Sponsoring an applicant (subclass 187)

The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) application process

The RSMS application process consists of three steps:

  1. Employer applies for ACT government certification of the occupation.
  2. Employers submits notification to Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).
  3. Employee submits visa application to DIBP.


Step one - Employer applies for ACT government support of the nomination

For Direct Entry stream applicants, the ANU first has to apply to the Regional Certifying Body (RCB) for support of the RSMS nomination. The ACT Government is the RCB for positions which will be located within the ACT.

Applications submitted through the Temporary Residence Transition stream does not require this step (please check that the application is eligible to be submitted through this stream).

To apply for ACT government support:

  1. Complete (but not yet lodge) the online RSMS nomination form and save a PDF copy of the completed nomination form.
  2. Complete the online application for ACT support of the nomination at Canberra Your Future, and pay the service fee ($300).
  3. Attach the following documents to the online RCB application form:
  • completed DIBP nomination form
  • signed employment contract
  • printout of ANU employment conditions on working hours, salary and leave entitlements (see reference documents)
  • applicant's CV or resume
  • copy of passport biodata page and any Australian visas for main applicant and dependants
  • position description and job advertisement
  • statement on how position contributes to business outputs
  • copies of applicant's qualifications and professional registrations
  • evidence that previous RSMS nominees are currently working in the nominated position at the nominated salary e.g. payslips.
  • copy of the ANU’s latest Annual Report
  • copy of ANU’s Financial Statements
  • copy of latest Enterprise Agreement (or cover letter with link)

A copy of the RCB opinion will be emailed to the contact officer (HR practitioner lodging the RCB application).

A copy of the RCB opinion letter must be attached to the DIBP nomination form (see step two)

Detailed information about obtaining ACT government support for a nomination is available on the Canberra your future website.


Step two - Employer submits nomination form to Department of Immigration and Border Protection

The University receives priority consideration of its RSMS nominations from DIBP.

For Temporary Residence Transition stream applicants, the HR practitioner can proceed directly to nomination stage as ACT certification of the position is not required. Ensure that the position's ANZSCO code in the nomination matches the ANZSCO code of the occupation specified in the 457 visa nomination.

For Direct Entry stream applicants, the HR practitioner can lodge the nomination once the ACT government has issued the letter of RCB support.

Complete the online nomination form on the DIBP website and attach the ACT support letter (if nominating a Direct Entry stream applicant) as well as the supporting documentation listed on the RSMS Visa Nomination check list

Where requested, fill in the following information on the DIBP online nomination form:

  • date established or commenced trading in Australia: 1 August 1946
  • industry type: Education and Training
  • registration identifier: ABN- 52234063906
  • employment and training details: Please quote the figures on the on the Staffing Figures page

DIBP does not charge a nomination fee for RSMS nominations. Once the online application has been completed in full and all supporting documents uploaded as attachments, lodge the application.

The HR practitioner that has submitted the sponsorship will be forwarded the initial approval. This approval should be forwarded to the applicant so they can submit a visa application.

Step three - Employee submits visa application to Department of Immigration and Border Protection

Once the employer nomination is approved by DIBP, the applicant must lodge the RSMS visa application within six months of the nomination approval date.

The application can be lodged in or outside Australia. The applicant must pay the initial application charge by credit card at the time of lodging the application.

A second charge, that applies only to applicants and dependants aged 18 years or over with less than functional English, is payable before a visa can be granted.

The current visa charges are available on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website

The online application form and visa checklist is available from the DIBP website.


The average processing time for deciding a visa application is around nine months as published in the DIBP client service charter.

Full applicant information is available in DIBP Booklet 5 from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website.

Notice: Visa applicants and HR practitioners are advised to consult the DIBP website for complete and up-to-date visa information. The information presented on the ANU website is intended as a guide only for ANU HR practitioners and is not formal advice to visa applicants.

RSMS sponsorship obligations

Cessation of employment

It is a condition of the RSMS that sponsored visa holders are employed on a full time basis for a minimum of two years. If a sponsored employee ceases employment with the University prior to completing two years of service, the University must advise Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) within ten working days.

The Recruitment and Appointments branch in the Human Resources Division generates a report from the Human Resource Management System (HRMS) prior to every pay run to identify sponsored employees ceasing employment in the next pay period. The Recruitment and Appointments branch then notifies DIBP of the employment cessation. To assist the Branch with this procedure it is essential that HR Practitioners:

  1. Enter a termination row in the HRMS as soon as a resignation has been received.
  2. Advise the Recruitment and Appointments branch of any cessation of any staff member who is holding a visa sponsored by ANU via email ASAP.
  3. Ensure the visa data panels in the HRMS are completed and updated as required.

Responsibilities of the HR Practitioners

Listed below are the key responsibilities of HR Practitioners in relation to the above sponsorship undertakings.

Prior to commencement of employment

  • Ensure visa requirements are detailed in the offer of employment.
  • Ensure visa sponsorship details are recorded in the visa data panels in the HRMS and placed on the personal file.
  • Ensure details of the visa (once it has been granted) are recorded in visa data panels in the HRMS and a copy of the visa is placed on the personal file.

At the cessation of employment

  • Enter a termination row in the HRMS as soon as a resignation has been received or a termination date has been confirmed.
  • Advise the appropriate Recruitment and Appointments branch member via email ASAP of any cessation of staff member who is on a RSMS visa that has not completed two years with the University. (The University must notify DIBP of the cessation within ten working days).
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