Queensland is looking for skilled migrants in occupations that have been identified as being in shortage in the labour market in Queensland. That is good news for those who are seeking a future living in Australia. 

There are a number of visas that will allow you to work in Queensland, and to name a few common ones:

  • Skilled Independent visa (Subclass 189)
  • Skilled Nominated visa (Subclass 190)
  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 491)*
  • Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (Subclass 482)
  • Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS) visa (Subclass 186) Direct Entry Stream
  • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 494)*

*The Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 491) replaced the Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) effective 16 November 2019. The Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 494)* replaced the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa (Subclass 187) Direct Entry Stream. 

Certain options such as the Skilled Independent 189 visa and the TSS 482 visa are based on requirements that are not state specific, being that the Skilled Independent 189 visa allows its visa holder to reside anywhere in Australia and the TSS 482 visa is based on the sponsor and applicant relationship. As such we will focus on two specific visas for Queensland. 

  • Skilled Nominated visa (Subclass 190)
  • Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 491)


Skilled Nominated visa (Subclass 190)

This visa is points tested, like the Skilled Independent 189 visa, however with state sponsorship, the applicant is given an additional 5 points. Whilst this visa comes with an obligation to stay in the state that sponsors you for 2 years, there are benefits to this visa being that it comes with an occupation list that is specific to that state, which means that you may be able to access occupations that are not on the Skilled Independent 189 list. 

To review which visas are available to you based on your occupation, we have an incredible compilation of all the occupation lists that shows you the visas that you may be eligible for as well as their assessing authorities (if relevant) and some other conditions that may apply to you.

Read: The AILS Complete Occupation List Guide


Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (Subclass 491)

This new visa takes over the previous Skilled Regional 489 visa. This visa allows skilled workers to live in regional Queensland for 5 years and has a pathway to permanent residency. Regional Queensland includes the following postcodes:

  • 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

Fun fact: The Skilled Regional 491 visa, despite being a provisional visa, gives its holder access to medicare

The Skilled Regional 491 visa leads to permanent residency if you meet the following requirements:

  • Hold an eligible Skilled Regional 491 visa
  • Have lived for at least 3 years in Queensland and have a taxable income at or above a specific income threshold (currently $53,900) in regional Queensland
  • Have complied with the conditions of the eligible visa you hold or have held 


State sponsorship with Queensland

Queensland has different requirements based on whether you are working in Queensland or outside of Australia, and offers a special streamlined pathway for those who have taken a postgraduate degree course in a university in Queensland. 

As certain requirements are more similar based on whether you are in Queensland or not, as opposed to which visa you are applying for, we will cover this 3 part article in the following manner:

You will need to apply to Business and Skilled Migration Queensland (BSMQ) for state sponsorship. If you application is approved, you will then need to apply for your Skilled Nomination 190 visa with the Department of Home Affairs (DOHA). Criteria from both BSMQ and the DOHA must be met for your application to be successful.

DOHA requirements:

  • At least 65 points on the points test
  • Positive skills assessment for your nominated occupation
  • Under the age of 45 years at the time of being invited to apply
  • Have a minimum of competent in English language proficiency

Read: English Tests

Did you know that the GSM points test has only very recently changed? Don’t worry! The changes have been in increase in points on certain items and new ways of earning points! We’ve covered this and created an all new points test for your easy calculations.

Read: Major Changes from November Affecting the Skilled Migration Visas

Read: New AILS GSM Points Test


Working in Queensland

Are you currently living and working in Queensland in your skilled occupation or one that is closely related? If your occupation is on Queensland’s occupation list, you may be eligible for sponsorship by the state. Please note that you will not be eligible if you have received a nomination for, have applied for, or are a current holder of a Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) or the Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489) visa you will not be eligible for nomination for the Skilled Nominated (Permanent) visa (subclass 190). This includes those who have received their 491 or 489 visa from interstate.

  • Have an occupation on the Working in Queensland – Queensland Skilled Occupation List (QSOL) 
  • Skilled Nominated 190 visa: 
    • Full time post qualification employment, and
    • In your nominated occupation, and
    • At least 35 hours per week, and
    • In the last 6 months in Queensland before the time of submission of an expression of interest (EOI), and
    • Provide evidence of ongoing employment with a Queensland employer registered in Australia for the 12 months in the future, and
    • Accept to live and work in Queensland for at least 2 years if the Skilled Nominated 190 visa is granted
  • Skilled Regional 491 visa: 
    • Living and working, and
    • Full time post qualification employment, and
    • In regional Queensland, and
    • In your nominated occupation, and
    • At least 35 hours per week (can work for more than one employer or as a business owner), and
    • In the last 3 months in Queensland before the time of submission of an expression of interest (EOI)
    • Provide evidence of ongoing employment with a Queensland employer registered in Australia and is in regional Queensland for the 12 months in the future
    • Accept to live and work in Queensland for at least 3 years if the Skilled Regional 491 visa is granted

You will notice that the above requirements all include post qualification work experience and ongoing employment. Being onshore is not sufficient. Those on tourist visas will not be eligible. It also means that students in Queensland are not eligible for the visas covered in this article, but if taking a postgraduate degree, may be eligible. Look out for Part 3, soon to follow!


Commitment to Queensland

The 2 year (Skilled Nominated 190 visa) or 3 year period (Skilled Regional 491 visa) commences from the date that your visa is granted. After you have completed your obligatory stay, you may wish to move to another state in Australia.


Occupation list

You can find the QSOL through the official BSMQ site below. There are 363 occupations on the list for onshore applicants for the Skilled Nominated 190 and Skilled Regional 491 visas combined. Be aware that certain occupations have additional requirements, such as needing to meet 70 points instead of 65 points, or requiring the minimum of a specified number of years of post qualification work experience, or registration with a Queensland authority.

Find: QSOL – Onshore applicants

The following occupations were removed from the QSOL lists effective 11 November:

  • Onshore and Offshore – IT
    • ICT Business Analyst ANZSCO 261111
    • Systems Analyst ANZSCO 261112
    • Developer Programmer ANZSCO 261312
    • Software Engineer ANZSCO 261313
    • Software and Applications Programmers nec ANZSCO 261399
    • ICT Security Specialist ANZSCO 262112
    • Computer Network and Systems Engineer ANZSCO 263111
    • Analyst Programmer ANZSCO 261311
  • Onshore – Accounting
    • Accountant (General) ANZSCO 221111
    • Management Accountant ANZSCO 221112
    • Taxation Accountant ANZSCO 221113
    • External Auditor ANZSCO 221213
    • Internal Auditor ANZSCO 221214

Labour hire employment

If you are employed through a Labour Hire company please make sure that they are registered in Queensland.  All labour hire providers operating in Queensland need to be licensed under the new Labour Hire Licencing Act 2017 including, those based interstate or overseas who supply workers in Queensland.

All existing labour hire companies operating in Queensland had until 15 June 2018 to comply with new registration requirements. Evidence that companies comply with these registration requirements will be required.


Settlement funds

All applicants are required to complete a Settlement Funds Declaration Form to demonstrate their financial capacity. The amount of cash funds specified on your form should match your supporting bank statements (see documentation below).

The required settlement funds are dependent on if you are an onshore applicant or offshore applicant as well.

Onshore applicants need to show that they have at least $5,000 in cash and $5,000 in ‘other funds’. Other assets refers to assets held overseas. It does not include assets such as furniture or clothing, and property in Australia such as a house or car, cannot be included. The required settlement funds for additional dependents will increase with the number of dependents in the application.



You will need to submit your EOI through SkillSelect. Preference will be given to those who select a state (or in this case, Queensland) over selecting ‘Any State’. If you are successful, you will receive an invitation to lodge an application to BMSQ to submit your documentations for state sponsorship. You have 14 days from the date of invitation to lodge your application with BSMQ. Should BSMQ then choose to endorse your state sponsorship, you will be notified and will need to lodge your application for the Skilled Nominated 190 visa with the DOHA within 60 days. 

The application fee is currently $20 (before GST) for both the Skilled Nomination 190 visa and the Skilled Regional 491 visa.



There are a number of items in the following lists that are documents that BSMQ sends this should you be invited to apply. Again, this checklist varies based on if you are onshore, offshore, or under the postgraduate stream. For applicants in Queensland:

  • State nomination application form
  • Settlement fund declaration form 
  • Bank statement
  • Skills assessment
  • Onshore commitment statement
  • Evidence of ongoing job
  • Current payslips (last 2 issued)
  • Evidence of licensing or registration (if applicable)
  • Statement of service / employment reference (to show you meet work experience requirements)
  • Proof of residency
  • Evidence labour hire company is registered in Queensland (if applicable)

Are you interested in applying to Queensland for state sponsorship? Speak to us here at Australian Immigration Law Services. Let us help you prepare for the visa application in a painless manner and get that family member here with you in Australia as soon as possible. Call +61 2 8054 2537, 0434 890 199 or book online today to speak to our migration specialists.

Jee Eun Han