Entry stream
If you apply for the Direct entry stream, you must:
- have qualification and skills relevant to your nominated occupation
- have your skills assessed by the relevant assessing authority if you are nominated as a tradesperson and obtained your qualifications in any other country than Australia
- have competent English
If you apply for the Agreement stream, you must meet the age, skills and English language requirements stated in the agreement.
Lodge the application
You must lodge your application online. This can be done while you are in Australia or in other country. You must pay the initial application charge of AUD3060 by credit card at that time.
Applicants and dependants who are 18 years or older and have less knowledge of functional English, are bound to pay an extra amount as second charges. This second charge has to be paid before the visa is granted.
According to the rules of lodging application for this visa, you must make sure that you agree with the Australian Values Statement. You must ensure that you have read about these values or were explained to you from the book ‘the Life in Australia’.
Provide relevant documents
You must provide essential documents that prove the claims you make in your application. The required documents are identified and explained in the Document Checklist. This checklist also explains whether you need to provide original documents or certified copies.
Any document in a language other than English must be accompanied by an English translation that has been done by an accredited translator.
If you do not provide all the documents, the information provided by you should explain about this. It is in your interest to support your application with as much as information possible.These documents must be submitted with your online application.
The department will contact you if they need any additional information and/or other documentation such as original documents.
Make use of helpful information
Certain requirements need to be fulfilled if dependent family members are included in your application. For further details you must read about the rules of ‘Including dependent family members’ mentioned in your application.
Information to help prepare your application has advice on certified documents, statutory declarations, translating documents, communicating with the department, using a migration agent, authorizing another person to receive information from the department, and receiving assistance with your application.
Employer Sponsored visa program definitions has a list of meanings of words used in relation to this visa.
Requirements after applying for visa
After you lodge your application and documents, the department will let you know that they have received your information, assign you a case officer, consider your application, request an interview (if needed), ask for more information (if needed) and make a decision.
Provide more information:
Meet health requirements
You and all members of your family unit must meet certain health requirements. The department will tell you when to arrange health examinations.
Meet character requirements
You and all members of your family unit must meet certain character requirements. This means you and each of your dependants (whether migrating or not) who are aged 16 years or older must provide police certificates. These need to be obtained from each country you and your family members have lived in for 12 months or more over the last 10 years or, in the case of those younger than 26 years or age, since each person turned 16 years of age.
The department will tell you when to arrange police certificates.
You may be asked to provide biometrics (a scientific form of identification) as part of your application. Countries and visa subclasses included in the biometrics program has more information.
Attend an interview
You may be asked to attend an interview, either face-to-face or by telephone, after lodging your application. If it is a face-to-face interview, bring your passport or other identification and any requested documents.
Provide a comment, if required
If another person gives the department information that could result in you being refused a visa, the department will give you the chance to comment on that information.
Obtain a bridge visa
If you apply for the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa while you are in Australia, you are likely to be given a Bridging visa that allows you to stay in the country lawfully while your application is processed.
If you want to travel outside Australia while your application is being considered, you may need to apply for a specific Bridging visa that allows you to leave and return to Australia.
People who already have a valid visa that allows them to travel to and from Australia (such as a subclass 457) will not need to do this.
If you apply for this visa outside Australia and then travel to Australia on another visa before this application is decided, you may need to apply for a Bridging visa.
Wait for a visa decision
The department has service standards relating to the time it takes to process applications for this visa. The country you reside and you lodging your application from Australia or other country affects the time it takes for your application to be finalized.
Receive a visa decision
If your visa application is approved, the department will send you an email with the:
- visa grant number
- visa conditions (including a specified initial entry date)
- details of what you must do next
If your visa application is not approved, the department will send you an email stating:
- why the visa was not approved
- your review rights, if any
- a time frame for lodging an appeal, if applicable
Conditions and obligations for holders of visa subclass 187
This information explains what is required of you and your accompanying dependent family members after you are granted a permanent Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187). If the visa is granted while your stay in another country, you and your dependent members must enter Australia within six months of the visa being granted, or your visa will be cancelled.
This visa allows you and your accompanying family members to:
- live and work permanently in Australia
- study in Australia
- enroll in Medicare, Australia’s scheme for health-related care and expenses
- access certain social security payments
- apply for Australian citizenship (subject to residency criteria)
- sponsor other people for permanent residence
- travel to and from of Australia for five years
This is a permanent residence visa. It allows you to travel to and from Australia for five years from the date it is granted. If you want to continue such travel after the visa expires, you must get a Resident Return visa. You can also apply for citizenship.
You and your family must comply with all visa conditions and Australian laws.
The department may cancel this visa if you do not make a genuine effort to begin employment with your Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme sponsor within six months of:
- your first entry to Australia if you were granted this visa while you were outside of Australia, or
- the visa being granted if you were granted this visa while you were in Australia
The department may also seek to cancel this visa if you begin employment but do not remain in the position for the full two years.
If this happens, you will have a chance to explain, in writing, why your visa should not be cancelled.