The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) no longer differentiates between an onshore and offshore visa subclass. The Subclass 187 visa allows the applicant to be inside or outside Australia at the time of visa application and streamlines the visa criteria. Eligibility criteria for the RSMS visa will depend on which Stream the visa applicant applies under.
Direct Entry stream: This stream is for those applicants who have never, or only briefly, worked in Australia and have not held a Subclass 457 visa for the last two years, or are applying directly from outside of Australia. To be eligible they must:
• have qualification and skills relevant to the nominated occupation
• have the skills assessed by the relevant assessing authority if you are nominated as a tradesperson and obtained your qualifications outside Australia
• have competent English (6 in each of the four IELTS test components)
The application must be certified by the Regional Certification Body (RCB).
Temporary Residence Transition stream: This stream is only available to people who hold a Subclass 457 visa. Under this stream, skills do not need to be assessed, however the applicant must have worked for the nominating employer on their 457 visa for 2 years before they can apply. Applicants must have Vocational English (an average of 5 in the IELTS test). RCB approval is not required.
Agreement stream: To apply for the Agreement stream, the applicant must meet the age, skills and English language requirements stated in the agreement.
If the applicant is applying from inside Australia they must hold a substantive visa. They may also apply if they are currently on a Bridging Visa A, B or C.
If mandatory by the State or Territory, the person must hold any relevant licencing, registration, or membership to a professional body at the time of visa application. Applicants must be under 50 years of age at the time of visa application and applicants.
There is no eligible occupation list for the RSMS program. However, only occupations with a minimum skill level of AQF (or overseas equivalent) Certificate III including at least two years of on-the-job training, or AQF Certificate IV, or at least three years of relevant experience (ANZSCO Skill level 3) will be considered.
Please contact Expat’s visa team for further information and assessment under the new regulations.