As part of our Q&A session for HR professionals and business owners, Interstaff recently addressed how businesses employing visa holders have been impacted by Perth’s removal from the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) for subclass 187 visas.
As you may know, since 2011 businesses have used the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) as a visa option to sponsor skilled overseas employees for work in the Perth metropolitan area and to provide a pathway to permanent residency. It was particularly a popular visa option for small to medium sized businesses.
However, following the recent state government election, the WA Government excluded those residing in metropolitan Perth from using the Scheme by only providing support for positions located in regional WA. The Federal Government has since confirmed it will remove the Perth metropolitan area from the list of approved regions for RSMS.
In relation to this change, one of the questions posed to us at our business migration seminar was: “Does your business have to be based outside of Perth to sponsor an employee for an RSMS or a 187 visa?”
During the state election, the Labor opposition indicated it would request for Perth to be removed from the RSMS scheme, however as Australia’s immigration legislation is federal law, the WA government had no power to make this change. Instead, the State RSMS nomination program was suspended following the election and the WA Government announced it would review the program.
The review has now been completed and the WA Government confirmed it would not support nominations for subclass 187 visas based in the Perth metropolitan area. This has effectively meant that the 187 visa is no longer available for businesses in Perth because although the federal law still states that businesses based in metropolitan Perth can sponsor an employee for a 187 visa, all eligible occupations for RSMS require support by the WA Government. The WA Government are continuing to support the the RSMS scheme for businesses located regionally as well as for a limited number of specialist occupations, mostly in the health professions.
Currently, only businesses with operations in regional and remote areas of WA can sponsor visa holders for an RSMS. This can include businesses who intend to set up operations in remote areas of WA. For example, we have recently assisted a business that was setting up an operation near Kalgoorlie to proceed with RSMS sponsorship even though their business is currently based in Perth. The position for the 187 visa will be based in Kalgoorlie at the company’s new office by the time the application will be finalised. Of course, the business had to provide evidence of this, such as a registered business address and lease documents in support of its claims.
Business Migration | Strategic Thinking
Want more Business Migration Q&A’s? Find out the questions businesses had for us about working holiday visas and pathways to the new 457 work visa or view our answers to questions about the new English language requirements for 457 visas. You can also view the slides from our seminar on the 457 visa changes.
To find out how the 457 visa changes impact your business, we encourage you to contact Interstaff’s registered migration agents at [email protected] or on (08) 9221 3388.