The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visa is a permanent residence visa for skilled workers. It applies to regional Australia, which excludes the following: Gold Coast, Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong and Melbourne).
First and foremost, the applicant requires nomination by an Australian employer. This employer has to meet the following requirements to nominate someone:
- actively and lawfully operate a business in regional Australia (as defined previously)
- must be offering a full-time position in the applicant’s career field with a contract for at least two years
- the business and none of its employees must be involved in any unfavourable situations
- The business must comply with Australian immigration and workplace relations policies
- The salary of the employee must be comparable to average market salary rates
There are three streams whereby an applicant can qualify for this visa, and each varies with current and past employment in Australia. These are:
- The Temporary Residence Transition stream- applicants hold a subclass 457 visa and have worked in the same occupation with their nominating employer for at least 2 of the three years before nomination. The visa is usually processed within nine
- The Direct Entry stream- applicants have never worked or only briefly worked in Australia. It can also be used by temporary residents who do not meet the Temporary Residence Transition stream qualifications. This stream usually takes 14-15 months for application processing.
- The Agreement stream- applicants hold a subclass 457 visa, and there is a tailored and negotiated labour agreement through which the employee nominated the applicant. This stream is the least popular of the three.
Other than the previously stated differences, for all streams, this visa has almost the same applicant requirements. There are:
- Evidence of English proficiency- through testing or holding a passport from USA, UK, Canada, New Zealand or Ireland and being a citizen of that country
- Health examination from less than 12 months prior, showing good health for you and your family unit
- Evidence of good character- may be required to produce police certificates of character
Specifically, you are required to be under the age of 50 if you are applying via the Temporary Residence Transition stream and under the age of 45 for the Direct Entry Stream.
Recipients of this visa are afforded the same privileges, regardless of the stream by which it was attained. It allows a successful applicant and all family members granted the visa to stay in Australia permanently, to work and study in Australia and to enrol in Medicare, the country’s health care program. Additionally, it allows the person to apply for citizenship once all other citizenship requirements are met, and to sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residence.