Perth removed as a regional area for RSMS 187 visas

It was previously reported that the West Australian government were pushing to have Perth removed as a regional area. Their wish has been granted.

From today, the Perth metropolitan area is not considered a regional area under the new instrument, affecting permanent employer sponsored Subclass 187 – Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme visas under the Direct Entry stream.

As the instrument is part of a nomination application for a 187 visa under this stream, a major concern is the implication this amendment has on existing nominations lodged but not yet assessed. As there is no transitional provision, and nomination applications are assessed at the time of decision, this would mean any nomination lodged for a now-excluded postcode, must be refused.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) have, however, indicated they are willing to process existing nominations under the old instrument provided the nomination has been certified by the authorised Regional Certifying Body (RCB). For any nomination under the Direct Entry stream for a 187 visa, the nominator must provide advice from the RCB, which generally comes in the form of an opinion as to whether the nomination satisfies or does not satisfy certain requirements. While a technical reading of the regulation suggests the DIBP does not need to make the same decision as the RCB, any application to the RCB that is assessed as not satisfactory is liable to be refused by the DIBP, and any nomination without any advice whatsoever must be refused.

It is believed the RCB in Perth suspended certifying nominations from 13 March 2017, so any nomination lodged without RCB advice and on the assumption that RCB certification might come later, look well and truly doomed. So too would any nomination refused and appealed to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), which would be expected to not have the same compassionate reading of the regulations as the DIBP.