Immigration South Australia

What is the first step if I want to employ an overseas skilled worker in my business under RSMS?

You need to lodge an application for Regional Certifying Body (RCB) advice providing supporting documentation to support your claims. Applications for RCB advice must be lodged through our online application system. A checklist outlining the information and documents required is available here.


How can I find out about visa processing status for the applicant?

The Regional Certifying Body (RCB) has no role in the grant of visas.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) will only communicate about nominations and visa applications with the applicant or their migration agent or other authorised recipient.

To find out about visa processing visit the DIBP website.


What is a Regional Certifying Body (RCB)?

Regional Certifying Bodies (RCBs) are organisations appointed by the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection. RCBs must provide advice to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) about nominations under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) - Direct Entry Stream lodged by employers who wish to fill positions in regional Australia that cannot be filled from the local labour market.

RCBs are required to assess whether:

  • there is a genuine need for the nominator (employer) to employ a paid worker in the position under the nominator’s direct control;
  • the position cannot be filled by an Australian citizen or permanent resident who is living in the same local area where the position is located; and
  • the terms and conditions of employment for the nominated position are at least equivalent to those provided to Australian workers performing the same work in the nominator’s business.

How much does the nomination and visa processing cost?

No fees are charged by the South Australian Regional Certifying Body (RCB) or Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) for an employer nomination under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS).

DIBP does charge a visa application fee. Information on fees & charges is available from the DIBP website.


Where can I find information on Regional Certifying Bodies?

A list of Regional Certifying Bodies is found on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) website.


What kind of positions/vacancies can I fill with overseas employees?

The position has to be a genuine full-time, skilled (as defined by the nominated ANZSCO code) vacancy and must be ongoing for a minimum of two years. For an occupation to be considered as skilled under RSMS it has to require a person to have an AQF Certificate III including at least two years on-the-job training, or AQF Certificate IV qualification, diploma or higher qualification.


Where can a person we have nominated find out about working in South Australia?

Information relating to employment, Workplace health and Safety (WHS) and the Equal Opportunity Commission is available from the following websites:


What criteria must the person I wish to nominate meet?

The RCB does not provide advice about the criteria a nominee must satisfy to be granted a visa. Information about these criteria is available on the DIBP website


Why do I need to provide all this information to the RCB?

The Regional Certifying Body (RCB) has to provide advice to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) as to whether an application for RCB advice satisfies the following relevant migration criteria:

  • there is a genuine need for the nominator (employer) to employ a paid worker in the position under the nominator’s direct control;
  • the position cannot be filled by an Australian citizen or permanent resident who is living in the same local area where the position is located; and
  • the terms and conditions of employment for the nominated position are at least equivalent to those provided to Australian workers performing the same work in the nominator’s business.

The RCB requires certain information to be able to fully assess an application for RCB advice. Therefore, you should ensure sufficient information is provided with the application.


Can the applicant leave the sponsoring employer after two years?

Under RSMS provisions, the nominated position must be full-time and ongoing for at least two years. The overseas employee is required to make a genuine effort to complete the required minimum two year period of employment.

Once the period has been completed the applicant can seek employment elsewhere if they wish.


If someone has been working for us do we have to show evidence of undertaking local recruitment activities?

You are exempt from demonstrating local recruitment activities if you hold a valid DIBP approved 457 business sponsorship and the nominee has been working for the business in the nominated position on a valid work visa for 12 months.

Occupations on the RCB Occupation List are also exempt from demonstrating recruitment activities.

Other applications for RCB advice will need to provide information on the efforts made to recruit for the nominated position from the local labour market.

Note: If the nominee has been working in the nominated occupation for the sponsoring employer as the primary applicant on a subclass 457 visa for at least the last two years, you should apply under the permanent employer sponsored Temporary Residence Transition Stream (TRTS). The Temporary Residence Transition stream does not require RCB advice.  Information about this stream is available from the DIBP website.


What is full-time?

Full-time is defined in the relevant industrial arrangement  that covers your worker.  It is usually between 35-40 hours per week.


What does base salary mean?

The base salary is the annual salary before tax excluding any benefits such as mandatory superannuation, penalties, bonuses, allowances, etc.


What does total salary/total remuneration package mean?

Total salary or remuneration is the total salary including superannuation benefits, penalties, bonuses, allowances, etc.


My business will be offering employment to a person and their partner. Do we need to complete a nomination for each of them?

No. Only one nomination for the primary applicant is required. The partner will be the secondary applicant for the same RSMS visa application.


What are public interest criteria?

Public interest criteria, which include health and character checks, apply to everybody applying to enter Australia as a permanent or long-term temporary resident.  For further information about public interest criteria visit the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) website.


I am an employer based in the regions. Who shall I talk to if I want some information on employing overseas migrants?

The Federal Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) provides a Regional Outreach Officer (ROO) South Australian representative.

DIBP also has a publication for employers with detailed information about migration options and procedures.

For further information and to view the publication visit the  skilled workers pages of the DIBP website.


Where can I find the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) dictionary?

ANZSCO is the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations. An online version of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations dictionary is available from the Australian Bureau of Statistics website.


Can I nominate somebody who is 50 years or older, or who does not have functional level English or who does not have the required skill and qualifications?

Under the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS), age, skill/qualification and English language exemptions are available to some nominees.  The Regional Certifying Body (RCB) does not provide advice about exemptions.  Information about exemptions is available on the DIBP website.


Is there a minimum salary level for RSMS?

There is no minimum salary level for RSMS. Oversees employees must be employed under the same terms and conditions that apply to Australian workers in equivalent positions in the workplace.

All relevant workplace laws and award conditions including the National Employment Standards (NES) must be met. Information about awards and minimum employment standards is available free of charge from the Fair Work Ombudsman website.


What are the skill requirements for Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS)?

The occupation must be classified within the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) skill level 1 to 3.

ANZSCO is used as a guide to understand what qualifications a skilled migrant would need to undertake the full range of duties required for their nominated occupation. The ANZSCO is a classification model developed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). It classifies occupations by skill level.

Skill level 1
Occupations at Skill Level 1 have a level of skill commensurate with a bachelor degree or higher qualification. At least five years of relevant experience may substitute for the formal qualification. In some instances relevant experience and/or on-the-job training may be required in addition to the formal qualification.

Skill level 2
Occupations at Skill Level 2 have a level of skill commensurate with an AQF Associate Degree, Advanced Diploma or Diploma. At least three years of relevant experience may substitute for the formal qualification. In some instances relevant experience and/or on-the-job training may be required in addition to the formal qualification.

Skill level 3
Occupations at Skill Level 3 have a level of skill commensurate with an AQF Certificate IV or AQF Certificate III including at least two years of on-the-job training. At least three years of relevant experience may substitute for the formal qualifications. In some instances relevant experience and/or on-the-job training may be required in addition to the formal qualification.


Where can I get assistance/migration advice?

If you need help to establish the most suitable visa scheme for your situation we recommend consulting a registered migration agent.

Lists of registered agents are available from the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) and the Migration Institute of Australia (MIA) websites.

Immigration SA is unable to provide comprehensive migration advice.


What if I'm unhappy with the service I have received from a migration agent?

Migration agents are required to abide by a code of conduct. If you are unhappy with service you have received, you can make a complaint to the Office of  the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA).


How long does assessment of an application take?

Please check our processing times information. As of the 1 July 2012, the Regional Certifying Body (RCB) is required to provide advice to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) on Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) nominations. The RCB will provide DIBP with Regional Certifying Body (RCB) advice as soon as practicable. The RCB has up to 3 months from receipt of a request for advice to provide advice to DIBP. The RCB will also notify the nominator or their authorised recipient if the nomination does or does not satisfy the migration criteria the RCB is required to assess.

Requests for priority processing cannot be met.


Where can I get information on licensing and registration requirements, skill assessments, etc?

The Australian Skills Recognition Information (ASRI) page on the DIBP website provides information on skill requirements, skill assessing authorities and state-specific registration and licensing requirements in order to be able to work in your occupation in Australia.


How long are DIBP visa processing times?

Average visa processing times for RSMS are available from the DIBP website.


Does the sponsoring employer have to cover the nominee’s relocation costs?

Employers who wish to nominate an overseas skilled worker under RSMS to fill a vacancy in their business are not obliged to cover the nominee's visa and relocation costs.

Some employers may do this as a gesture of good will, but there is currently no legislative requirement for employers to do so.


What happens if the RCB advice is ‘not satisfied’?

The RCB has to provide advice to DIBP as to whether the federal Minister could be satisfied that the nomination application meets the criteria that the RCB is required to assess. (Refer to ‘What is a Regional Certifying Body (RCB) for these criteria.)

If the RCB advises that the application does not satisfy the legislative requirements, it will provide the reasons for the advice to DIBP and to the nominator. The nominator should contact DIBP to discuss the procedure for submitting information contrary to the advice provided by the RCB.

The RCB provides advice on an individual nomination only once. Please do not resubmit an application for RCB advice where the advice has been that the RCB assessment criteria are ‘not satisfied’.


When will I be asked to provide a statutory declaration to the RCB?

The RCB is required to assess whether an application for RCB advice satisfies certain migration criteria. The assessment is based on the information and documentation that the employer, or their authorised recipient, provides to the RCB. If the RCB is unable to determine whether an application satisfies the assessment criteria, the employer may be asked to sign a statutory declaration to explain how the application satisfies certain requirements.


Who can witness a statutory declaration?

The persons who can witness statutory declarations under the Oaths Act 1936 (SA) are:

  • Justices of the Peace
  • Notary Publics
  • Commissioners for Taking Affidavits (Judges, Masters, Magistrates, Registrars of Supreme, District, Environment, Resources and Development Court, the Industrial Relations Court, the Youth Court and the Magistrates Court and persons on roll of practitioners (i.e. a barrister or solicitor))
  • Proclaimed Police Officer (not all police officers are proclaimed police officers).

The South Australian Police website also contains information about statutory declarations.


What makes an application Invalid?

An incomplete application lodged for RCB advice will be deemed invalid. The employer or migration agent will then need to re-submit another application for RCB advice and ensure all relevant information is included. The RCB has put together some 'Top tips for completing an eligible RSMS application'


How do I determine whether terms and conditions of employment are equivalent?

This depends on whether you employ an Australian worker who performs equivalent work in the workplace.

If you employ an Australian worker in an equivalent position in the workplace, you can refer to the terms and conditions that apply to your Australian worker.

If you do not employ an Australian worker in an equivalent position in the workplace, you need to demonstrate that the terms and conditions of employment are equivalent to those that would be provided to Australian workers. The onus is on you to provide a range of evidence to demonstrate this. Some evidence may include, but is not limited to:

  • Data from reputable remuneration surveys;
  • Published earnings data (e.g. Australian Bureau of Statistics data);
  • Job advertisements for equivalent positions showing salary information.

What is a statutory declaration?

A statutory declaration is a written statement that allows a person to declare, before an authorised person, something to be true. It is a legal document.  When you make a statutory declaration, you are declaring that the statements in it are true. If you intentionally make a false statement in a declaration, you can be charged with an offense. If you are convicted for making a false statement in a statutory declaration, you could be fined or jailed, or both.


What is an ‘industrial instrument’?

An industrial instrument is a document that is recognised or registered under the national workplace relations system. It sets the minimum terms & conditions of employment for employees covered under that instrument.

Common industrial instrument types include modern awards, enterprise agreements and employment contracts made under common law.


What is the RCB Occupation List?

Occupations on the RCB Occupation List do not require evidence of undertaking local recruitment activities.


What does ‘equivalent terms and conditions of employment’ mean?

This is the salary paid for a specific job, which is determined by the salary rate for Australian workers undertaking equivalent positions in the workplace.

Awards stipulate minimum wages and entitlements for certain occupations. Awards do not necessarily indicate equivalent terms and conditions of employment, as they may differ from location to location.

Under RSMS, it must be demonstrated that the wages and working conditions are no less favourable than those that are, or would be, provided to Australian workers in equivalent positions in the same workplace.


How can I find a skilled worker from overseas to fill a position that I have been unable to fill from the local labour market?

SkillSelect

Search the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) Skill Select database.  SkillSelect is an online service that enables skilled workers interested in migrating to Australia to record their details to be considered for a skilled visa through an Expression of Interest (EOI).  Intending migrants may be found and nominated for skilled visas by Australian employers or state and territory governments, or they may be invited by the Australian Government to lodge a visa application.

Specialist Migrant Services (SMS)

The South Australian Specialist Migrant Services (SMS) supports migrants with the recognition of overseas gained qualifications and skills for the purpose of finding meaningful employment.
Telephone 1800 506 266 or visit  skills.sa.gov.au

Skills Australia Needs Events

These are designed to help address current skill shortages in Australia by promoting skilled migration options. Australian employers and state and territory governments can participate in the events and meet people with the skills and experience needed to fill job vacancies in Australia which cannot be filled through the local labour. Visit the DIBP website for more information.