Quick Guide to QLD Skilled Visa Options


Skilled Visa Options


Queensland is looking for skilled migrants to address the current shortage in certain occupations. The Sunshine State is a popular choice for skilled migrants, with its year-round beautiful weather and great career opportunities. It is an ideal place to work and live, offering a high standard of living and good working conditions, including:

  • Equal opportunity in the workplace
  • Safe working conditions
  • The world’s highest minimum wage (OECD 2013)
  • Entitlements including public holidays and leave.


If you wish to migrate and work in Queensland, you must first obtain a visa. State nominated visas allow you to live and work in Queensland and fall into two categories:

  1. Provisional visas which are temporary but offer a pathway to permanent residency; and
  2. Permanent residency which allows migrants to live and work in Queensland permanently with a potential pathway to Australian citizenship.


State migration, in Queensland, is managed by the Business and Skilled Migration Queensland (BSMQ) unit. BSMQ nominates skilled migrants for the following visas:


Skilled Nominated (Permanent) visa (subclass 190)

This is a point-tested visa for skilled workers and postgraduate alumni who wish to live and work in Queensland permanently. The Queensland postgraduate degree stream offers streamlined conditions for Masters and PhD graduates from a Queensland-based university.

Skilled Nominated (Permanent) visa (subclass 190) This visa is for skilled workers and postgraduate alumni who wish to live and work in Queensland permanently.

If you are a current holder of a Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) or have applied for a Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) you will not be eligible for nomination for the Skilled Nominated (Permanent) visa (subclass 190). This is also applicable to the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491 visa).



Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491)

Note: this visa commenced on 16 November 2019 and replaced the Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489)

This is a 5-year points-tested visa which leads to permanent residency and requires nominated skilled workers to be employed and live-in regional Queensland.


The following postcodes are deemed regional in Queensland:

4124 to 4125, 4133, 4183 to 4184, 4207 to 4275, 4280 to 4287, 4306 to 4498, 4507, 4517 to 4519, 4550 to 4575, 4580 to 4895.


Applicant lodging a permanent residency visa are also eligible for Medicare.


To find other visa options that suit your circumstances, please use the Department of Home Affairs (HA) Visa Finder.


Offshore university PhD graduates waiver

PhD graduates who have completed a doctorate outside of Australia related to their nominated occupation, may be able to have their work experience requirements waived if they can provide evidence of an offer of employment from a Queensland employer registered in Australia in their skilled occupation (or a closely related occupation). This job offer must be for a minimum of 12 months (minimum 35 hours per week).


Eligible occupations

To apply for a skilled visa, you must have an occupation which is listed on one of the Queensland Skilled Occupation Lists (QSOLs). QSOLs are reviewed regularly and updated to reflect current labour market conditions.


Please note:

Certain occupations have specific specialisations or licensing requirements are needed to work in Queensland.

Certain occupations have limited places and when filled, further applications for state nomination will not be accepted.

To check if your occupation is in demand in Queensland, view the relevant occupation list below.


Note: QSOLs are not currently available due to the skilled program being closed.


491 Small Business Owners Pathway FAQs

How do I let BSMQ know that I want to apply for the 491 – Small Business Owner (SBO)?

You need to lodge an EOI and then an online 491-SBO Assessment form and submit it back to us by clicking on the submit button.


What requirements do I need to meet?

The requirements are listed on the 491 – SBO website page.


Do I need a skills assessment?

Yes. You need a skills assessment in your nominated occupation which is listed on the relevant legislative instrument (LIN 19/051)


Do I need to have sat an English exam?

Yes. Even if you are from an exempt country (UK, Ireland, United States, Canada and New Zealand) it is recommended you take an English test for points purposes.


Can I apply for this pathway if I am located offshore?

No, this pathway is only available to onshore applicants only.


Do I have to be living in the same regional area as my business?

No. However you still must be living in an area considered regional for Queensland (see postcodes above at “What regional areas can I operate my business?”).


Do I have to operate the business for 6 months prior to lodging an EOI?

Yes. You can prove this by providing business BAS statements.


How much do I need to pay for the business in regional Queensland?

You can purchase the business for market value, however you must show that a total investment (capital investment rather than operating costs) of $100,000 has been made into the business by the time you submit the EOI.


Does my business need to be related to my nominated occupation?

No. Your business does not need to be related to your nominated occupation, but you still must be able to show relevant business experience or a qualification to demonstrate you will be able to successfully run the business.


What documents are required?

  • Application form
  • Settlement funds declaration form
  • Bank statement (personal)
  • Skills assessment
  • Commitment statement
  • Evidence of business management
  • Evidence of academic qualification
  • Evidence of business ownership/registration documents (contract of sale and ABN/ACN/ASIC)
  • Evidence of Australian resident employee (not a family member, or a subcontractor)
  • Evidence business has been operating for 6 months (BAS statements)
  • VEVO
  • Utility bill or lease agreement


Note: It is recommended you seek professional legal and financial advice before making an investment or starting a business. BSMQ takes no responsibility in the event that your business or investment is not successful.


Do I need to employ anyone in my business?

Yes, you need to employ a minimum of one Australian employee. They must be an Australian resident.


(Note: An Australian resident for the purposes of the 491-SBO pathway is defined as an Australian permanent resident, Australian citizen or a New Zealand citizen usually residing in Australia on a Special Category Visa).


They also need to be working a minimum of 20 hours a week. They cannot be a family member or a subcontractor.


Do the funds that I use to invest into the business have to already be in Australia?

No, it does not matter if the funds have come from offshore if you have purchased a business and you have been running it for 6 months before applying.


Can I apply for the nomination, but my partner is operating the business?

No, the person applying must be the one operating the business.


What is the current processing time?

The current processing times is approximately 10 days from receipt of a completed application, unless otherwise stated. A complete application includes the processing fee, not just the documents.


How long do I have to submit my BSMQ required documents?

You are given 14 days to submit your required documents to BSMQ. If you are unable to provide all your documents for processing within the 14 days, you need to contact your case officer and request an extension of time.


Need help with getting Australian Visas?



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Tel:  +61 (07) 3876 4000

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We will help you by exploring visa options and securing application. As part of our services, we will assess the eligibility of the application for a partner visa and help you to get out of the abusive relationship and provide you with detailed advice on your chances of success. If you would like to discuss your visa options and evaluate the pathway to permanent residency, please make an enquiry  or  book a consultation to get expert advice with one of our knowledgeable and experienced Migration Agents/Lawyers on 07 3876 4000 or email: [email protected]

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