The Regional Nomination Scheme Visa allows foreign nationals or people residing in Australia to apply for Permanent Residence (PR). This visa comes under the category of subclass 187 and is a point based skilled immigration program. You must have a valid substantive visa meaning a valid non-expiring visa.  You can also apply if you have a bridging visa A, B or C which is a temporary visa allotted to immigrants or visitors whose visa is close to expiry and they are waiting for their immigration decision.

This visa is similar to Employer Sponsored visa only difference is that you firstly need to be nominated by an approved regional state employer. This visa allows applicants to stay in Regional Australia. Regional Australia is an area which has low population density and consists of all of Australia outside major cities like Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Wollongong, New Castle and the Gold Coast.  It is a two step process to apply for this visa:

Step 1: Approved Australian Employer Sponsors the Applicant:

Firstly you must be sponsored by an approved Australian Employer if you want to apply for Permanent Residency through Employer Nomination Scheme. You need to create an online profile and apply through Skill Select.

Step2:  Apply for Employer Nomination Scheme Visa in appropriate Nominated Stream:

Once you have been sponsored by approved Australian employer you must be nominated under the appropriate stream. There are 3 streams – Temporary Residence Transition stream, Direct Entry stream, and Agreement stream

Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa under subclass 187 visa has 3 streams; with each stream having its own different pre-requisites for eligibility of the application which is detailed below:

Eligibility Criteria for the Applicants:

You can apply for this visa if you meet the below criteria:

  • You have been nominated by an approved Australian regional state employer in regional Australia (Area outside of the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong and Melbourne) within 6 months before you apply.
  • You meet the below listed criteria:
    • You are willing to work in Regional Australia.
    • You should have been nominated by an approved Australian employer within the six months before you apply and in an occupation that is there on the Australian Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL).
    • You must have undergone skill assessment by suitable assessment authority and obtained desired skill assessment score for that occupation.
    • You must have achieved the desired score specified in your letter of invitation based on different point based factors.
    • Your age must be below 50 years at the time of application, unless you have a special exemption.
    • While you are applying you have the required skills and qualifications for the position of the application.
    • You have proficiency in English language.
    • You must meet the health and character requirement of Australian government.
    • You have to sign Australian Value Statement and respect the laws of Australia.
    • You must meet the requirements of one of the streams (Temporary Residence Transition stream, Direct Entry Stream, or Agreement Stream) in which you apply.

Visa Benefits of Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme – Subclass 187:

Visa granted under Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme offers you and your family to enjoy the following benefits:

  • Live, work and Study in Regional Australia
  • If you apply for Permanent Residence using RSMS Subclass 187, you get additional point benefits.
  • Stay in Australia indefinitely
  • Avail the benefits of Australian healthcare system by enrolling in Medicare scheme
  • If you meet the eligibility criteria you can apply for Australian Citizenship
  • Sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence
  • Multiple Entry or Exit from Australia for five years (After 5 years you would need a resident return visa or another visa to return to Australia)

Checklist of documents for visa under Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme – Subclass 187:

When you are applying for visa under Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Subclass 187 you would be require to attach all the relevant documents with the application. It is very important that you provide certified copies of original documents, you may also be asked to submit certain original documents as well. In case the documents are not in English, they must be translated in English by some accredited translators. You are required to submit scans of documents online, physical copies of documents are not required unless asked for specifically.

Below are the different types of documents required to be submitted under Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Subclass 187:

  • Completed and Filled Application Form:
  • To apply for Permanent Regional Sponsored Skilled Migration Visa, you need to complete an application form available on the official website of Australian Immigration Authority.
  • Include Form 47(a) or Form 80 for any family member who is dependent on you:
    • In case, you have a child or other dependent member whose age is equal to or less than 18 years of age, you need to fill form 47a. If the age of the dependent person other than partner is above 18 years you need to fill Form 80.
    • In case you want to take your child younger than 18-23 years of age it is important to submit an evidence of their financial dependence. For each of your dependents aged 18 years or older at the time you apply, one of the following conditions must be true:
      • They have functional English.
      • If they have less than functional English, a statement indicating that you intend to pay second visa application charge is required.
  • Personal Identification Documents:
    • Passport Copies: Certified copies of your current passports or travel documents of all people included in your application.
    • Name Change Document: If there is a name change or name of any applicant has changed please provide evidence to support name change.
    • Identification proof including both parent names: A certified copy of your birth certificate clearly showing names of both the parents. In case you don’t have a birth certificate and cannot show any certified copy of identification pages you must show other certified proofs such as, family book showing parents, court-issued document, identification proof issued by government, etc.
  • Education Qualification and Experience Related documents: While applying for any visa, it’s very important to submit all the important documents related to educational qualification and professional work experience. You only need to submit certified copies of original documents unless specifically requested by Australian government for more such documents.
  • Relationship Status Information:
    • Certified copies of marriage certificates or relationship registrations for you and any other person included in your application is compulsory even if your partner may not be going to Australia with you.
    • If you are widowed, divorced, or are permanently separated, submit a certified copy of the death certificate or, divorce documents.
  • Character Information:
    • Police verification of you and all the other people in your application is compulsory to prove that the applicants have clean criminal records.
    • In case you or anyone in your family has worked with armed forces of any country, a certified scanned color copy of military service record or discharge paper is required.
  • Proof of age:
    • You must submit birth certificate or any other government certified proof of your age in order to apply for visa. You must be under 50 years of age unless you are exempted. Exemption is provided only to high skilled professionals like researcher, scientist, and medical practitioners.
  • English Language Eligibility:
    • In order to apply for Permanent Resident visa it is very important to meet the language proficiency of English. You can appear for different English qualification tests, but you must meet the minimum eligibility score for that exam. You can give any one of the following listed exams:
  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
  • Occupational English Test (OET)
  • Test of English Language internet Based Test (TOEFL bit)
  • Pearson Test English (PTE)
  • Cambridge Advanced English (CAE)

Processing time for visa under Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme – Subclass 187:

If you have submitted your visa application and are concerned with the amount of time it will take for your application to process, this section offers all the information you need. For all applications under skilled migrations, highest priority is given to application coming though Skill Select Subclass 187, 186, 190 and 489.

According to Australian Immigration Department website, the average processing time for applications filed under Employee Nomination Scheme- Subclass 186 is around 5-8 months. But, every case file is unique and the time of processing depends on the information provided by you along with supported documents. You can track your application online on the department website to know the application status.

 Obligations for visa under subclass 187:

 It is very important for the visa applicant to understand and comply with all the visa conditions and Australian laws. In case you don’t abide by these obligations your visa might get cancelled in the following conditions:

  • If you don’t make genuine effort to begin employment with your employer within six months of:
    • Your first entry to Australia if you were granted this visa while you were outside of Australia
    • The visa being granted if you were granted this visa while you were in Australia
  • If you join your employer but don’t 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.
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Me and my wife were really confused with the process of getting a PR Visa for Australia, so we did some research online and chose Visas abroad to help us. We finally received out Visa at the earliest all because of the efforts of the Visas abroad team. Two thumbs up and a Big YES for Visas Abroad if you are looking to get your visa.

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Rohit Sharma