Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (Subclass 187) visa

Introduction

The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) enables regional employers to employ skilled overseas nationals to fill genuine, full time positions where it can be shown that these positions cannot be filled from within the local labour market.

The whole of the Northern Territory (NT) is considered regional for the purposes of RSMS.

There are two RSMS streams, the Temporary Residence Transition stream and the Direct Entry stream. Each of these streams has different eligibility criteria, requirements and application processes.

The NT Department of Trade, Business and Innovation (DTBI) has been appointed by the Department of Home Affairs as the Regional Certifying Body (RCB) for all RSMS Direct Entry stream nominations by NT employers.

  • Temporary Residence Transition stream
    This streamlined visa pathway enables regional employers to nominate an overseas skilled worker for permanent residence if that worker:
    • is currently on a Subclass 457 visa or Subclass 482 (Medium-term stream) visa working for the nominating employer, and
    • has held a Subclass 457 visa or Subclass 482 (Medium-term stream) visa and worked for the nominating employer in the nominated occupation (or a very closely related occupation) for two years.

    NT RCB assessment is not required for RSMS nominations under the Temporary Residence Transition stream.

  • Direct Entry stream
    This is a permanent residence visa pathway that enables a regional employer to sponsor a skilled overseas worker directly from overseas or an overseas national who is in Australia but is not eligible to be sponsored under the Temporary Residence Transition stream.

    NT RCB assessment is required for RSMS nominations under the Direct Entry stream.

    For detailed information about this pathway and processes go to the Australian Government's Department of Home Affairs website


Summary table

Stream Temporary Residence Transition stream Direct Entry stream
Who is this for? The Temporary Residence Transition stream is for Subclass 457 visa or Subclass 482 (Medium-term stream) visa holders who have worked for two years and their employer wants to offer them a permanent position. The Direct Entry stream is for people who are onshore and have not held a Subclass 457 visa or Subclass 482 (Medium-term stream) visa for the last two years, or if they are applying directly from outside Australia.
Employee criteria The employee's skills do not need to be assessed because they have already worked for the nominating employer for two years in Australia. The employee must have at least competent English (International English Language Testing System (IELTS) 6.0 in each band or equivalent). The employee's qualifications and skills are relevant to the nominated occupation. Have competent English (IELTS 6.0 in each band or equivalent).
Employer criteria
  • Operate an active and lawful business in regional Australia (all of the Northern Territory (NT)).
  • Have a genuine need for a paid employee to fill a skilled position.
  • Offer a skilled position in the applicant's field that is full-time and ongoing for at least two years.
  • Pay a market salary rate. This rate cannot be lower that the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT). Currently (28 March 2018) the TSMIT is $53,900 per annum.
  • Comply with Australian immigration and workplace relations laws.
  • Have no adverse information against you or your business.
  • Nominate a skilled position. This position must be:
    • for Direct Entry stream this position must be an occupation that is on the applicable occupation list; for applications to the Department of Home Affairs for approval of a nomination made: It is your responsibility to determine which list applies to your situation and to obtain advice if unsure.
    • for Temporary Residence Transition stream this position must be consistent or similar to the position sponsored by the Standard Business Sponsor under the Subclass 457 visa program or Subclass 482 (Medium-term stream) visa  program.
  • for the Temporary Residence Transition stream the business continues or is committed to meet the training requirements under the Subclass 457 visa program until such time as they are replaced with a mandatory annual training levy.
Where and how do you apply? The employer and employee apply direct to Department of Home Affairs electronically. The NT Regional Certifying Body (RCB) is not involved in this process. The employer and employee apply electronically directly to Department of Home Affairs. In addition either prior to or after applying to Department of Home Affairs, a request for advice is made to the NT RCB (Form 1404 and supporting documents).

Eligibility

Both the regional employer nominating the position under Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) and the overseas national being nominated must meet a range of eligibility criteria.

For detailed information on the RSMS go to the Department of Home Affairs website

Employer eligibility

For an employer to be eligible to nominate a position under RSMS it must:

  • be operating an active and lawful business in regional Australia
  • have a genuine need for a paid employee to fill a skilled position
  • offer a genuine, skilled position in the applicant's field of expertise that is full-time and ongoing for at least two years
    Note: the two years employment is calculated from the date of grant of the RSMS permanent residence visa by Department of Home Affairs to the overseas nominee
  • offer no less than a market rate salary and employment terms and conditions that accord with those provided to Australian citizens and permanent residents in a similar position
  • offer no less that the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT); currently (28 March 2018) the TSMIT is $53,900 per annum
  • comply with all relevant Australian immigration and workplace relations laws
  • nominate a skilled position on the applicable occupation list; for applications to the Department of Home Affairs for approval of a nomination made: It is your responsibility to determine which list applies to your situation and to obtain advice if unsure.

Employee eligibility

For an overseas national to be sponsored under RSMS under the Direct Entry stream the business must have the skills, qualifications and language requirements required for that visa stream.

The employee must have:

  • qualifications and skills relevant to the nominated occupation
  • if the employee's qualifications are obtained from outside Australia, where required, a positive skills assessment by the relevant assessing authority is mandatory, for the full list of occupations go to the Legislative Instrument
  • competent English (IELTS 6.0 in each band or equivalent)
  • three years relevant work experience
  • not yet turned 45 years old, except if transitional arrangements or limited exemptions apply.

What employers must do

Step 1

Employers must ​create or login to your ImmiAccount to submit an electronic nomination to Department of Home Affairs by completing the online form and attach supporting documents.

Step 2 (Direct Entry stream only)

A Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) nomination made under the Direct Entry stream cannot be approved by Department of Home Affairs unless the Regional Certifying Body (RCB) has provided its advice in regard to the application.

Employers have the option of submitting RSMS nominations to the RCB for assessment either before or after their nomination has been lodged with Department of Home Affairs.

NT employers must submit an application for assessment to the NT RCB including the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme - Regional Certifying Body advice Form 1404 and supporting documents. Get Form 1404 from the Department of Home Affairs website

The NT RCB will return the completed Form 1404 to the nominating employer and will also forward a copy of the form and assessment outcome to Department of Home Affairs.

The employer will need to submit the RCB advice to Department of Home Affairs by attaching the signed form, using the Department of Home Affairs eLodgement facility, to the corresponding nomination application.

An RCB assessment should not be dated more than three months prior to lodgement of the RSMS nomination or Department of Home Affairs may request the employer to obtain a new RCB assessment.

Step 3

The nominated employee must submit their visa application online within six months of Department of Home Affairs’ approval of the employer’s RSMS nomination. Please note that the employer's nomination is only valid for six months.

Step 4

Department of Home Affairs assesses the nomination and the visa application.


Fees and charges

The Northern Territory Regional Certifying Body (RCB) does not charge a fee for RCB nomination assessments.

The Department of Home Affairs does not charge a fee for Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) nominations lodged.

From 12 August 2018, the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) levy is payable by all employers nominating workers under RSMS and the Employer Nominated Scheme. For more information go to the Department of Home Affairs website.

A visa application charge applies to RSMS visa applications and this must be paid to Department of Home Affairs when applicants submit their electronic visa applications. For the current initial visa application fee go to the Department of Home Affairs website, under the employer sponsored migration section on the Work tab.

A second fee, that applies only to applicants and dependents aged eighteen years or over who have less than functional English, is payable before a visa can be granted.


When employers need to apply to the NT RCB for an assessment

Northern Territory (NT) employers wanting to sponsor an overseas employee under the Direct Entry Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) stream must submit an application for assessment to the NT Regional Certifying Body (RCB).

The NT RCB does not charge a fee for RCB nomination assessments.

The Department of Home Affairs does not charge a fee for RSMS nominations lodged by regional employers.

A visa application charge applies to RSMS visa applications and this must be paid to Department of Home Affairs when applicants submit their electronic visa applications. For the current initial visa application fee go to the Department of Home Affairs website,  under the Employer sponsored migration section on the Work tab.

A second fee, that applies only to applicants and dependents aged eighteen years or over with less than functional English, is payable before a visa can be granted.

NT employers wanting to sponsor an overseas employee under the Direct Entry RSMS stream must submit an application for assessment to the NT RCB.

The application can be made before or after the RSMS nomination is lodged with Department of Home Affairs.

If an employer seeks RCB assessment prior to lodging a nomination with Department of Home Affairs it is Department of Home Affairs policy that the RCB assessment can be no older than three months when the nomination is lodged.

Additionally, if an RCB assessment is not received by Department of Home Affairs within three months of the lodgement of the nomination that nomination may be rejected.

Department of Home Affairs cannot make a positive decision on a Direct Entry RSMS nomination lodged by a NT employer unless it has received the assessment from the NT RCB.


What the NT RCB assesses

The Department of Trade, Business and Innovation is the Regional Certifying Body (RCB) for all Northern Territory (NT) Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) nominations.

The NT RCB assessment undertaken:

  • examines whether the nominating employer has a genuine need for a paid employee to work in the position that is under the nominating employer’s direct control
  • determines that the position cannot be filled by an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident who is living in the same local area where the nominated position exists
  • determines that the terms and conditions of employment for the position will be no less favourable than the terms and conditions that are provided to, or would be provided to, an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident for performing work in the workplace at the same location.

In assessing these criteria the NT RCB will closely examine whether:

  • there is a genuine business and a genuine position and hence a genuine need for an employee
  • the terms and conditions being offered for the position are at least the same as those being offered to Australian employees within the organisation / business and in other similar organisations / businesses in the region for the type and level of the occupation. In undertaking this assessment the NT RCB will also look at the level of experience and skill for a position and / or the overseas employee’s profile
  • there is a direct and genuine employer / employee relationship between the organisation / business and employee
  • there is a workforce shortage in that region and / or in the NT
  • the NT RCB is the correct RCB to be making an assessment.

Applying for a NT RCB assessment

A Northern Territory (NT) employer wishing to make an application for assessment to the Regional Certifying Body (RCB) should complete the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme - Regional Certifying Body advice Form 1404 and provide supporting documentation.

The following checklist provides a list of documents that need to be submitted to the NT RCB when a NT employer is applying for a RCB assessment.

Required documentation must be provided as an Adobe PDF or Microsoft Word DOC / DOCX attachments to the email only, no 'cloud' downloads.

The documents required vary depending on whether the sponsoring employer is:

  • a public company (listed on the ASX)
  • a government department / agency, or
  • any other organisation or business.
Publicly listed companies / government departments or agencies​ All other employers​
  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme - Regional Certifying Body advice Form 1404. Get Form 1404 from the Department of Home Affairs website
  • If the business is using a migration agent an Advice by a migration agent / exempt person of providing immigration assistance - Form 956* or other written documentation, signed by both the agent and the nominating employer, confirming that the agent is providing advice on the employers behalf. Get Form 956 from the Department of Home Affairs website
    * Form 956 must not be older than 90 days at the time of lodgement.
  • Statement from the employer on how the position contributes to the business outputs including a job description.
  • Australian Business Register and Australian Securities & Investments Commission database extracts for the nominating business.
  • Letter of offer / employment contract outlining terms and conditions and referencing either:
    • the relevant enterprise agreement, or
    • where there is no enterprise agreement, the relevant award.
  • statutory declaration (32.9 kb)statutory declaration (18.5 kb) (this is not required for a government department) stating that the terms and conditions applicable to the position will be no less favourable than the terms and conditions that:
    • are provided, or
    • would be provided

    to an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident for performing equivalent work in this business.

    The terms and conditions will be no less than those as expressed in the letter of offer / employment contract.

    There is a genuine need for the nominator to employ a paid employee to work in the position under the nominator's direct control.

    The position cannot be filled by an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident who is living in the same local area where the nominated position exists.

    The declaration must include the business name, ABN and the terms and conditions being offered. It must also be signed by a person authorised by the nominating employer to make such an undertaking.

  • If the occupation is not on the Northern Territory Skilled Occupation Priority List evidence that the business is unable to recruit locally (genuine job advertisements, recruitment outcomes and other evidence of recruitment activities).
  • Employee profile including their CV, qualifications, passport ID page, number of dependants and current visa or last substantive visa if on a Bridging Visa (if applicable).
  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme - Regional Certifying Body advice Form 1404. Get Form 1404 from the Department of Home Affairs website
  • If the business is using a migration agent an Advice by a migration agent / exempt person of providing immigration assistance - Form 956* or other written documentation, signed by both the agent and the nominating employer, confirming that the agent is providing advice on the employers behalf. Get Form 956 from the Department of Home Affairs website
    * Form 956 must not be older than 90 days at the time of lodgement.
  • Business profile (or link to the business’s website if the website has a business profile or annual report).
  • If the business is involved in a Trust arrangement, please provide a copy of the Trust Deed.
  • Organisation chart of less than six months old (showing the position, reporting structure and number of employees).
  • Job description.
  • A full financial report for the previous financial year and BAS statements from 1 July until present.
  • Australian Business Register and Australian Securities & Investments Commission database extracts for the nominating business.
  • Documents showing:
    • if an Australian or Australian permanent resident is undertaking the same job in the business the terms and conditions of payment (payslips and  employment contracts), or
    • if there is no Australian or Australian permanent resident undertaking the same job in the business, the terms and conditions of employment (payslips and  employment contracts) of any other employee currently or previously undertaking the same job in the business.
  • Letter of offer / employment contract outlining terms and conditions and referencing either:
    • the relevant enterprise agreement or
    • if there is no enterprise agreement in place the relevant award.
  • statutory declaration (32.9 kb)statutory declaration (18.5 kb) stating that the terms and conditions applicable to the position will be no less favourable than the terms and conditions that:
    • are provided, or
    • would be provided

    to an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident for performing equivalent work in this business.

    The terms and conditions will be no less than those as expressed in the letter of offer / employment contract.

    There is a genuine need for the nominator to employ a paid employee to work in the position under the nominator's direct control.

    The position cannot be filled by an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident who is living in the same local area where the nominated position exists.

    The declaration must include the business name, ABN and the terms and conditions being offered. It must also be signed by an appropriate person within the nominating employer.

  • If the occupation is not on the Northern Territory Skilled Occupation Priority List evidence that the business is unable to recruit locally (genuine job advertisements, recruitment outcomes and other evidence of recruitment activities).
  • Employee profile including their CV, qualifications, passport ID page, number of dependants and current visa or last substantive visa if on a Bridging Visa (if applicable).

There may be circumstances where NT RCB case officers request additional documents to support their assessment decision.

Requests for assessment can be submitted as:

  • an electronic application, by emailing an application scanned as a single PDF to migration@nt.gov.au
  • hardcopy, by mail to:
    • MigrationNT
      Department of Trade, Business and Innovation
      GPO Box 3200
      Darwin NT 0801
  • Or courier / hand delivered to:
    • Darwin
      MigrationNT 
      Department of Trade, Business and Innovation 
      Level 2 Development House
      76 The Esplanade
      Darwin NT 0800

How the NT RCB will contact a NT employer

The Northern Territory (NT) Regional Certifying Body (RCB) case officer will usually contact the Australian registered migration agent if:

  • an employer has nominated a registered migration agent to provide assistance, and
  • a completed Advice by a migration agent / exempt person for providing immigration assistance Form 956 or other written documentation, signed by both the agent and the nominating employer, confirming that the agent is providing advice on the employers behalf. Get Form 956 from the Department of Home Affairs website

However there may be occasions when the NT RCB case officer contacts the business directly. Such occasions may include where there are integrity or timeliness concerns or in any other situation where the case officer believes direct contact is warranted.​


Contact details

For further information please contact: 

MigrationNT
Department of Trade, Business and Innovation
GPO Box 3200
Darwin NT 0801
Phone: (08) 8999 5264
migration@nt.gov.au


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