Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS)

The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) process also involves stages. The difference between the ENS and the RSMS process is that in the RSMS  Direct Entry pathway (for applicants not on 457 visas)  there is a preliminary stage requiring the sponsoring employer to have the position in question certified by a Regional Certifying Board (RCB) (list of RCBs)

When certifying positions the RCB examines the position in terms of local shortage, may require evidence of market testing, and considers other regional variations in conditions. It also looks at the visa applicant at this stage. If the RCB is satisfied that the position is genuine, it will certify that position.

RCB certification must be completed before lodgement of the position nomination with DIBP. Occupations can only be selected from ANZSCO Skill level 1-3

The second stage is nomination and lodgement of the certified position by the sponsoring employer and the last stage is lodgement of the visa application, matching the visa applicant to the certified position..

RSMS nominations (& visa applications) can no longer be lodged decision-ready. Applications will be processing date of receipt order.

110_F_63810426_pLhf7O2dHqVcikuAWaSV8CETCbUmS2Y8The sponsoring employer must be lawfully operating in Australia, must be financially able to pay the position, and must also pay at least the market salary in the regional area approved by the RCB (if applicable)

Benefits of Applying for RSMS over ENS visa

The requirements for RSMS are more straightforward than ENS in a number of important ways:

  • The employer does not need to meet the training requirement
  • The visa applicant requires a lower level of skill for the Direct Entry Stream – most applicants do not require a skills assessment, and there is no minimum work experience requirement
  • It is possible to apply for RSMS in a wider range of occupations than ENS
  • RSMS is the highest priority visa in the skilled migration stream

RSMS Regional Areas

In order to be granted an RSMS visa, the employee must be offered a position in a “regional area”. The regional areas are specified by postcode by the Department of Immigration.

The following are considered Regional areas for the purposes of RSMS sponsorship:

  • The whole of Western Australia
  • The whole of South Australia
  • The whole of Tasmania
  • The whole of ACT
  • The whole of Northern Territory
  • New South Wales (NSW) – all areas excluding: Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong
  • Victoria – all areas excluding Melbourne
  • Queensland- all areas excluding Brisbane

*** For more information please contact us

RSMS (sc187) Visa

The RSMS (sc187) visa is not points tested either but RSMS occupations are restricted to the ANZSCO Skill Level 1-3 occupations. RSMS does not require any minimum level of experience which is ideal for new graduates as long as they can show the required level qualifications.

You must now be able to nominate an ANZSCO occupation from the relevant MLTSSL and  Regional Occupation List (ROL) – RSMS SC187 List

There are three pathways to apply for an RSMS visa:

  • Direct Entry stream – You will need to have qualifications and skills relevant to your nominated occupation. If you are nominated to fill a trade occupation Listed RSMS trade occupations and possess overseas qualifications or rely only upon work experience, you must have a satisfactory skill assessment from the relevant skill assessing authority – unless you are exempt.

Applicants will also be required to have a score of 6 in each of the 4 parts of the IELTS unless they are in an exempted class of applicants;

Employers will also need to show that they meet either training benchmarks A or B (similar to the 457 visa program) and intends to pay market salary prior to being able to nominate an applicant(s);


  • Temporary Residence Transition Streamworking on a 457 visa (the only qualifying visa) in the same ANZSCO unit group as the nominated position for a period of 2 years of the 3 years prior to application. Where the employee has worked for the ENS nominator, employers will be required to show that they have met their continuing training commitment since sponsorship approval and market salary obligations under the 457 visa program

In this pathway, no RCB certification is required and there is no need for the Sponsor to meet training benchmarks.

Applicants will also be required to have a score of 5 in each of the 4 parts of the IELTS unless they are in an exempted class of applicants; or

  • Agreement stream (including Labour agreements and Regional Migration Agreements)

Once granted the RSMS visa does have a restriction requiring a successful visa holder to live and work in a regional area for 2 years. Cancellation for breach of this condition is possible.

*** For more information please contact us

For further information on Employer Sponsorship please click on the link.