Regional Migration Agreements
On this page
- What are Regional Migration Agreements?
- Why have a Regional Migration Agreement?
- What is the process for undertaking a Regional Migration Agreement in a region?
- What consultation was undertaken concerning the development of the Regional Migration Agreement program?
- Regional Migration Agreement Submission Guidelines
- More information
The Regional Migration Agreement (RMA) program was announced by the Australian Government in the 2011–12 Budget.
The RMA program is a new temporary skilled migration initiative to help address the acute skill and labour shortages facing parts of regional Australia. This initiative will enable employers to sponsor workers from outside Australia in circumstances that are not otherwise permitted under the standard migration programs. The program is designed to increase capacity in regional labour markets that are experiencing these shortages.
See: Fact Sheet 48c – Regional Migration Agreement
An RMA is an agreement between the Australian Government and a state or territory government, local council, or another local stakeholder. The program will facilitate increased labour flows to regional areas experiencing acute labour shortages, in particular, regions that are isolated from large populations and do not have Australian skills and labour available.
RMAs will specify the occupations, numbers and visa requirements for the sponsorship of workers from outside Australia to certain regional locations. The RMAs will not limit the use of other migration programs in the nominated location.
The Northern Territory government has been working towards a submission for an RMA since late last year.
Following the release of the RMA program guidelines other regions will have the opportunity to submit an application for an RMA.
See: Media Release – New Agreement to Meet Darwin's Growth Challenges
The major benefit of the program is to allow employers in certain regional areas to sponsor workers in a broader range of occupations that are currently not included in standard skilled migration programs. An RMA is a streamlined process for small to medium businesses wanting to gain access to workers from outside Australia.
The department will release the RMA submission guidelines shortly. The guidelines will provide further guidance on the process for undertaking an RMA.
What consultation was undertaken concerning the development of the Regional Migration Agreement program?
Extensive stakeholder consultations were held during the development of the RMA program. Stakeholder consultations were held between Federal Government Agencies, Federal Ministers, Tourism Industry Roundtable, State Ministers and Departments, Employer and peak bodies through 'townhall' discussions, National Union and Regional Development Committees.
Consultations were held in:
- Esperance, Broome and Perth in Western Australia
- Gladstone and Brisbane in Queensland
- Darwin in the Northern Territory.
More information about the RMA program will be available in the coming months.
More information is available.
Fact Sheet 48c – Regional Migration Agreement
Booklet 9 – Temporary Business (Long Stay) (Subclass 457) Visa (586KB PDF file)
Subclass 457 – About this Visa