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About this Visa

On this page
• • •

Who is this visa for? How much will this visa cost? What does this visa let me do?

The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) allows employers in regional or low population growth areas of Australia, to sponsor employees who are foreign nationals for a permanent visa to work in Australia.

Who is this visa for?
This visa is for employers operating in regional and low population growth areas of Australia, who want to sponsor skilled workers to fill skilled vacancies in their business. The employees applying for a visa can be either of the following:
• •

skilled workers from overseas skilled temporary residents currently in Australia.

Visa applicants who are currently living and/or working in Australia on a qualifying visa can apply for the onshore RSMS (subclass 857) visa. If you do not hold a qualifying visa, you may still be eligible to apply in Australia if you last held a qualifying visa no more than 28 days prior to lodging an application. See: Qualifying Visas

Qualifying Visas
If you are applying in Australia for the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) or Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS), you must be the current holder of a qualifying visa. If you do not currently hold a qualifying visa, you may still be eligible to apply if you last held a qualifying visa no more than 28 days prior to lodging an application. The following qualifying visas apply to the ENS and RSMS:
• • • •

Business (Temporary) Class TB Cultural/Social (Temporary) Class TE Educational (Temporary) Class TH Family Relationship (Temporary) Class TL 1

• • • • • • • • •

• • • • • •

Interdependency (Temporary) Class TM Medical Practitioner (Temporary) Class UE Special Category (Temporary) Class TY Supported Dependant (Temporary) Class TW New Zealand Citizen (Family Relationship) (Temporary) Class UP Skilled-Independent Regional (Provisional) Class UX Subclass 457 - Business (Long Stay) Working Holiday (Temporary) Class TZ Student (Temporary) Class TU visa granted in relation to an award course at diploma level or above completed by the primary or main applicant while they were the holder of that visa Confirmatory (Temporary) Class TD Graduate-Skilled (Temporary) Class UQ Subclass 161 - Senior Executive (Provisional) Subclass 164 - State/Territory Sponsored Senior Executive (Provisional) Skilled (Provisional) Class VC Skilled (Provisional) Class VF.

The following additional visa qualifies for RSMS only:

Subclass 471 Trade Skills Training (where the apprenticeship for which the visa was granted has been completed by the visa holder).

The offshore RSMS (subclass 119) visa is for applicants who are outside Australia. Note: Applicants who do not hold a qualifying visa can apply for the offshore RSMS visa (subclass 119) and lodge their application in Australia. However, applicants must be outside Australia at the time of visa grant.

How much will this visa cost?
You must pay a non-refundable application charge. See: Employer Sponsored Permanent Visa Charges

Employer Sponsored Permanent Visa Charges
All fees and charges are listed in Australian dollars (AUD). If you are lodging outside Australia, payment must be in the currency accepted by the Australian High Commission, Embassy or Consulate, where the application is being lodged. See: Currency Converter

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Important: Visa Application Charges are reviewed on 1 July each year, which may increase the cost of a visa, however they may be adjusted at any time. The 1st instalment must be paid at the time of application. These charges apply to the following visa classes:
• • •

Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 121/856) Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 119/857) Labour Agreements (including Regional Headquarters Agreement) Charge Type Charge Amount $520 $2095

Nomination (ENS only) 1st instalment If you are outside Australia when the visa is granted 1st instalment If you are in Australia when the visa is granted 2nd instalment For primary applicants with less than functional English Exception: Religious workers who have applied for a subclass 121 (ENS) or a Labour Agreement visa are not required to pay this instalment. 2nd instalment For dependents 18 or over with less than functional English Exception: Religious workers who have applied for a subclass 121 (ENS) or a Labour Agreement visa are not required to pay this instalment.

$3105

$8240

$4110

Note: Applicants who have applied for certain other visas may be deemed to have paid the first instalment of these visa application charges. Second Visa Application Charges may apply.

What does this visa let me do?
This visa allows you and any dependent family members included in your visa application to live as permanent residents in Australia. Australian permanent residents can: 3

• • • • • •

live and work in Australia on a permanent basis study in Australia at school or university receive subsidised healthcare through Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) access certain social security payments (subject to waiting periods) be eligible for Australian citizenship (subject to the residency eligibility criteria) sponsor people for permanent residence.

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How this Visa Works
On this page
• • • • • •

Employers Regional Certifying Bodies Employees Eligible position Validity Periods More information

The application process under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme involves:
• • •

an employer operating a business in regional Australia a skilled employee an eligible position.

The process for obtaining a visa under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme is summarised below. Who Employer
• • • • •

Responsibility nominates the position that they wish to fill arranges certification by the relevant Regional Certifying Body seeks approval of the nomination from the department recruits the overseas worker to fill the nominated position. assesses the nomination application lodged by the employer against specific criteria (which includes establishing a genuine need for the position in the business of the employer) certifies the nomination if the RCB assesses that all relevant criteria are satisfied. accepts the offer of employment from the nominating employer applies for a visa meets the conditions on their visa (once approved).

Regional Certifying Body (RCB)

• • • •

Employee

Note: The nomination must be approved before the visa can be granted. The nomination application should be lodged with the department before or at the same time as the visa application. If the nomination application is lodged first, the visa application must be lodged within six months of the nomination approval date.

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Employers
Employers operating businesses in regional or low population growth areas of Australia can participate in this scheme. All areas of Australia are eligible except Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong and Melbourne. See: Eligible postcodes for the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme

New South Wales
Except Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong
2250 to 2251 - Central Coast 2256 to 2263 - Central Coast 2311 to 2312 2328 to 2411 2420 to 2490 2536 to 2551 2575 to 2594 2618 to 2739 2787 to 2898

Regional Certifying Bodies
Regional Certifying Bodies are organisations that:
• • •

have been appointed by the Minister for Immigration to perform the certification function know whether a business is actively operating in their local area are able to assess nominations against specific legislative requirements.

There are a number of Regional Certifying Bodies throughout Australia. All Regional Certifying Bodies are endorsed by the relevant state or territory government and many are branches of the State or Territory regional development portfolio. See: Regional Certifying Bodies New South Wales Central NSW

Executive Officer

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Regional Development Australia, Central West Inc. PO Box 172 Orange NSW 2800 Telephone: 02 6369 1600 Fax: 02 6369 1611 Email: sharon@rdacentralwest.org.au

Employees
An employee is a foreign national who:
• •

meets the age, skill and language requirements has an employer that is willing to sponsor them for this visa.

If eligible, employees and their accompanying family members will be granted a permanent visa.

Eligible position
An eligible position must meet the following requirements.
• • • •

is located in a regional area is a genuine full-time vacancy is available for at least 2 consecutive years unless the nomination may be approved as an exceptional appointment, it requires a skill level of at least an Australian diploma.

The process the employer undergoes in having the job/position approved by the department is called nomination. A nomination for a position that requires a skill level less than an Australian diploma can only be approved as an exceptional appointment. If the nominated position relates to a trade occupation, the nomination may be approved as an exceptional appointment without further documentation, if all other requirements for approval are met. If the nominated position does not relate to a trade occupation, the nomination may be approved only if the nominee holds a subclass 457 visa, and has been in the nominated position as the holder of a subclass 457 visa for at least 2 years leading to the lodgment of the nomination.

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Validity periods
The validity period of the:
• •

nomination is 6 months visa is permanent.

More information
Detailed information on the Regional Sponsored Migration scheme is also available in the Booklet 5. See: Booklet 5 - Employer Sponsored Migration (7.1KB PDF file)

Employer Eligibility
On this page
• •

Eligibility for certification of the position Eligibility for nomination

Eligibility for certification of the position
The Regional Certifying Body (RCB) responsible for the area will assess the nomination to fill a position against the following criteria. Criteria

Requirement there must be a need for a paid employee in the business of the nominating employer the employer's business must be established and actively engaged in the activity for which it is registered in the regional area (all areas of Australia except for, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong and Melbourne). See: Eligible Postcodes for the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme the position is a genuine full-time vacancy the position is available for at least two consecutive

The business must be actively and lawfully operating in regional Australia.

The position must be full time and available for two years.

• •

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The business requires a person with diploma level qualifications or higher.

years. the position requires a person with at least an Australian equivalent trade, diploma or higher qualification (unless the appointment is exceptional)

For more information on the certification requirements, contact the Regional Certifying Body in your area. See: Regional Certifying Bodies

Eligibility for nomination
In addition to the above, the department will also assess the application against the following criteria:
• • •

the nomination has been approved by the relevant Regional Certifying Body the business follows all relevant Australian laws and has a satisfactory record of meeting immigration laws (if applicable) the position is being remunerated in accordance with relevant workplace legislation and awards.

Before lodging an application, please read all related requirements. See: Eligibility

Eligible family members
The following people may apply to accompany and stay with the employee.
• • •

the employee's partner dependent child of the employee or employee's partner other dependent relatives living with the employee.

Partner
A partner is your spouse (the person you are married to) or de facto partner (including same-sex partners).

Dependent child
A dependent child is the child or stepchild, of the employee or their partner who:
• •

is not married, engaged to be married or in a de facto relationship and has not turned 18 or

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if they have turned 18, are wholly or substantially reliant on the employee or the employee's partner for their basic needs, or are incapacitated for work.

Other dependent relatives
Other relatives may be included in the application if they are wholly or substantially reliant on the employee for financial support for their basic needs of food, shelter and clothing and they have been reliant on the employee for that support for a substantial period. They must also be more reliant on the employee for support than on any other person or source. A relative may also be considered dependent on the employee if they are reliant on them for financial support because they have a mental or physical disability which stops them from earning a living to support themselves. Other relatives dependent on the employee or employee's partner may include, for example, an aged, unmarried relative. Dependent family members who are 18 years of age or over, should obtain form 47A and attach it to the visa application. See: Form 47A Details of child or other dependent family member aged 18 years or over (248KB PDF file) Details of child or other dependent family member aged 18 years or over must be completed for each dependent 18 or over, whether migrating or not.

Health and character requirements
All dependent family members must meet the health and character requirements. See: Health Requirements Character and Penal Clearance Requirements

English language ability
Adult family members of the employee are expected to have functional English. Higher visa application charges may apply to those who do not have a functional level of English.

Work and study
Family members who are granted a permanent visa are given full work and study rights.

Australian Values Statement
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All visa applicants who have turned 18 years of age, are required to sign an Australian values statement. The statement is included in the visa application form and all applicants aged 18 years of age and over will need to sign it. Before signing the statement, applicants for this visa are required to have read, or had explained to them, material made available by the government on life in Australia which is contained in the Life in Australia book. The Life in Australia book provides more information on the values that Australians share and their way of life. See: Australian Values - Overview Life in Australia Book Before lodging an application, please read all related requirements. See: Eligibility

Obligations
Employer obligations
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The employer must make sure that all relevant workplace laws and award conditions are met. The employer must provide the employee with a letter of offer or employment contract which states that the employee will be employed:
• • •

full-time for a minimum of 2 years in a regional area.

Employee obligations
The employee must meet the following obligations.
• •

commence employment within six months of arriving in Australia or within six months of the visa grant if they are already in Australia remain employed in the nominated position in the regional area for at least two years.

The visa may be cancelled if the employee does not comply with these obligations to complete the two year contract with the employer.

Applying for this Visa

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If the employer and employee are eligible, willing and able to meet their obligations under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme, they can commence the 3-step application process.

Step 1 - Employer applies for certification
The employer must apply for certification of a nominated position with the Regional Certifying Body. See: Step 1 - Employer Applies for Certification

Step 2 - Employer nominates the position
The employer must lodge the certified nomination application with the department. See: Step 2 - Employer Nominates the Position

Step 3 - Employee applies for a visa
The employee must apply for a visa to work in Australia. See: Step 3 - Employee Applies for a Visa

More Information
More information on the visa application process can be obtained from. See: Information form 1025i Making and processing visa applications (64KB PDF file)

Step 1 - Employer Applies for Certification
On this page
• • • • • •

Application charge Certification and nomination checklist Exemption from eligibility requirements Information to Help Prepare your Application How to apply How and where to lodge

The employer must apply for certification of a nomination application with a Regional Certifying Body.

Application charge
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There may be a charge for this application. The employer must contact their Regional Certifying Body for details of this charge. See: Regional Certifying Bodies

Certification and nomination checklist
The certification and nomination application checklist details the information and supporting documents that you must provide with your application. Complete applications are likely to be processed more quickly. Incomplete applications may be delayed or, in some cases, refused. See:Certification and Nomination Document Checklist (45KB PDF file)

Exemption from eligibility requirements
Under certain exceptional circumstances, the visa applicant may seek exemption from one or more eligibility requirements by lodging a submission for an exceptional appointment. See: Exemption from Eligibility Requirements

Information to help prepare your application
More information is available on certifying and translating documents, communicating with the department, using a migration agent, authorising another person to receive information from the department, and receiving assistance with your application. See: Information to Help Prepare Your Application

How to apply
Complete the application form and attach all necessary documentation. See: Form 1054 Employer nomination under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (196KB PDF file)

How and where to lodge
After Form 1054 has been completed by the employer, it must be lodged with a Regional Certifying Body in their local area. They may also request additional information to be provided. If the Regional Certifying Body is satisfied that the position meets the eligibility criteria, they will certify the nomination by stamping and signing the relevant section on the nomination application form. The form will be returned to the employer. The employer must then lodge the certified form with the department. In some cases the Regional Certifying Body may send the form directly to the department.

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Form 1054 must be certified by the relevant Regional Certifying Body before it can be assessed by the department, however certification by the Regional Certifying Body does not guarantee that the nomination will be approved by the department. See: Regional Certifying Bodies

Step 2 - Employer Nominates the Position
On this page
• • • •

Nomination charge Certification and nomination checklist How to apply How and where to lodge

The employer must lodge the nomination application (certified by the Regional Certifying Body) with the department.

Nomination charge
There is no charge for nomination applications under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme.

Certification and nomination checklist
The certification and nomination checklist contains the information and supporting documents that the employer may be asked to provide during the application process. See: Certification and Nomination Document Checklist (45KB PDF file)

How to apply
The employer must lodge the nomination application form, which has been certified and signed by the relevant Regional Certifying Body, to the department. See: Step 1 - Employer Applies for Certification

How and where to lodge
All applications for the Regional Skilled Migration Scheme will be processed by the centres of excellence. See: Centres of Excellence

15

You can lodge your application by post, courier or in person (in Australia) directly with the relevant centre of excellence or at your nearest state or territory office. If you lodge your application at an office other than the relevant centre of excellence, it will be transferred for processing. The nomination application must be lodged with, or prior to, the visa application. The visa application should not be lodged before the nomination.

Step 3 - Employee Applies for a Visa
On this page
• • • • • •

Application charge Other Costs Application checklist Information to Help Prepare your Application How to apply How and where to lodge

When the nomination has been approved, the employee must apply for a permanent visa to work in Australia. The visa application must be lodged within six months of the nomination approval date.

Application charge
Unless you are eligible for a fee-free application, there is a non-refundable charge for this application. See: Fees & Charges Fee-Free Visa Applications

Other Costs
In addition to the application charge you will need to pay for any medical examinations. You may also be required to pay a charge for obtaining police checks. This charge varies in each country. When required to obtain your own police checks, you are personally responsible for all arrangements. There may also be other costs associated with the application, such as translating documents into English.

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Application checklist
The application checklist details the information and supporting documents that you must provide with your application. Complete applications are likely to be processed more quickly. Incomplete applications may be delayed or, in some cases, refused. See: Employer Nomination Scheme / Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (Subclasses 121/856 & 119/857) Application Document Checklist ( 54KB PDF file)

Information to help prepare your application
More information is available on certifying and translating documents, communicating with the department, using a migration agent, authorising another person to receive information from the department, and receiving assistance with your application. See: Information to Help Prepare Your Application

How to apply
Complete the application form and attach all necessary documentation. See: Form 47es Application for employer sponsored migration to Australia (557KB PDF file) Eligible family members of the employee may apply with the employee or separately. If they apply separately, they must lodge a separate application form and pay a separate application charge.

How and where to lodge
Your application should be lodged with the same departmental centre of excellence in Australia that processed the employer nomination form. You can lodge your application:
• • •

by post by courier in person (if inside Australia).

See: Centres of Excellence When lodging applications: The visa application can be lodged at the same time as the nomination form or within six months of the nomination being approved. It should not be lodged before the nomination. It is preferred that the visa application is not lodged until the nomination is approved

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