Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme

Employers located in regional areas of Australia (as defined – this includes Perth) have the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme or RSMS available for the sponsorship of skilled workers.

As with the ENS, individuals can be either:

  • Highly skilled workers from overseas, or
  • Highly skilled temporary residents who are currently in Australia

The RSMS visa application process has 3 stages:

  • Australian employer submits details of the skilled position to what is called a “Regional Certifying Body” for approval
  • The RCB approval is submitted to the Department of Immigration for their approval of the nomination
  • The skilled individual applies for the grant of a permanent residency visa.

The processing time for this category of visa is again typically several weeks, with added time involved in seeking RCB approval.  As with the ENS, the overall processing time can be significantly reduced through the appointment of a registered migration agent, and submitting a Decision Ready Checklist to the Department of Immigration with the nomination and visa applications.

Reasons why the RSMS is preferred over the ENS includes:

  • A lower skills level threshold for the intended employee
  • Avoidance of the formal verification of an individual’s skills that would be required when a skilled person is applying for a permanent employer sponsored visa under the ENS, where s/he has not held a 457 visa for at least two years, and is not to occupy a highly paid position.
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