Queensland Skilled Migration Program: Occupations And Requirements


Queensland is a popular destination for skilled migrants looking for better career opportunities overseas. The Australian state offers good working conditions and high standards of living for those living and working there. The weather is also favourable all-year-round.

Queensland is also known to offer the world’s highest minimum wage with entitlements such as public holidays and leave. With such amazing privileges, it’s no surprise it’s a common destination for skilled migrants across the globe.

For those who would like to settle and work in Queensland, they must first obtain states nominated visas. These visas fall either of the following categories:

  • Temporary visas which are a pathway to permanent residency
  • Permanent residency visas which allow skilled immigrants to work and reside permanently in Queensland

Skilled migration in Queensland is governed and controlled by the Queensland Government’s Business and Skilled Migration Queensland (BSMQ) unit. 

Skilled migrants can get state nomination for the following visa:


Skilled Nominated (Permanent) visa (subclass 190)

This visa is points tested visa available for skilled migrants and postgraduate alumni who would like to permanently live and work in Queensland. It’s applicable for both those living overseas and those living in Australia. 

We have different criteria for post-graduate applicants, oversea applicants, and those currently working in Queensland.


  • Post-Graduate Applicants (Subclass 190)

Queensland is seeking high-skilled international post-graduate alumni to fill occupations that are difficult to fill from the local labour market. Queensland offers state nomination for Master’s and postgraduate students under the Skilled Nomination Permanent visa (subclass 190. This visa allows applicants to work and live permanently in Queensland. 

However, one isn’t eligible for this visa if they’ve already received a nomination from BSMQ, have applied for, or are a current holder of a Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) or a Skilled Regional Work (Provisional) visa (subclass 491).

Here are the eligibility criteria for this visa subclass:

  • The applicant must obtain points test results of at least 65
  • Have a positive skills assessment in the nominated occupation
  • Be under 45 years of age
  • Meet minimum English language requirement


  • Currently Working In Queensland (Subclass 190 and subclass 491)

This visa stream is available for those currently living and working in Queensland in their skilled occupation, and have an occupation that can’t be filled from the local labour market. However, applicants must not be currently studying in Australia.

Queensland government offers nomination for these applicants under visa subclass 190 and subclass 491. Under visa subclass 491, applicants can live and work in Queensland for five years and they can upgrade to permanent residency. 

Under this visa subclass, one can work for one or more employees, have two part-time jobs, or manage own business. The eligibility criteria are similar to that of subclass 190. 


Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491)

This is a 5-year Points-tested visa which leads to permanent residency in Queensland. It requires skilled nominated workers to be working and living in Queensland. It’s available for post-graduate students, those working in Queensland, and applicants from overseas. 

The eligibility criteria are more or less the same as those of Skilled Nominated (Permanent) visa (subclass 190). 


Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489)

This is a points-tested visa that lasts for about four years and it’s a pathway for permanent residency. However, to be eligible for permanent residency on the Skilled Regional (Permanent) visa (subclass 887) nominated skilled workers are required to be employed full-time for at least one year, and live in regional Queensland for at least two years. 

However, subclass 489 visa holders and their dependents are only allowed to live and study in specific regions. They can live anywhere else apart from the greater Brisbane area and the Gold Coast. 

Also, applicants on this visa can’t apply for a 491 or 190 visa. Note that subclass 489 visa holders aren’t eligible for Australian medicare. 


The Queensland State Nomination Skilled Program

The Queensland State Nomination Skilled Program only opens for some time during the year depending on the demand for the program. Usually, the labour demands for different positions in Queensland is reflected in the Queensland Skilled Occupation Lists (QSOL). Based on the demand, the program can be opened for some time. 

You’re required to meet certain specializations and work experience before you submit an EOI. Failure to this, you’re advised not to submit an EOI. Additionally, it’s mandatory to obtain a valid skills assessment before submitting your EOI. 

For an applicant to be eligible for the Queensland State Nomination program, one must meet the set criteria by the Australian Department of Home Affairs and Business and Skilled Migration Queensland (BSMQ).

According to the Australian Department of Home Affairs, one should meet the following criteria to be eligible for this program:

  • An applicant must score a points-test mark of at least 65, inclusive of state nomination points
  • One must have a positive skills assessment in their nominated occupation
  • An applicant must be under 45 years of age
  • They must meet the minimum English language requirement of COMPETENT unless the assessing body demands a higher level
  • In case one is invited to apply for subclass 190 or 491 visas, they should submit additional documents


According to BSMQ, an applicant needs to meet the following criteria to qualify for the Queensland nomination program:

  • For applicants currently working in Queensland, they must have an occupation on the QSOL
  • If applying for a subclass 491 visa, you should prove that you’ve been living in regional Queensland for at least three months
  • Prove that you’ve been on full-time employment (minimum 35 hours per week) in your nominated occupation for the past six months for subclass 190 and three months for subclass 491 before lodging your visa application
  • Meet specific requirements for certain occupations
  • Prove that you’re on ongoing full-time employment (minimum 35 hours per week) with a Queensland employer registered in Australia for the next 12 months
  • An applicant should commit to living and working in Queensland for two years from the time the visa is granted for the subclass 190 and three years the subclass 491.


NB: In addition to the criteria above, post-graduates must prove that they’ve completed their Master’s and PhD studies in a Queensland-based institution to qualify for this program.

Queensland is an amazing state to advance your career. Be sure to lodge a skilled migrant visa application to find your way there.


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