Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Subclass 119 857 | RSMS Visa

REGIONAL SPONSORED MIGRATION SCHEME - Subclass 857 (Onshore) VISA & Subclass 119 (Offshore) VISA

About this Visa

This visa subclass is similar to the Employer Nomination Scheme Subclass 121/856, but it is specifically for employers in regional and low population growth areas in Australia. Also known as the RSMS, this is a permanent residence visa for highly skilled workers requiring nomination by an employer. The application is dependent on the main applicant meeting eligibility criteria and the employer being an Australian business. There is a three stage process for the RSMS visa subclass:

  1. Employer nomination is approved by the Regional Certifying Body (RCB)
  2. Employer nominates a position
  3. Employee applies for this position

Regional Australia is currently defined as all areas of Australia excluding Sydney, Wollongong, Newcastle, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Stages two and three can be applied for at the same time, or within six months of approval of the nominated position. In most instances, the usual applicants for the ENS visa are existing visa holders for Temporary Business - Long Stay (Subclass 457). The application is dependent on the sponsor, the position and the employee (main applicant) meeting eligibility criteria. Secondary applicants can be included in the applicant; however the employer must undertake the same obligations. The applicant can be either onshore (Subclass 857) or offshore (Subclass 119) when the application is lodged and likewise at the time of granting. If the applicant was onshore when the visa application was made, generally they have review rights; otherwise there are no review rights for the applicant. However, the employer has review rights irrelevant of whether the visa was lodged onshore or offshore.

Employer & Position Eligibility

  1. The employer nomination must be certified by a Regional Certifying Body (RCB).
  2. The employer must be actively and lawfully operating a business in regional Australia.
  3. The position nominated requires the appointment of an applicant with qualifications equivalent to an Australian diploma or higher.
  4. The employer must demonstrate that it is a financially viable organisation capable of sustaining the employment of its current employees and any sponsored workers for the term of the visa. Basically, it must show its ability to meet the sponsorship obligations.
  5. Generally, the nominated position must be full time and available for at least two years or more, with the possibility of extension (there are exceptions regarding seasonal work).
  6. The sponsor must be the direct employer (or related entity) of the nominated employee. They cannot be subcontracted out to another employer (See Labour Agreement)
  7. Employer must have complied with previous nomination & sponsorship obligations.
  8. It is the employer's responsibility to ensure the visa applicant has or can obtain the relevant registrations and licensing for performing the nominated occupation while in Australia.
  9. The nominated occupation must be on a specified list of ENSOL occupations. See Employer Nomination Skilled Occupation List (ENSOL)

Employee Eligibility for the Nominated Skilled Position

  1. The main applicant must demonstrate they have the required skills (personal, employment experience, educational) for the nominated position.
  2. There is no need to meet any of the three criteria required in ENS (i.e. worked full time in a specified temporary subclass for the two years prior to application or the nominated position is highly paid, being over $165,000 gross per annum; or have their skills assessed)
  3. For the onshore visa, Subclass 857, the applicant must be have been on an existing substantive visa of a specified kind.
  4. Must have an offer of employment from the employer.
  5. Be under 45 years of age, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
  6. The main applicant must have functional level English, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
  7. The applicant must meet any mandatory licensing, registration or professional membership requirements.
  8. All applicants must meet health, character, public interest and special return criteria.
  9. The nominated appointment of the employer and the regional certification must have been approved at the time of the decision.
  10. An Assurance of Support (AOS) may be requested by DIAC.


This is a permanent residence (PR) visa valid for five years. With this subclass there is unrestricted entry and return for the validity period. After this a resident return visa is required, or citizenship if eligible, before expiry. Condition 8502 (may not enter Australia before another person specified on the visa) may be imposed on this visa if applying for offshore Subclass 119.

Independent Migration


Employer Nomination

Required and must be in regional Australia.

State/Territory Government Nomination

Not required.

Family/Relative Sponsorship

Not required.

Permanent Migration Pathway

This is a permanent residence (PR) visa.

Employment Prospects

Contact Konnecting for assistance with migrant employment solutions. If you match the skills requirements of an Australian employer, we can also help you with visa options.

Provided by:
Fred Molloy, Registered Migration Agent (MARN: 0853698)
Konnecting – Australian Skilled Migration & Recruitment Consultants

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