Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme

The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) allows Australian employers in regional and low population growth areas of Australia to sponsor skilled overseas workers for permanent residence where the employers have been unable to fill vacant positions with Australian citizens or permanent residents living in the same local area as the nominated positions.

Where an employer decides to nominate a skilled overseas worker for an RSMS visa under the Direct Entry stream, the nomination must be accompanied with an assessment completed by a Regional Certifying Body (RCB).

Direct Entry Stream is for applicants who are untested in the Australian labour market and have not held a subclass 457 visa for at least the last 2 years or who are applying directly from outside of Australia.

For further information refer to the DIBP website.

Any Australian employer who is actively and lawfully operating a business in a regional or low population growth area of Australia can sponsor skilled overseas workers through the RSMS as long as meets a certain criterion.

The RSMS – Direct Entry Stream nominations assessment process follows six stages:
  1. Employer seeks assessment of the nomination by a RCB (geographical locations) by submitting Form 1404 –“Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme: RCB advice” supporting documents and payments to RCB. Please note, payment is not refundable if the nomination is redrawn after 24 hours from submission and not processed and not refundable in the event of negative advise.
  2. RCB assesses the nomination and provides advice to DIBP as whether certain specific requirements for the nomination have been met.
  3. RCB provides employer with the certified Form 1404
  4. Employer lodges the nomination application & supporting documentation with DIBP online (The nominator has the option of lodging a request for assessment before or after lodging the nomination application with DIBP.)
  5. DIBP advises the employer if the nomination is approved.
  6. Nominee lodges their visa application with DIBP. If the nomination has already been approved by the time the visa application is made, the application must be made, at the latest, within 6 months of the nomination being approved.
Stage 1 – Assessment of the nomination by a Regional Certifying Body (RCB)

Under the RSMS Direct Entry Stream, the employer must seek assessment of the nomination by RCB against the following criterion:

  1. there is a genuine need for the nominator to employ a paid employee to work in the position under the nominator’s direct control;
  2. the terms and conditions of employment applicable to 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 person’s workplace at the same location.
  3. the nominated 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;

RCBs assess the position nominated by the employer, rather than the person who the employer wishes to recruit (the nominee).

Corresponding Supporting Documents required to meet each criterion:

1.  There is a need for a paid employee in the nominated position within the business activities of the nominating employer.

  • Position description that matches the ANZSCO code
  • Organisational Chart showing the nominated position
  • Employment Contract, must be full time for at least 2 years
  • Letter of support from the employer advising if the position is an existing one or due to diversification of the business (extra information may be required)

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

  • Efforts of recruitment Position advertisements (SEEK, press ad s etc) or
  • Letter from recruitment company stating position is unable to be filled

3.  The terms and conditions of employment that are applicable to the nominated position will be no less favourable than the terms and conditions that are or would be provided to an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident for performing equivalent work in the same workplace at the same location.

  • Industrial Instrument (Modern Award, Collective Agreement, provision of Fair Work Statement etc) can be referenced in Employment Contract and
  • Other employees in same position employment contracts or
  • Advertisements for similar position in region showing wage or other wage data submission

What additional supporting documents are you required to submit to the relevant RCB office?
  • a copy of the nomination application lodged with DIBP
  • where the nomination application is yet to be lodged, a copy of the draft application
  • if  a  draft application has  not  been created, any specific information that  may be required to reach an informed decision
  • Registered name of the nominating business/organisation
  • ABN & CAN of the nominator
  • Contact address of nominating business/organisation
  • Full name & contact details of representative of nominating business/organisation
  • ANZSCO code related to the nominated position
  • Position title for proposed nominee
  • Nominated salary
  • Full name of nominee (if known)
  • If using a migration agent or other assistance a copy of the completed form 956


Scenario A: If the position is in the regular ongoing business activity of the employer:

  1. Detailed organizational chart
  2. Business Plan
  3. Outline of the goods or services produced by the business and how the position contributes to maintaining or enhancing the volume and/or quality of these outputs
  4. Evidence that the position is currently occupied by temporary resident
  5. New contracts won ( if any)
  6. Overtime work or increase of overtime work for employees currently in the nominated position (if any)
  7. Copy of employment contract or other evidence that the nominated position salary is as per “market salary rate” (i.e. enterprise agreements, industrial instruments as evidence that comparisons are made on equal terms in relation to hours worked; relevant market information – remuneration surveys, job vacancy advertisements)

Scenario B: If the position is to be involved in the diversification of the activities of the business

  1. Market research supporting the need for business expansion
  2. Business plans detailing proposed expansion and timelines
  3. Financial budgets covering expenditure and anticipated revenue
  4. Evidence of availability of funds (i.e. bank loans or own funds)
  5. Evidence of premises
  6. Evidence of lease or purchase of equipment (if applicable)
  7. Copy of employment contract or other evidence that the nominated position salary is as per “market salary rate” (i.e. enterprise agreements, industrial instruments as evidence that comparisons are made on equal terms in relation to hours worked; relevant market information – remuneration surveys, job vacancy advertisements)

Scenario C: If the position is a vacancy in a start-up business

DIBP defines a start-up business as one that has been in active operation for less than 12 months.

  1. Evidence that the business has been lawfully and actively operating before logging the nomination
  2. Evidence that the nominated position is relevant to the proposed business activity of the nominator
  3. Copy of employment contract or other evidence that the nominated position salary is as per “market salary rate” (i.e. enterprise agreements, industrial instruments as evidence that comparisons are made on equal terms in relation to hours worked; relevant market information – remuneration surveys, job vacancy advertisements)

Please note as each case is assessed individually the evidence required will depend on the circumstances of the case. To discuss your individual case contact the relevant RCB Officer in the region where the nominated position is located.

For access CCIQ RCBs Supporting Documentation Checklist click here.

For the contact details of CCIQ RCB click here.

Related links


Further information for employers wishing to the access the Regional Migration Program can be obtained from: