Please be aware that as of 16 November 2019, the Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa has been replaced by a new Subclass 494 Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa. This new visa has a five-year term and provides a pathway to permanent residence with a new Subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa, which will be introduced from 16 November 2022.

These changes only affect the Direct Entry visa stream under the subclass 187 visa programme. Applications remain open to eligible Subclass 482 Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) and Subclass 457 Temporary Work (Skilled) visa holders under the Temporary Residence Transition Stream (TRTS).

For further information about these changes, please see the following articles:

New Skilled Regional Visas to be introduced

Skilled Regional Sponsored Visa

Further Regulations released for the new regional sponsored visas to commence from 16 November 2019

RSMS visa eligibility ending March 2018

Many people who are eligible for RSMS visas now will no longer be eligible after March 2018. This is due to some major changes announced by the Government. The changes can be summarised as:

  • Occupation list reduction: The MLTSSL will now apply to the Direct Entry stream for both the ENS and the RSMS. Some additional occupations will be made available through the RSMS to support regional employers (mostly farming related occupations). This will severely limit the number of eligible applicants.
  • Training levy sponsoring employer must pay: Employers nominating a worker for an ENS or RSMS visa will be required to pay a contribution to the Skilling Australians Fund. The contribution will be payable in full at the time the worker is nominated. The amount will be $3,000 for small businesses (those with annual turnover of less than $10 million) and $5,000 for other businesses. It is our expectation that this will severely limit the viability of many applications.
  • Minimum market salary increase to $53,900: Employers must pay the Australian market salary rate and meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold.
  • At least 3 years of work experience in your occupation is required: At least three years’ work experience relevant to the particular occupation will be required. This means international student graduates will no longer be eligible for the RSMS visa.
  • Transition to Permanent Residency increased to three years. The eligibility period to transition to permanent residence will be extended from two to three years.
  • Age reduction to 45: All applicants must be under the maximum age requirement of 45 at the time of application.

These changes will have a significant impact on eligibility and we expect a significant reduction in the use of the RSMS program. If you are currently eligible for the RSMS visa, we strongly advise that you apply before March 2018. For complete advice on eligibility and full case management of RSMS visas please contact us at PAX Migration on (08) 7226 2225.