If you’ve recently been granted a 187 visa or you intend to apply for one, you must be aware of the 187 visa obligations attached to it.

Fail to comply and you might be sent packing!

What is the RSMS 187 visa?

The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) Subclass 187 visa is a permanent residency visa available to skilled workers who are offered sponsorship by an approved employer in regional Australia.

Regional Australia is classed as anywhere outside the Gold Coast, Perth metro area, Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong and Melbourne.

One of the key conditions of the 187 visa is that you agree to stay with your sponsoring employer and remain in the regional area for at least two years after your visa is granted. You must also commence work within six months of arriving in Australia if you were granted the visa offshore.

187 visa conditions


You must stay with your employer for two years

Although the 187 visa is a permanent residency visa, it’s important to remember that it can still be cancelled if you breach the conditions attached to it. This includes leaving your employer before your two years is up.

The whole point of this visa – and the main difference between this and the Subclass 186 – is that you agree to work in the regional area with the sponsoring employer for two years.

If you are forced to leave prior to this, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIBP) must be satisfied that you did make an effort to stay with them. If the business goes bust or there’s a shortage of work then DIBP may agree that you were unable to continue through no fault of your own. If this is genuinely the case then it is unlikely that your visa will be cancelled.

Quitting because your boss is annoying or you’re bored of regional Australia isn’t a valid reason to break the 187 visa conditions.

Don't break 187 visa conditions

A valid reason…

If you do have a valid reason to leave your position then you’re expected to give your employer adequate notice. If you’re leaving because you’ve been offered a better employment opportunity within the regional area, you should give your sponsor the chance to make a counter offer.

You cannot purposefully create a situation that ends in your employment being terminated – like trying to get yourself fired!

Visa cancellation…

If DIBP do believe you breached your visa conditions, they will consider a number of factors before deciding whether to cancel your visa or not.

• They will investigate the circumstances surrounding the breach
• They will consider the links you have to the local community
• The length of time you worked for your sponsor
• The hardship you would be caused in the event of visa cancellation
• How cancellation would impact your partner or children
• How you have behaved towards DIBP in the past
• If DIBP is not convinced that cancellation is appropriate, you will be given the benefit of the doubt

The bottom line…

Make a reasonable effort to stay with your employer and remain in the regional area.

For more information on the RSMS Subclass 187 visa, call the team at True Blue Migration today.