The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) (Subclass 187) visa

The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) (Subclass 187) visa is a permanent residency visa specifically for regional areas.

Applicants must prove skills related to an occupation on the relevant list of skilled occupations and must be sponsored by an employer in a regional area of Australia. Employers will need to meet immigration and regional sponsorship requirements in order to sponsor an applicant.

The RSMS187 consists of two different streams: the Temporary Residence Transition Stream and the Direct Entry Stream.

The main requirements for the primary visa applicant for both the RSMS187 TRT and DE streams are as follows:


  • The applicant must be under 45 years of age at the time of visa application lodgement. Some exemptions apply.
  • An equivalent English IELTS score of at least 6 in each component is required unless a higher score is required for the nominating occupation
  • The applicant must hold any mandatory registration, licence or professional membership required for the occupation
  • The primary applicant as well as all members of the applicant’s family unit must satisfy the health and character requirements
  • A skills assessment is required in some cases for some occupations
  • The applicant must commit to working in the nominated role for a period of at least 2 years from the date permanent residency is granted otherwise the visa may be cancelled.
  • The applicant must commence work within six months of arriving in Australia if the visa was granted offshore or within 6 months of the visa being granted if the visa was granted whilst the applicant was in Australia

Temporary Residence stream

To qualify for this stream, an applicant must hold a TSS 482 visa or a 457 visa (not granted under labour agreement arrangements) or a related associated Bridging visa and the applicant must have worked for the employer located in a regional area for at least:

  • three out of the previous four years in the same nominated position nominated
  • two out of the previous three years in the case the applicant held or lodged a 457 visa and which was subsequently granted on 18 April 2017.

Processing time for the Temporary residency transition stream is currently approx 12-18 months depending on the complexity of your application

Direct Entry stream

To qualify for this stream, an applicant must be able to prove at least 3 years of full time work experience related to an occupation on the relevant skilled occupation list.

Processing time for the Direct Entry stream is currently approx 18-20 months depending on the complexity of your application.

To ensure you obtain precise information for your specific situation please arrange an appointment with our Registered Migration Specialist. Our Migration Specialist will conduct a full migration assessment and advise which visa option or pathway is best for you. Find out more about what a full migration assessment involves.