5 Big Differences Between Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) Visas and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) Visas

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Australian Employers who cannot find skilled people residing in Australia to work can sponsor overseas workers to stay temporarily or permanently in Australia. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection introduced these visas to ensure skill gaps in the workforce are filled and Australia continues to attract skilled persons.

The benefit for you as an overseas worker is that the sponsorship from an employer allows to gain permanent residence in Australia.

You can be sponsored by your employer through two different visa pathways – The Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) and the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS). These pathways are vastly different to each other and have their own benefits and drawbacks. Knowledge of these differences will help you make crucial decisions on which pathway to take.

Here are the five main differences that you should be aware of:

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Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visas

This visa is intended for highly skilled overseas workers. Under this scheme:

  • Your nominated position must be on the list of Occupations made available by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).
  • You need to have a skills assessment carried out by a professional body.
  • You must have at least three years of full time related employment experience.
  • You must have competent English Language skills.
  • Your salary must be more than the minimum salary level set by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

There are exemptions available on the stringent requirements of Skills assessment, three years of full time related professional employment and English language if you have worked for the sponsoring employer in the nominated position for at least two years on a 457 visa (working visa). This is in recognition of your skills and benefits already used by the sponsoring employers and the fact that you are being offered long term employment by the same business.

Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme

This visa scheme is in place for Employers based in regional towns of Australia to be able to sponsor overseas workers for permanent residence.

  • If you have completed your studies in Australia, it is not necessary for your nominated position to be on the list of Occupations made available by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).
  • A skills assessment by a professional body is not required if you have gained your qualifications in Australia.
  • You must have competent English Language skills.
  • Your employer must undertake labour market testing and prove that they could find a skilled person for the position.
  • You are required to work for at least two years for the sponsoring employer in the nominated position after the permanent residence is granted. A breach of this visa condition can lead to the cancellation of your permanent residence.

 

There are certain exemptions in place under both the visa schemes. The purpose of both the schemes in lieu of the exemptions ensures that you work for at least two years for the sponsoring employer. The ENS scheme provides exemptions if you have worked for the sponsoring employer for at least two years on a 457 visa. The RSMS visa scheme allows exemptions when you study in Australia and allows you to directly be sponsored for permanent residency by a regional employer although you are tied to the sponsoring employer for at least two years after gaining permanent residence.

If you have completed your education in Australia, have good English language skills and employment skills, you will eventually find an employer who will be willing to offer you a job and sponsor you. There is a severe shortage of skilled people in Australia. Improve your skills in these areas and aim to gain professional employment. Your goal to gain permanent residence will be much easier to acquire through the employer sponsorship pathways.

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