South African Residents Emigrate to Queensland – How to Migrate to Australia?


At the end of June 2019, 193,860 South African-born people were living in Australia, 28.6 per cent more than the number (150,690) at 30 June 2009. This makes the South African-born population the seventh largest migrant community in Australia, equivalent to 2.6 per cent of Australia’s overseas-born population and 0.8 per cent of Australia’s total population.

For Australia’s South African-born migrants:

  • Their median age of 43.8 years was 6.4 years above that of the general population.
  • Females outnumbered males—50.3 per cent compared with 49.7 per cent.1

1 Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Migration Australia


Why Brisbane?

The influx of migrants is helping to fuel Queensland’s economy, which is expected to grow by 3.25 per cent this financial year, up from the 2.75 per cent predicted in last June’s budget.

The Queensland Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s policy and advocacy general manager, Amanda Rohan, said the new interstate migrants were also heading to regional areas, not just the heavily populated south-east corner, spreading the economic benefits.

Source: AFR


Queensland’s house prices have increased by about 25 per cent in the past year, but are still cheaper than in Sydney and Melbourne. The surge in property prices is expected to continue through to the Brisbane 2032 Olympics.


Brisbane will be hosting the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games making it the largest event ever staged in Queensland.

As Queensland’s global business agency, Trade and Investment Queensland will lead the 2032 international trade and investment program, which will showcase Queensland’s investment and export opportunities to the world.

As a state that embraces sport wholeheartedly and thrives on overcoming challenges with world-class solutions, we’re ready to welcome you to the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

KPMG forecasts that the Brisbane 2032 Games will generate:

  • $8.1 billion total benefits for Queensland and $17.61 billion total benefits for Australia 91,600 Queensland full-time equivalent job years and 122,900 nationally an uplift in international tourism and trade worth an estimated $4.6 billion for Queensland and $8.5 billion nationally
  • social benefits of up to $3.5 billion 


How to Migrate to Australia – Top Visa options

Permanent migration

Australia’s permanent Migration Program incorporates economic and family migration and is the main pathway to permanent residence. It includes the Skill stream, Family stream and Special Eligibility visas. The only other way to obtain permanent residence is on humanitarian grounds.

Skill stream visas

The Skill stream is designed for workers who have the skills, qualifications and entrepreneurship most needed in the Australian economy. There are seven components:

  1. ​​​Business Innovation and Investment

  2. Distinguished Talent

  3. Employer Sponsored

  4. Global Talent (Independent)

  5. Regional

  6. Skilled Independent

  7. State/Territory Nominated.

Family and Child stream visas

The Family stream allows the permanent migration of close family members, of Australian citizens, permanent residents, and eligible New Zealand citizens. It focuses on partners and parents, but also provides the opportunity for additional family members, such as aged dependent relatives, carers, remaining relatives and orphan relatives, to join their family in Australia.

Child visas allow the permanent migration of children, of Australian citizens, permanent residents, and eligible New Zealand citizens. The Child visa comprises two categories, namely Child and Adoption visas.

Special Eligibility visas

Special Eligibility visas allow former residents and certain people who served in the Australian Defence Force to live in Australia as permanent residents.

The following table shows the size of permanent migration from South Africa by migration category.

Table 1: Permanent migrant places granted, 2016–17 to 2019–20
Migration category 2016–17 2017–18 2018–19 2019–20
Business Innovation and Investment 77 41 76 65
Employer Sponsored 1,346 1,346 1,518 1,145
​Skilled Regional 1 ​40 ​36 ​11 ​n/a
​Skilled Independent ​1,828 ​1,312 ​852 ​236
​State/Territory Nominated 757 ​903 ​925 ​​758
​Regional 2 ​n/a ​n/a ​n/a ​945
​Global Talent (Independent) 3​ ​n/a ​n/a ​n/a ​111
Partner 339 370 271 327
​All other categories ​202 ​227 ​208 ​​156
Total places granted 4,589 4,235 3,861 3,743

Source: Department of Home Affairs

1 The Skilled Regional category closed to new applications from 1 July 2019.

2 The Regional migration category commenced 1 July 2019.

3 Global Talent (Independent) category commenced 4 November 2019.


Temporary migration

People can come to Australia for a temporary stay for a range of purposes, for example, visiting Australia for tourism or attending a conference, or for more specific purposes, such as medical treatment, study, skilled work, working holidays or other specialist activities. There are six main categories of temporary residents, which can cover stays of more than three months in Australia.

Visitor visas

Visitor visas are mostly used by people visiting Australia for holidays, tourism and recreation, or to see family and friends. People may also use Visitor visas for certain short-term business activities that do not entail working in Australia.

Working Holiday Maker Program

The Working Holiday Maker Program allows young adults to have an extended holiday and engage in short-term work and study.

Student visa

The Student visa program enables international students to come to Australia to study full-time in a registered course.

Temporary Resident (Skilled Employment) visa

Allows a business to sponsor a skilled overseas worker if they cannot find an appropriately skilled Australian citizen or permanent resident to fill a skilled position.

Other temporary visas

Other temporary visas include visas that allow people to undertake short-term, non-ongoing highly specialised work, enrich social and cultural development, strengthen international relations or provide training opportunities of benefit to Australia.


Business Innovation and Investment Program

The Queensland Government nominates entrepreneurs, business owners and investors under the Business Innovation and Investment Program.

Being nominated under this program brings you one step closer to securing your Australian visa and making your Australian immigration a reality. We strive for efficient processing of all paperwork, with decisions generally available in weeks (rather than months) from time of invitation.


Australian Skilled Program – various pathways

Skilled visas are also available to highly skilled migrants with strong English to fill critical skill shortages across the state of Queensland.


Business visa options

Queensland welcomes migrants for business and investment. With a range of business visa options available, Queensland offers a range of business advantages – including a stable economy, supportive government, and a solid growth forecast. Queensland’s low operating costs, highly skilled workforce, strong and diverse industries, and strategic Asia–Pacific location create an attractive investment destination.


State-nominated business visa options

If you want to migrate to Queensland on a business visa, you must first obtain a state nomination. State migration is managed by the Queensland Government, through Migration Queensland.

A state-nominated visa allows you to run a business or invest in Queensland. The following visa types are available:


Migration Queensland has been busy processing applications over this period.The Migration Queensland skilled program is still open, and it is a great opportunity for those working onshore in Queensland to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI), as QLD is open to the entire legislative instrument for state nomination, which includes 504 occupations.


491 – Small Business Owners pathway

The 491 – Small Business Owners pathway is currently open.

You must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) before submitting a 491 – Small Business Owners Assessment Form.


Your purchased pre-existing business must:

  • have been in operation for 2 years, instead of 1 year, and
  • have had a minimum purchase price of $100,000, rather than total investment in the business.

Commission agents or leasing agents of franchises (such as petrol stations), and home-based businesses (such as courier and cleaning businesses) will not be considered.

Businesses purchased before 1 April 2021 are not subject to these requirements. However, you must have a valid contract for the business before this date, ie the business must have settled.


New criteria

Those that have started a business and have continuously run that business for a minimum of 2 years can now apply for the 491-SBO visa stream. The business must be generating a profit and have a turnover of $200,000 in the 12 months prior to application.


Need help with visa application?


Email: [email protected]

Tel:  +61 (07) 3876 4000



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].



Commonwealth of Australia;

Department of Home affairs


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