Queensland’s Skilled Migration Program- 190 visa and 491 visa

Queensland's Skilled Migration Program- 190 visa and 491 visa

Queensland’s Skilled Migration Program- 190 visa and 491 visa

According to the recent announcement made by the Queensland Government, the Queensland Skilled migration program is currently open for nomination. That means if you are a professional with your occupation listed on the eligible occupation list or a graduate from Queensland, you are able to apply for permanent residency through 190 visa or pave the way to permanent residency by applying for 491 visa.

Famously known as the Sunshine State with incredible weather and amazing career opportunities, Queensland has it all. Not only are the cities listed here as the world’s most liveable , but it’s offering of a high standard of living makes this state an ideal place for work and living among many skilled migrants. If you are still uncertain, then here are a few lists of things commonly offered by Queensland, which we are certain would help you make the right choice for your life.

  • It offers equal work opportunities.
  • Safe working conditions are never up for questioning or ever compromised.
  • Did you know that according to the OECD 2019 list, it offered the world’s highest minimum wage?
  • And the list of all the places that you can vacation at with your friends and loved ones is just absolutely endless.

Skilled Visa Options

If you are considering applying for a state nomination from Queensland, you can apply for either of the visa categories, depending on your minimum requirement eligibility.

  • Skilled Nominated Permanent Visa (Subclass 190)
  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491)

The state government has a quota of 1,000 places for the Skilled Nominated Subclass 190 visa and 1,250 places for the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Subclass 491 visa. The minimum eligibility requirements for both of the visa categories are listed in the subsequent sections.

Skilled Nominated Permanent Visa (Subclass 190)

This is a permanent visa category, which is based on point-test and allows skilled migrants to live and work in Queensland permanently.

There are three streams under which one can generally apply for nominations. However, due to COVID-19, the Skilled workers living offshore stream is currently closed, and will be reviewed in December 2021.

The other streams that you can apply under are as follow:

  • Skilled workers living in Queensland
  • Graduates of a Queensland University

Eligibility

To be eligible for this nomination from Queensland, you need to meet the minimum requirement criteria set out by both the Australian Department of Home Affairs and Migration Queensland.

The eligibility requirements to apply for this visa are as follows.

  • You must have a point-test score of above  80, including the state nomination points. It’s important to note that Migration Queensland will be selecting candidates with the highest scores for each occupation. Therefore, even if you have a score above 80, there’s no certainty that you’ll be selected for state nomination.
  • For the Graduate stream, your PhD course at a Queensland university/institute needs to be 100% completed.  Note Masters or Bachelor graduates cannot apply for this visa under the graduate stream.
  • To be nominated, you need to select an occupation that’s listed on the eligible occupation list.
  • You need to undertake a positive skills assessment in your nominated occupation.
  • You are under the age of 45.
  • You also need to meet the minimum English Language proficiency requirement as set by your nominated occupation.
  • If you are providing work experience in your application, you need to show a full-time post-qualification work experience, consisting of at least 35 hours of work per week, for at least the last 6 months prior to submitting your application.
  • If you intend to use an employment contract as a part of your application, you need to sufficiently prove that you are currently employed with a Queensland employer that is registered in Queensland for at least the next 12 months. You also need to meet the minimum 35 hours per week work requirement.
  • You have to commit to living and working in Queensland for at least 2 years after the grant of the 190 visa.

Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 491)

This is also a point-tested visa, however, it’s a provisional visa that allows you to stay and work in Australia for 5 years. This visa allows you to develop a pathway to get a permanent visa later on. You can apply for this visa if you are a skilled worker, and you have an employment contract in regional Queensland. If you are successfully granted this visa, you’ll also be eligible for Medicare.

There are four streams under which you can apply for this visa. Similar to the previous visa discussed in the previous section, unfortunately due to COVID-19, the Skilled workers living offshore stream is currently closed, and will be reviewed in December 2021.

The other streams that you can still apply under are as follow

  • Skilled workers living in Queensland
  • Graduates of a Queensland university
  • Small business owners operating in regional Queensland

Eligibility

To be eligible for this nomination from Queensland, you need to meet the minimum requirement criteria set.

  • You need a point-test score of at least 65 (inclusive of the state point), before you are eligible to apply. It is also important to note that Migration Queensland will be selecting candidates with higher scores, therefore, securing a minimum score of 65 doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be chosen for nomination.
  • To be nominated, you need to select an occupation that’s listed on the eligible occupation list.
  • You need to undertake a positive skills assessment in your nominated occupation.
  • You are under the age of 45.
  • You also need to meet the minimum English Language proficiency requirement as set by your nominated occupation.
  • If you are a current Masters or Bachelor student or recent graduate from a Queensland university/ institute, you can also apply for this visa under the Graduate stream.
    • To be eligible you need to prove that your course is 100% complete, and you have a minimum GPA of 6.0.
    • For Graduate stream applicants, no job experience is required, but you need to provide a job offer for at least 20 hours per week for the upcoming 12 months.
  • If you are applying under the Skilled worker living in Queensland stream, you need to provide at least a three month full-time work experience.
    •  The work experience must show that you have been living and working in regional Queensland after the completion of your qualification.
    • Your full-time work must include a 35-hour per week work schedule.
  • If you don’t have any work experience and you are applying under the Skilled worker living in Queensland stream, you can also include an employment contract for ongoing employment in a regional area of Queensland.
    • You need to be employed with a Queensland employer that is registered in Queensland for at least the next 12 months.
    • You also need to meet the minimum 35 hours per week work requirement.
  • If you are a small business owner operating in regional Queensland, you can apply for this visa under the Small business owners in regional Queensland stream. You are required to meet the following requirements, along with the basic requirements stated above.
    • Prior to submitting your application, you need to show that you have successfully been operating your business for at least 6-months. However, if you have a start-up business you have to show that you have been successfully operating your business for a minimum of 2 years prior to applying.
    • You are currently on a valid visa that allows you to work on your business full-time, i.e. for a  minimum of 35 hours per week.
    • You need to show evidence of a purchase of an existing business in regional Queensland. It’s important to note here that any home-based businesses unfortunately don’t meet the requirements; and in the case of a purchase of a franchise, you need to be successfully operating for a minimum period of 2 years before you can apply.
    • If you happen to purchase an existing business, the minimum purchase must be of AUD 100,000. If you are running a start-up business, then along with operating for 2 years, you also need to show  a minimum turnover of AUD 200,000 in the year prior to your application.
    • You need to have 100% ownership for your business, unfortunately no partnerships or joint ventures are accepted for this visa state nomination.
    • You must have at least one employee in your business. The employee needs to be an Australian resident.
    • You also have to provide evidence of adequate settlement funds. More information on the Settlement Fund Declaration can be found here.
  • You have to commit to living and working in Queensland for at least 3 years after the grant of the 491 visa.

Once you are certain which visa category you better fit in, and have a higher chance of getting nominated for, you can prepare for the application.

How to Apply

The application procedure, although quite complex, has been designed in a few steps to help you easily apply for Queensland Skilled Migration Program.

  1. Eligibility Requirement: You must very carefully check the minimum requirements set out by both the Australian Department of Home Affairs and Migration Queensland. And have all your documents at hand.
  2. Expression of interest (EOI): You need to log in to SkillSelect and add your EOI. Your EOI must include your work experience, employment contact, qualification documents and other important information. Please take your time in this step, and make sure you are providing all the correct information.
  3. This Step is only for application under Small business owners in regional Queensland stream for 491 visa, if you are applying under other streams move onto the next steps. All the applicants in this stream, must submit the online 491- Small Business Owner Assessment form.
  4. Invitation: After you have completed the above steps that apply to you, Migration Queesland will be reviewing your EOI, and check if you meet the minimum threshold for a nomination. Again, it’s important to remember that even if you meet the minimum requirement there’s no certainty that you’ll be selected for an invitation. Usually, applicants with really high point-test scores are chosen.
    1. If you have been selected for state nomination, you will receive an email invitation to make your application and provide the documents requested from you.
    2. All the documents must be uploaded through the Document Portal link mentioned in your invitation email; due to changes in rules, documents sent via email or post will not be accepted.
  5. Documents: While you are uploading your required documents, you also need to pay a non-refundable application fee of AUD 20 (plus 20% GST) if paid within Australia, for Skilled Nomination (Permanent) visa (Subclass 190), as well as for Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 491).
    1. If you are applying for a Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 491) under the Small Business Owners Pathway, in that case, you can only apply if you are within Australia, therefore, payments are also made within Australia. In addition to that, the non-refundable fee that you must pay for the application processing is AUD 440 (plus 10% GST).
    2. The Migration Queensland will then be reviewing your documents, during this time, keep an eye on your email and mail, since they will be asking for more documents if they deem necessary.
    3. You must keep the time in mind as well, since after you have received your email invitation, you will only have 14 days to finalise your application from the date of invitation. In case you are unable to provide all the necessary documents within this time frame , then you must get in touch with Migration Queensland to seek an extension, so as your application is not closed.
  6. Visa Application: After Migration Queensland has received your application, and approved all the documents you have submitted, The Department of Home Affairs will then send you an invitation to lodge your visa application.
    1. From the day you receive this application, you’ll only have 60 days to lodge your application.
    2. If you notice that you have made an error in your application, or your circumstances have significantly changed that you no longer fit the visa category that you have been invited for, or if you have missed the lodgement date, in that case you’d have to submit a new EOI after 6 months.

As mentioned previously, this application for Queensland Skilled Migration can become very complex and overwhelming. Not only do these applications include a lot of paperwork but from the steps above it’s apparent that one needs to keep track of the timing as well, which further adds to the complexity. Moreover, as an applicant in order to understand what papers to include and which category or streams gives your application the best chance of success, you should consult with professionals who are experts in the field of migration law.

At Path Migration, we have dealt with many applications and have always had a successful application. We helped with applications from current students and recent graduates applying for Queensland Skilled Migration ; we also assisted with setting up businesses in Australia through Queensland Skilled Migration .

If you are someone who is actively looking for permanent residency in Australia and would like professional consultation regarding your personal situation then do not hesitate to contact us. At Path Migration, we have a wonderful team of immigration lawyers who are highly experienced and specializes in migration law. To book your personalised consultation please contact us or email directly to hello@pathmigration.com.

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