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I’m operating a small business in regional Queensland (491 – Small Business Owners pathway)

09/10/2020

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This stream is for migrants who are currently living and operating a small business in a regional area. Applicants must have an occupation that is on Home Affairs Instrument LIN 19/051, and a have a positive skills assessment in their nominated occupation. Applicants under this stream must have full-time work rights and not be currently studying.

Note: It is recommended you seek professional legal and financial advice before making an investment or starting a business. BSMQ takes no responsibility in the event that your business or investment is not successful. You must also have approval to purchase a business by the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) before doing so. 

Nominations are offered under the following visa subclasses:

Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491)This visa is a provisional visa that allows nominated skilled workers to work and live in REGIONAL Queensland for five years and is a pathway to permanent residency.Applicable regionsIncludes locations outside of Brisbane: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.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for Queensland nomination, you must meet both the Australian Department of Home Affairs (HA) criteria and Business and Skilled Migration Queensland (BSMQ) criteria for your chosen visa category.

The HA criteria requires you to:

  • have a points test result of 65 or higher, inclusive of state nomination points
  • have a positive skills assessment in your nominated occupation
  • be under 45 years of age
  • meet the minimum English language requirement of COMPETENT, unless a higher level is required by your assessing authority
  • submit additional documents if invited to lodge an application for a subclass 491 visa.

BSMQ criteria requires you to:

  • have an occupation on HA’s Legislative instrument (LIN 19/051)
  • have prior business experience (operating the business successfully for at least 6 months meets this criteria), qualifications to successfully run the business, or previous family-run business experience.
  • be on a visa that allows full-time work and operation of the business for a minimum of 35 hours per week
  • have purchased an existing business in regional Queensland (Note: not available for start-ups or home based businesses, franchise businesses must have been operating for at least a year prior to purchase)
  • invested a minimum of $100,000 in the business prior to submitting an EOI
  • have 100% ownership of the business (partnerships or joint ventures not eligible)
  • be trading in the business for 6 months prior to application
  • employ one (1) employee who is an Australian resident working a minimum of 20 hours per week. Please note: an Australian resident for 491-SBO purposes is an Australian permanent resident, Australian citizen or New Zealand citizen on a subclass 444 Special Category visa.
  • provide evidence of sufficient settlement funds.

Application process

Step 1: Review your eligibility criteria, visa conditions and document checklist on the HA website and the BSMQ website. Ensure you meet both the HA criteria and BSMQ criteria and have all your documentation ready before you apply.

Step 2: For Queensland State nomination, submit an EOI with SkillSelect. Please ensure all information, such as work experience, is included in your EOI. Preference will be given to applicants who select “Queensland” as their nominating state of choice over applicants who select ‘ANY’ state.

Step 3: Submit the online 491-SBO assessment form 

Step 3: BSMQ assesses all EOIs that meet the HA and BSMQ criteria. If you are successful, you will receive an email invitation to lodge an application and be requested to provide the BSMQ required documents. Documents are to be uploaded electronically, through the Document Portal link provided in your invitation email. We no longer accept attachments sent to us by email.

Step 4: When you have received your invitation:

  1. Upload required documents
  2. Pay the non-refundable application fee to BSMQ in order to finalise your application.

BSMQ will review your application and may request further information.

Please note: you will be given 14 days to finalise your application from the date of invitation. If you are unable to provide the relevant information within this time frame, you must seek an extension from BSMQ. Applications not finalised within time frames will be closed and applicants will need to submit a new EOI if they wish to re-seek Queensland nomination.

Step 5: Once your completed BSMQ application is received and approved, you will receive an invitation from the HA to lodge your visa application. You will be given 60 days to lodge your application with HA.

Note: If you realise that a mistake was made on the EOI after receiving a nomination you will have to wait 6 months before applying again.

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