RSMS Employer Nomination

Processing timeframe:

Please note that due to high-demand and upcoming Christmas holidays, any applications received after 5pm, Monday 4th December will not be processed until January 2018.


Our office will be closed for the Christmas Holidays from 5pm on Friday the 22nd of December until 9am on Tuesday the 2nd of January 2018.


Visa sub-class 187


The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) is a visa program that allows employers in regional and low population growth areas of Australia to sponsor workers from overseas in order to fill skilled vacancies. This is an important option for employers who cannot find the skilled workers they need, locally – evidence that a genuine attempt to do so must be supplied, along with other supporting documents about the nominating employer and their genuine need for the suitable skilled position.

The 187 is a permanent resident visa. You can be in or outside Australia when you apply. If you are in Australia, you must hold a substantive visa or a bridging visa A, B or C.


A RSMS nominated occupation must be skilled. According to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), skilled occupations are those classified as level 1, 2 or 3 on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO). This generally means occupations requiring a degree, diploma, trade certificate or certificate IV,  however a minimum level of expereince can be substitued for qualification in certain occupations (see the ANZSCO list online).


RSMS employer nomination requires two essential steps:

1. An employer must apply to the DIBP

2. They must also apply to a Regional Certifying Body (RCB).

The DIBP is required to consider RCB advice about a nominating employer before making their determination.


The same level of documentaton should also be supplied to Regional Development Australia Northern Inland as the Department. As a RCB, our assessment of employer data, combined with our local knowledge, enables the DIBP to make a determination regarding an employer nomination, with the benefit and integrity of local-level input.


For a DIBP list of supporting documents required, click here


Regional Development Australia Northern Inland is not permitted by legislation to advise. That is the role of a registered migration agent. Obviously, making an assessment and providing advice to the DIBP would not have integrity if we were providing advice and instructions to those who apply for RCB assessment. However, we are prepared to assist by directing employers to the relevant information they need and answering questions about the process.


While the Department no longer requires a nominating employer to have been operating for at least six months, RDANI requires a sound case be put in respect to the genuine need for the position and nomination. If it is clear that a skilled migrant was required from the inception of a business, then why go ahead the business? How genuine could the efforts to fill the position locally really have been?  If a business is less than six months old, it is the responsibility of the nominating employer or their Registered Migration Agent to provide an addtionally strong argument for the nomination, supporting by documents mentioned above and more - a business plan and explanation about what led to the need for the position are good examples.


It is recommended that employers read as much information about this visa program as possible to understand what is involved and what thier to their obligations entail.
The Immigration Department’s website is a good resource. This is also where the application to the Department can be made:


The attached visa sub-class 187 is a pathway to permanent residency. It entails a two-year commitment from the nominating employer and nominee. A breech of this agreement could render the visa invalid.


RDA-Northern Inland is the Certifying Body for employer nominations for the region which encompasses the 12 Local Government Areas of Armidale Regional, Tenterfield, Glen Innes, Uralla, Walcha, Tamworth, Liverpool Plains, Gunnedah, Narrabri, Moree, Gwydir and Inverell.


Employers wishing to submit a nomination must supply supporting documents that demonstrate their business or organisation is financially viable, is a sound going concern, will be able to employ the nominee for (at least) a two year visa period. These documents are outlined via the above ‘checklist’ link but include:

  • Completed Form 1404
  • 2 years’ worth of financials (Profit / Loss) plus a letter from the accountant
  • Signed copy of the contract between the employer and employee (referring to the min. two-year period)
  • Copy of the business registration
  • An organisational chart or list of employees and their positions (including if those positions are full-time, part-time, or casual - if applicable)
  • Cheque payment or copy of bank transfer / deposit receipt from your bank for the certification / administration fee fee of AUD$770.00 (GST inclusive), which must be paid upon submission of documents. The Fee is non-refundable (except for special circumstances). This fee must be paid in advance, as it is the service and not the outcome that is being paid for.
    NOTE: If further documents are requested and take more than 60 days or two months to be received, RDANI will need to consider the complete case as a whole, in the context of the regional conditions at that time. Therefore, a re-assessment fee of AUD$385.00 will apply.
  • Supporting document(s) depicting the recruitment effort for the nominated position and the outcome(s) of those recruitment efforts. We must see a genuine recruitment effort has been made.
    Please note:
    Asking what is the minimum amount of advertising in order to look genuine can actually appear less genuine.
  • Please ensure the genuine need for the position is clearly explained and supported by documentation (for example, a necessary position that was vacated).


Migration agents must supply a completed form 956 as authorisation to act as an agent on the employer's behalf.


Please allow up to 4 weeks for processing by RDA-NI – this timeframe can vary.


Note: Employers should allow plenty of time to use this option – total processing time (including the 187 visa application) can be over 6 months.