Australia Migration, Immigration Australia, Migrating to Australia
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Migration Institute of Australia Member
Registration Number 1971 and 2748
Registered to Provide Migration Advice
MARN numbers:
0208366, 0426675, 0641256, 0742456 and 0640237
More info about Immigration Australia, Visa Australia
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Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS)

Regional Sponsored Scheme

This page describes the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS), which is designed to help employers in regional or low population growth areas of Australia who are unable to fill skilled vacancies from the Australian labour market.

  • It provides information for employers and those wanting to migrate using this category.
  • This information is a general guide only, but it will help you decide if this category applies to you.
  • If you decide you want to use this scheme, it is essential that you obtain further information from BCIS.
  • Please note:
    If you apply from outside Australia, you will be applying to migrate. If you are applying in Australia, you will be applying for permanent residence. On these web pages, the term migrate covers both.

Summary of migration requirements

  1. The RSMS allows employers in regional or low population growth areas of Australia to fill skilled positions that they are unable to fill from the local labour market.
  2. An employer can take part in the scheme if their business is in any area except Brisbane, Gold Coast, Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong, Melbourne and Perth.
  3. Employers considering nominating persons under the RSMS may identify suitable nominees in various ways, including:
    • through their efforts in testing the local labour market;
    • personal contact and/or experience with the nominee;
    • recommendation from third parties;
    • through the department's Skill Matching program.

Skill Matching Database

  • Skill matching is made possible by the Skill Matching Database. It contains the educational, occupational and personal details of Skilled–Independent category applicants and Skill Matching visa applicants.
  • The Skill Matching Database is updated monthly and distributed to all State and Territory governments and to a network of regional development authorities.
  • Employers can use the database to identify suitable applicants for nomination under the RSMS or Labour Agreements. Applicants nominated from the database do not need to lodge a further visa application.
  • An abridged version of the skill matching database is on this website.
RSMS process

The RSMS process consists of three stages: 

  • certification of the nomination/vacancy (by a certifying body);
  • nomination by the employer is assessed by the Department; and
  • nominee's application for a visa.
1. Requirements for certification

In general terms, the employer must be able to demonstrate to a certifying body that:

  • the position is a genuine full-time vacancy;
  • it is available for at least two consecutive years;
  • it requires qualifications equivalent to at least Australian diploma level (this includes trade certificates);
  • the position cannot be filled from the local labour market;
  • employment and remuneration is in accordance with Australian industrial laws; and
  • there is, or will be, an employment contract or letter of appointment covering the position.

Employers should submit a completed form 1054, Employer nomination under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme, to the Regional Certifying Body which has jurisdiction where the position is located.

Alternatively, contact the nearest department Business Centre which can advise details of the appropriate Certifying Body.

2. Employer nomination assessment.  The completed and certified nomination needs to be forwarded to the relevant department Business Centre which needs to be satisfied that:

  • the nomination has been certified by a regional certifying body;
  • all the above requirements were met.
3. Visa nominee requirements

The nominee must complete and lodge application form 47ES, Application for employer sponsored migration to Australia, and pay an application charge. In general terms, the visa application will be assessed against the following:

  • that the nominee has the relevant qualifications equivalent to at least an Australian diploma;
  • that the nominee is able to satisfy any mandatory licensing, registration or professional membership requirements;
  • that the position is for a fixed term of at least two years (supported by evidence of a contract);
  • that the nominee is less than 45 years of age;
  • that the nominee has functional English language ability;
  • that the nominee and all family unit members meet mandatory health and character requirements.
Visa cancellation provisions

Since 1 July 2001, visa cancellation provisions apply where:

  • the employee has not commenced employment with the employer within six months of arriving in Australia (or after visa grant if already in Australia); or
  • where an employee has left the employer within the two year period for reasons within their control.

Cancellation of a visa will not occur where a nominating employer terminates an employee’s contract within the two year period, provided the employee has made a genuine effort to complete the two years with the approved employer.

If the employee’s visa is cancelled, the visas for people who accompanied the employee to Australia such as family members, will also be cancelled.


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