Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 187)

EmployersAustralia, RSMS, visa, work visa

This information explains what is required of you if you want to nominate a skilled worker (and dependent family members included in their application) for a permanent Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa (subclass 187).

Which employers can use the program?

You can nominate a skilled worker for this visa if:

  • you actively and lawfully operate a business in regional Australia (regional Australia does not include the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong or Melbourne)
  • you have a genuine need for a paid employee to fill a skilled position
  • you offer a skilled position in the applicant’s field that is full time and ongoing for at least two years
  • you pay a market salary rate
  • you comply with Australian immigration and workplace relations laws
  • there is no adverse information known about your business or any person associated with your business.

You must nominate the applicant in one of the three streams and meet the requirements of that stream.

Temporary Residence Transition stream

We use this stream if you have already sponsored the applicant for a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457):

  • The employee must have worked in the same nominated position in your business, as the primary visa holder of a Temporary Work (Skilled) visa as a primary visa holder, for at least two years before the nomination is lodged.
  • The nominated position must be full time, ongoing, available for at least two years and be consistent with the position in which the applicant has already worked.
  • You must have met the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa training requirements and continue to do so.
  • You must not be an approved overseas standard business sponsor under the subclass 457 visa programme.

If, during the two years prior to nominating, a new standard business sponsorship was required at any stage to ensure the applicant complied with condition 8107 of their subclass 457 visa obligations, you will need to provide evidence that the previous standard business sponsor and yourself as the current standard business sponsor may be considered the same employer of the nominated person.

The period of time already worked with the previous subclass 457 visa standard business sponsor may be considered towards the two-year requirement of the Temporary Residence Transition stream only in those cases where you are able to demonstrate that the nominated person has been working in the same role, with the same employer and in the same location for the whole two years they held their subclass 457 visa.

Direct Entry stream

We will use this stream if you want to nominate an applicant to fill a position that is:

  • an occupation classified at skill level 1 to 3 in the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations
  • full-time, ongoing and available for at least two years.

We will obtain an advice from a regional certifying body about the position you want to fill. You may have to pay a charge for this advice from a regional certifying body.

The advice provided by a regional certifying body is intended to ensure all RSMS Direct Entry stream nominations have been scrutinised by a third party who is familiar with local labour market conditions and who may be able to provide information on regional matters which the department may not be aware of. The regional certifying body assesses the nomination against the following criteria:

  • there is a genuine need for a paid employee in a business operated by the employer that is actively and lawfully operating in a regional area of Australia
  •  the terms and conditions of employment are the same as those that would apply to an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident performing the same work in the same location
  • the nominated position cannot be reasonably filled from the local labour market.​

Agreement stream

We use this stream to nominate an applicant through a labour agreement that has been negotiated with the government before you lodge the nomination.

A labour agreement is a formal arrangement negotiated between an Australian employer and the Australian government. You might consider entering into a labour agreement if there is a genuine and systemic shortage of suitably skilled Australian workers in your industry and/or geographic location, and standard immigration options are not suitable.

A labour agreement comes into effect when it has been signed by all parties involved in the negotiations and is typically valid for three years.

You can use a labour agreement if there is one for your industry or your worker’s occupation. If this does not suit your needs you can negotiate an individual agreement.

Applying to nominate a skilled worker?

We will tell you about the required documents to prove the claims you make in the application.

After we have the documents ready, we will lodge your nomination.

Although there is no charge to lodge a nomination application for the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme, you might have to pay a Regional Certifying Body for their advice in relation to a Direct Entry stream position.

How is the rate of pay determined?

You must provide terms and conditions of employment that are no less favourable than those that would apply to an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident doing equivalent work in the same workplace.

Terms and conditions include the nominated position’s salary, hours of work and leave entitlements (among other things). The salary paid to an Australian worker under these terms and conditions of employment is known as the market salary rate.

You must prove to us that your offer to the nominated people will meet the requirements of the market salary rate. Depending on whether you have an Australian doing similar work, you can do this by:

  • reporting the terms and conditions that apply to an Australian citizen or permanent resident who is already employed in a similar job in a similar location in your workplace
  • referring to an industrial award or enterprise agreement that outlines terms and conditions for Australian citizens or permanent residents performing similar work in similar locations
  • providing relevant data from reputable remuneration surveys
  • providing evidence of the salaries of employees performing equivalent work in similar locations.

Are you looking to hire a skilled employee or do you want options for your existing employee? Click here for a free initial consultation.



Reasons to Apply for this Visa

This visa allows you and your family to live in Australia and work permanently in a regional area. A regional area is anywhere other than the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong and Melbourne.

This is a permanent residence visa. It allows you and any family members who have also been granted this visa to:

  • stay in Australia indefinitely
  • work and study in Australia
  • enrol in Medicare, Australia’s scheme for health-related care and expenses
  • apply for Australian citizenship (if you are eligible)
  • sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence
  • travel to and from Australia for five years from the date the visa is granted (after that time, you will need a resident return visa or another visa to return to Australia).

The General Requirements

You might be able to get this visa if you:

  • have been nominated by an approved Australian employer for a job in regional Australia (regional Australia does not include the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong or Melbourne)
  • are younger than 50 years of age, unless you are exempt
  • meet the skills, qualifications and English language requirements, unless you are exempt
  • apply under the stream for which you were nominated.

The Process

Once an Australian employer in regional Australia (outside of the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong and Melbourne) nominated you for a position, and you proved to have the required skills and qualifications for the position, the next process is waiting for your nomination to be approved. Once it is approved, we will lodge your application.

Health requirements

We will tell you of all the details whether you will have to undergo medical examinations or not.

This applies to all dependent family members included in your application, whether they are migrating or not.

Character requirements

You will have to provide a police certificate declaring your good character. This applies to all members older than 18 included in the application

Regional Areas

New South Wales

Postcodes Inclusive (2311 to 2312, 2328 to 2411, 2420 to 2490, 2536 to 2551, 2575 to 2594, 2618 to 2739, and 2787 to 2898)


except the greater Brisbane area and the Gold Coast (4124 to 4125, 4133, 4211, 4270 to 4272, 4275, 4280, 4285, 4287, 4307 to 4499, 4515, 4517 to 4519, and 4522 to 4899)


except Melbourne metropolitan area (3211 to 3334, 3340 to 3424, 3430 to 3649, 3658 to 3749, 3753, 3756, 3758, 3762, 3764, 3778 to 3781, 3783, 3797, 3799, 3810 to 3909, 3921 to 3925, 3945 to 3974, 3979, 3981 to 3996)

Western Australia

except Perth and surrounding areas (6041 to 6044, 6083 to 6084, 6121 to 6126, 6200 to 6799)

South Australia

Entire State


Entire State

Northern Territory

Entire Territory


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