ENS / RSMS visa

The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) category allows Australian employers to fill highly skilled positions in Australia with a non-Australian citizen or permanent resident on a permanent basis.

Similarly, the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme category allows Australian employers to fill skilled positions with non-Australian citizens/permanent residents on a permanent basis where they cannot fill the skilled vacancies from the Australian Labour Market, provided the business is location in regional or low population areas of Australia. In order to make a valid application under this scheme, the business must first obtain certification from a Regional Certifying Body (see below).

Both the ENS and RSMS categories require a business in Australia to lodge an application for approval of a nominated position. This is then followed by a personal visa application made by the nominated individual.

Applications under ENS require a fee for lodgement with DIBP whereas an application under RSMS requires no fee.

Within both classes there are three streams:

  1. Temporary Residence Transition Stream – for applicants holding subclass 457 visas and who have worked for their employer for two years in the nominated occupation and are now being offered a permanent position in that occupation by the employer.
  2. Direct Entry Stream – for applicants who have not held a subclass 457 visa for the last two years, or for those applying directly from outside Australia.
  3. Agreement Stream – for applicants who are applying as part of a Labour Agreement or Regional Migration Agreement.

The Nominating Business

Under all three streams, the nominating business must be able to demonstrate that they:

  • are actively and lawfully operating in Australia;
  • have a genuine need for a paid employee to fill a skilled position;
  • are offering a skilled position in the applicant’s field that is full-time and ongoing for at least two years;
  • are offering employment conditions that are no less favorable than those conditions provided to an Australian citizen or permanent resident working in the same location and occupation, including a market rate salary
  • are nominating a skilled position that is:
    • on the CSOL (if applying for ENS under the Direct Entry stream)
    • classified as a skill level 1-3 in the ANZSCO (if applying for RSMS under the Direct Entry stream)
    • the same or similar to the position sponsored under the subclass 457 visa (if under the Temporary Residence Transition stream)
  • have no adverse information known to Immigration about them and have a record of compliance with Immigration laws and workplace relations laws.

Training Requirement

Under the ENS category, the nominating business must also meet the minimum training standards:

  • If applying under the Direct Entry stream, a business that has been in operation in Australia for 12 months or more must meet the prescribed training benchmark that applies to all Australian citizens or Australian permanent residents;
  • If a business has been operating for less than 12 months it must be able to provide a valid future training plan;
  • If applying under the Temporary Residence Transition stream, the nominating business must demonstrate that it has met and continues to meet the training requirements expected under the approved Standard Business Sponsorship.

The Visa Applicant

Visa applicants must satisfy the specific requirements provided under the relevant stream:

  • If applying under the Temporary Residence Transition stream, there is no requirement for the applicant to have their skills assessed as that person would have already been working for the nominating employer for two years in Australia. There is a requirement for the applicant to have at least vocational English.
  • If appying for ENS under the Direct Entry stream, applicants must be able to provide a positive skills assessment in their nominated occupation. Applicants must also have at least three years relevant work experience and a competent level of English.
  • Those applicants applying for RSMS under the Direct Entry stream, must hold qualifications and skills that are relevant to the nominated occupation. If the applicant is being nominated as a tradesperson and that person’s qualifications were obtained outside of Australia, these skills must be assessed by a relevant assessing authority. Applicants must also have a competent level of English.

Certification for RSMS

The employer must be able to demonstrate to a certifying body that:

  • there is a genuine need for a paid employee in a business that is actively and lawfully operating in regional Australia;
  • the position is a full-time vacancy available in a business operating in regional Australia for at least 2 consecutive years;
  • unless exceptional circumstances apply, the position requires qualifications equivalent to at least Australian diploma level (this includes trade certificates);
  • there is, or will be, an employment contract or letter of appointment provided for the position before a nominee’s visa can be granted.

There is a special form which must be submitted to the Regional Certifying Body and we would assist you with this as part of the visa process.


If applying for ENS or RSMS Direct Entry stream or Temporary Residence Transition stream, applicants may be eligible for specific exemptions, including age, English language and skill exemptions.

We can assist you in determining your eligibility for an exemption.

Visa cancellation provisions

Since 1 July 2001, visa cancellation provisions can apply where:

  • the nominee has not commenced employment with the nominating employer within six months of arriving in Australia (or after visa grant if already in Australia); or
  • where a nominee has left the nominating employer before completing their two-year period of employment (For RSMS).

Cancellation of a visa will not occur where a nominating employer terminates a nominee’s contract within the two-year period, provided the nominee has made a genuine effort to complete the two years with the approved employer.

If the nominee’s visa is cancelled, the visas for people who accompanied the nominee to Australia such as family members will also be cancelled.

Should you require additional information or are willing to proceed wit the application please do not hesitate to contact us.

ENS / RSMS (permanent)
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