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Queensland ‘s SBO pathway now open for migrants

Posted on February 18, 2020
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Queensland Immigration

Part of Queensland State Sponsorship program, the 491 Small Business Owners [SBO] pathway is now open. The pathway was announced to be open from December 11, 2019.

Queensland is a state in northeastern Australia. The second largest of the states in Australia, Queensland occupies almost 1/4th of the continent. Brisbane is the capital of Queensland.

Queensland is indeed worth exploring as a viable option if you are looking for establishing a new career in Australia, thereby starting on your journey to a better lifestyle.

Australia introduced the State Migration Plans to allow states and territories in the continent to individually sponsor general skilled migration applicants under various occupations to address the shortage of skilled labour in their local markets.

The occupations that migrants can be nominated under, as well as the total number of visas that can be allotted for each occupation, are specified in the State Migration Plans.

Business and Skilled Migration Queensland [BSMQ] is the nominating body for Queensland. BSMQ, in partnership with the Department of Home Affairs, nominates applicants that wish to establish themselves in Queensland.

Migrants nominated by BSMQ can be in occupations that are in demand for permanent residency as well as for provisional visas.

When you get a nomination by Queensland, you get:

  • Priority processing of visa
  • 5 additional points on the points test for Subclass 190
  • 15 additional points on the points test for Subclass 491
  • Similar work rights as an Australian citizen
  • Regarded as an independent migrant
  • Not tied to a particular employer in Australia

Queensland has a lot to offer to migrants. High minimum wages and safe working conditions are some of the things that hold a lot of appeal to many migrants.

Now, let us attempt a brief overview of the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) – the pathway for small business owners. The Pathway for SBO is:

  • Used for rewarding owners of small businesses in the regional areas of Queensland for encouraging ongoing regional residence, investing in the local business community, and providing employment opportunities for the local population.
  • Points-tested provisional visa.
  • 65 points needed on SkillSelect.
  • Additional 15 points for nomination can be used for overall score.
  • Must be in Queensland on a visa allowing full-time work and operation of the business for at least 35 hours per week.
  • Pathway to Australian permanent residency.
  • Occupation to be on Migration [LIN 19/051: Specification of Occupations and Assessing Authorities] Instrument 2019
  • 5-year visa that allows applicants to live and work – for a minimum of 3 years – in regional Queensland.
  • Expression of Interest [EOI] to be submitted to BSMQ
  • Choose Queensland as preferred State on EOI.
  • EOIs with ‘Any’ as preferred state option are not selected by BSMQ.
  • Online 491-SBO Assessment form is to be submitted to BSMQ.
  • Skills assessment in your nominated occupation is required.
  • English test results required for the purposes of points calculation.
  • You cannot apply “offshore”, that is, from outside Queensland.
  • Only available to onshore applicants that are in Queensland at the time of applying for the pathway.
  • Must have been living in regional Queensland for a minimum of 6 months before lodging EOI.
  • Start-up businesses not eligible.
  • Must be an existing business.
  • No limitation on the kind of business that can be operated.
  • Must have purchased the business for at least $100,000.
  • Business need not be related to the nominated occupation. But the applicant will have to prove relevant business experience or other qualification to demonstrate the ability to run the business.
  • Must employ a minimum of 1 Australian resident. Cannot be a family member of the applicant.
  • The applicant must be the one running the business, with 100% ownership in the business.
  • No joint venture or partnership.
  • The business must be entirely in the name of the applicant.
  • Processing time: 10 days from the receipt of the completed application which includes the submission of documents as well as the successful payment of the application fee.
  • Funds invested in the business can come from offshore, provided the applicant has – purchased the business, and has been running it for 6 months prior to submitting EOI.


Do keep in mind that you can operate your business only in certain regional areas in Queensland. These are the areas that correspond to the postal codes of – 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.

It is highly recommended that you seek professional guidance and financial advice before you start a business or make any investment towards the Small Business Owners Category under Queensland State Sponsorship.

Remember that BSMQ is not liable if your investment or business is not successful.

As the investment is considerable and the rules a bit tricky, professional expertise can make the difference between your being granted a state nomination by Queensland or your application being rejected outright.

Y-Axis offers a wide range of visa and immigration services as well as products to the aspiring overseas immigrants including Resume Writing Services and Overseas Placement.

If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to Australia, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.

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