Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187) visa

 The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme subclass 187 is a visa program that allows employers in regional, remote or low population areas to sponsor (nominate) skilled overseas workers for permanent residence.

In November 2019, the Direct Entry Stream of the 187 Visa was replaced by the Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) – Subclass 494 Visa. Transitional stream is for 457 or 482 TSS Visa holders who have worked for their nominating employer for a minimum of two or three years. Applicants must agree to remain employed with their nominating employer in regional Australia for a minimum of 2 years after their 187 visa approval.

Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187) visa

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

  • live, work and study in Australia indefinitely
  • enrol in Medicare, Australia’s scheme for health-related care and expenses
  • sponsor eligible family members to come to Australia
  • travel to and from Australia for 5 years (after that time, you will need a resident return visa or another visa to return to Australia)
  • apply for Australian citizenship (if you are eligible)


For regional permanent employer sponsored skilled visa (187 visa) program you must:

Have the required skills

You must have the required skills and qualifications needed to perform the tasks of the nominated occupation.

Be nominated by the employer who sponsored your temporary work visa

Your employer must have sponsored you to work full-time on your subclass 457 or subclass 482 visa for at least 3 of the 4 years prior to nominating you for the subclass 187 visa.

Be this age

Usually, you must be under 45 years of age when you apply.

Have this visa

You must currently be the primary visa holder of either:

  • a subclass 457 visa
  • a subclass 482 (TSS) visa
  • a bridging visa A, B or C in association with a pending 482, 186 or 187 visa

The bridging visa must be the one you were granted after your subclass 457 or TSS visa expired.

Have this level of English language

You must have at least Competent English. To prove you have competent English, provide evidence that you are a citizen of and hold a valid passport issued by the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland, with your application (British National (Overseas) passports are not acceptable as evidence of competent English); or you have an obtained one of the following English language test results:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic or General Training): At least 6 for each of the 4 components
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language internet-based Test (TOEFL iBT): At least 12 for listening, 13 for reading, 21 for writing and 18 for speaking
  • Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic): At least 50 for each of the 4 components
  • Occupational English Test (OET): At least B for each of the 4 components
  • Cambridge C1 Advanced test: At least 169 in each of the 4 components

You are exempt from this requirement if you have completed at least 5 years of full-time study in a secondary or higher education institution where all tuition was delivered in English.

Before you apply

Make sure your employer has submitted a nomination application. They will receive a nomination Transaction Reference Number (TRN) when they do. You need it to apply for the visa.

You also need to have health examinations. You can complete them before you apply or you can wait until after you apply.

Gather your documents

Provide the pages of your current passport showing your photo, personal details, and passport issue and expiry dates.

Provide documents that show you have Competent English at the time you submit your application.

Provide an Australian police certificate. Also provide an overseas police certificate from every country, including your home country, where you spent a total of 12 months or more in the last 10 years since you turned 16; military service records or discharge papers if you served in the armed forces of any country

Have all non-English documents translated into English. Scan or photograph all documents (English and non-English) in colour. Attach a document only once, even if you are using it to show more than one thing.

Apply for the visa

Apply for the visa online in ImmiAccount

  • Log in or create an ImmiAccount 
  • Attach documents
  • Pay the application charge. We will not process your application until you pay.
  • Note the Transaction Reference Number.

After you apply

They will let you know when they have received your application. You can check if they need more information from you in ImmiAccount.

If you are in Australia, you don't have to tell them if you want to travel outside Australia while they process your application. This is because you can be outside Australia when they decide on your application. But if you leave Australia, make sure you have a valid visa to return.

Make sure you stay lawful by holding a valid visa while they process your application. When you apply for this visa in Australia, you are likely to be granted a bridging visa. If your current visa expires before they decide your application, the bridging visa will start. You can stay in Australia on the bridging visa while they process your new visa application.

You can be in or outside Australia when they decide on your application. Theymust have approved your employer’s nomination before they can grant you this visa. They will let you know our decision about your visa application in writing. If they grant your visa, they will tell you:

  • your visa grant number
  • the date your visa starts
  • your visa conditions

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