Who is this visa for?
Regional Sponsored Visa, also known as the “Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS)”, is a permanent resident visa that allows overseas workers to be sponsored by their Australian employer to work in a regional area of Australia for 2 years before residing anywhere in Australia permanently.
A ‘regional area’ simply means a low population growth area. It does not necessarily mean a remote area. For example, big city metropolitans and towns are considered as regional, such as Adelaide, Perth and Cairns.
What will this visa let me do?
The RSMS visa is a permanent visa upon grant. This allows the applicant and any accompanying family members to:
- Live and work in Australia indefinitely (after working with their regional employer for two years)
- Study in Australia and access subsidised education
- Access to Medicare
- Apply for specific social security payments (some minimum residential periods apply)
- Apply for Australian citizenship (after meeting certain residential requirements)
- Sponsor family members for certain visas
- Travel in and out of Australia for 5 years
Basic Visa Requirements
There are 2 parties involved in the RSMS visa:
- The Employer
- The Applicant
And there are 2 stages of the RSMS visa:
- Nomination (Employer)
- Application (Applicant)
Employers are to nominate a position to be filled by the visa applicant. To be eligible to nominate, employers must demonstrate the following:
- The business is actively and lawfully operating in a regional area of Australia
- The offered position is full-time and on-going for at least 2 years
- The offered position will be paid the market salary rate
- The offered position is listed under the relevant eligible skilled occupation list.
- The offered position must be approved by the Regional Certifying Body (RCB) responsible for the regional area, where other criteria must be met such as local labour market testing for example.
To be eligible to apply for the ENS visa, employees must meet the following requirements:
- Have the necessary qualifications for their nominated occupation (Note: most occupations do not require a skills assessment) OR
- Worked in Australia with the sponsoring employer for at least 2 years on a TSS/444/461 visa prior to applying for an RSMS visa
- ‘Competent’ English language ability or ‘vocational’ level if you have worked for 2 years on a TSS/444/461 visa.
If you do not have an employer who can sponsor you, an Expression of Interest can be lodged. This allows prospective employers and state/territory governments to offer sponsorship.
The government charges for visa application can be found here.