The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) programs allow Australian employers to ﬁll vacancies in their businesses by sponsoring highly skilled foreign workers for permanent residence. The RSMS program is specifically designed for businesses operating in regional, remote or low population growth areas outside of the major metropolitan centres. Apart from nomination requirements applicable to employers, there are common criteria that all applicants need to meet.
ENS and RSMS visas involve a two-step process, that, firstly, requires a nomination by an Australian employer and, secondly, an application under the specific stream.
An employer can nominate a skilled worker if:
- there is no adverse information about the employer or any associated person
- the worker holds any mandatory registration, licence or professional membership
- the employer complies with Australian immigration and workplace relations laws
- the employer meets any additional requirements of the stream
Common criteria that apply to all overseas workers include age, skills and English language knowledge.
Generally, applicants need to be less than 45 year old, however, exemptions are available in certain circumstances.
¹Medical practitioners need to satisfy other additional requirements.
- An applicant is nominated as a senior academic by a university in Australia (Temporary Residence Transition and Direct Entry streams)
- An applicant is nominated as a scientist, researcher, or technical (scientific) specialist at ANZSCO skill level 1 or 2 by an Australian government scientific agency (Temporary Residence Transition and Direct Entry streams)
- An applicant has been working for a nominating employer as the holder of a TSS or subclass 457 visa for the last three years and job earnings were at least equivalent to the Fair Work High Income Threshold Fair Work High Income Threshold for each year over the same period (Temporary Residence Transition stream)
- The relevant labour agreement allows for an employee to be over 45 years old (Labour Agreement stream)
- An applicant is a medical practitioner¹ (ANZSCO Minor Group 253) (Temporary Residence Transition stream)
- Have been working in a nominated occupation as TSS or 457 visa holder for at least three years before
- Have been employed in regional Australia for two of those years
- Nominated position is located in regional Australia
- Applicants must have three years of relevant work experience
- Under the Direct Entry stream applicants generally need to have skills assessment in the nominated occupation
- Under Temporary Residence Transition and Labour Agreement streams skills assessment may be requested on as needed basis
- Applicants for the Temporary Residence Transition and Direct Entry streams are required to have at least Competent English
- Holders of a valid passports issued by the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland are exempt from this requirement
- Applicants for the Temporary Residence Transition stream are also exempt from demonstrating language proficiency if they have completed at least five years of full-time study in a secondary or higher education institution where all of the tuition was delivered in English
- Applicants for the Labour Agreement Stream must demonstrate that they have English language skills that are suitable to perform the occupation to which the position relates. This will be the same level of English as for the other visa streams outlined above, unless otherwise specified in the labour agreement