Do you want to be a part of Queensland’s robust business environment and a promising lifestyle? Regional Queensland is all set to welcome highly skilled small business owners via its Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) pathway to promote economic development of regional Australia. Through this program, Queensland encourages small businesses to migrate there, and cut-off unnecessary pressure from big cities caused by heavy migration.
The visa stream is primarily meant for individuals who are currently living and operating a business in a regional Australia. Candidates who are interested in migration must choose an occupation that features on Home Affairs Instrument LIN 19/051, and must have a positive skills assessment in their nominated occupation. Visas granted under Subclass 491 will allow business owners to live and work in Queensland for up to five years, which can be later converted into a permanent residency.
Who is Eligible under Subclass 491- Small Business Owner (SBO)?
To be eligible, you must:
- nominate an occupation that features on HA’s Legislative instrument (LIN 19/051)
- provide evidence of prior business experience or necessary qualifications to successfully operate a business in Queensland.
- have a point-test result of 65 through Skill Select or higher inclusive of state nomination points
- have a suitable skills assessment for the nominated occupation
- Must have been living and working in a regional area for a minimum 35 hours per week in the last six months prior to lodging an EOI.
- have acquired a business in regional Queensland.
- be able to invest a minimum of $100,000 for the business
- showcase genuine intentions to live and work in Queensland for 2 years from visa grant.
- You need to have 100% ownership in the business. (this does not include partnerships or joint ventures)
- be trading in the business for 6 months prior to application
- give employment to at least one Australian citizen or permanent resident for at least 20 hours per week.
- must have sufficient funds to settle down
What is the Application Process for Subclass 491- Small Business Owner (SBO)?
Please follow the below-mentioned steps while submitting the application for Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491):
Step 1# to start with you must evaluate your eligibility, conditions for visa and supporting documents on the Department of Home Affairs website. It’s important to meet both HA criteria as well as BSMQ criteria, and prepare all necessary documents before apply.
Step 2# Lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect. While doing so make sure the information you enter into EOI is correct and complete. Preference will be given to applicants who select Queensland as their nominating state of choice.
Step 3# Submit a 491-SBO assessment form online. Please note that only those applications will be invited which meet both HA criteria and BSMQ criteria. Eligible candidates will receive an email to further apply for the program, and be request to submit necessary documents in favor of their application.
Step 4# Once you receive an invitation to apply (ITA), upload all relevant documents and pay the BSMQ non-refundable application fee to complete the process.
After this, BSMQ will take some days to review your application and contact you for further information.
All applicants must note that they must finalize the application within 14 days of receiving an ITA. Those who fail to do so, must request for an extension from BSMQ. Applicants who fail to do both, need to create to new EOL and re-seek their nomination from Queensland.
Step 5: If your BSMQ application is approved, you will receive an invitation from HA to further file an official application for the visa within 60 days.
What is the Processing Time?
The immigration department will take approximately 10 days to review your application from the actual date of receipt. Applicants must note that they must submit a complete application, which also includes processing fee.