Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visas
Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visas are permanent residence visas. The scheme allows an employer to sponsor a worker to work in a position in regional Australia. The most important thing to know about this visa is that it is not available for positions located in the following areas:
· The Gold Coast
For positions located in those areas, see subclass 186 (link to ENS page).
This page focuses on the direct entry stream of subclass 187. For more information about the other streams, see the temporary residence transition page (link to TRT) or the labour agreement page (link to labour agreement).
NOTE: Requirements for subclass 187 visas are changing (link) from 1 July 2017 with further changes expected from March 2018. If you have any concerns about the changes, get in contact on 08 6161 9239.
Direct Entry Stream of the Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme
As the name suggests, the direct entry stream allows employers to nominate workers directly for permanent residence, without them having to hold any other visa first and without negotiating a labour agreement. There are three steps to the subclass 187 direct entry stream process:
1. The employer lodges an application with the relevant Regional Certifying Body to certify that there is a shortage of people to fill the position in that region
2. The employer lodges a nomination application specifying the position and the person they are nominating
3. The employee lodges a visa application
The RCB application, employer nomination and visa application can be lodged on the same day, but will need to be approved in that order. In other words, you need RCB approval before the nomination can be approved, and the nomination must be approved before the application can be approved.
In order to successfully nominate someone under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme direct entry stream, the nomination must meet several criteria, including:
· Proving that the nominating business is actively and lawfully operating in Australia
· Showing that the position is a full-time position available for at least two years with the possibility of extending beyond two years
· Satisfying the Immigration Department that the nominee will not be subject to worse conditions than the sponsor’s Australian employees
· The nomination must be for an occupation in ANZSCO (link to ANZSCO) skill levels 1-3
Unlike subclass 186 requirements (link to ENS page), there is no requirement for the business to meet training benchmarks to nominate someone.
Visa Eligibility Criteria
The major criteria for applying for a subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa in the direct entry stream are:
· Achieving a high enough standard in English (IELTS 6 or equivalent (link to English cheatsheet page))
· Being aged between 18 and 45. Some exceptions apply for applicants who are over 45.
· Standard health and character criteria (link to health and character page)
· Having the required qualification for your occupation according to ANZSCO (link to ANZSCO).
· For some trade occupations, a skills assessment is required if the applicant did not receive their qualification in Australia. Otherwise no skills assessment is necessary
Common Problems for Applicants and Sponsors
In our experience with the Employer Nomination Scheme, these are the major pitfalls that can occur on the way to migrating to Australia via this visa:
· It’s important to nominate the correct occupation for the position you are nominating. The nominated occupation can be the difference between visa grant and visa refusal, and you cannot change your mind after the application has been lodged.
· We recommend that visa applicants attend an English test as soon as possible after deciding to apply for an Employer Nomination Scheme visa, if you have not already achieved the required level of English in the last three years.
· If you want to apply from within Australia, always be aware of your current visa’s expiry date and conditions. Letting a visa expire without applying for a new one can have severe consequences, even if you try to apply the next day.
· When you apply for a subclass 187 visa, you make a commitment to stay with your employer for the next two years. Although they are permanent visas, subclass 187 visas can be cancelled if the visa applicant leaves their job within the first two years.
Red Earth Migration can assist you to work out the correct nominated occupation, advise on the best English test to suit you and keep you informed about work with you to make sure your visa application is lodged before your current visa expires.
Subclass 187 direct entry applicant FAQ
Where can I apply from?
You can apply from either outside Australia or inside Australia.
Where can I receive the visa?
You can receive the visa either outside Australia or inside Australia.
What family members can I include?
Children under the age of 23 and spouses or de facto partners. Children over 18 must be financially dependent on you.
Can the health requirement (link) be waived for this visa?
This visa does not allow for waiver of the health requirement.
How long does this visa last for?
This is a permanent visa with a five-year travel facility. This means you can stay in Australia permanently but if you want to leave and return after five years you must apply for a resident return visa (link).