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Queensland’s Skilled Migration Program for 2021-22 is now open to graduates of Queensland universities, skilled workers and small business owners. The Department of Home Affairs has provided Queensland with 2,250 visa places.

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Queensland migration quotas

Migration Queenslandexternal icon is currently accepting Expressions of Interest from onshore applicants in Queensland only. Applications from skilled workers living offshore are closed currently but this will be reviewed at the end of 2021.

The Australian government has allocated Queensland a total quota of 2,250 places for 2021-22:

  • 1,000 places for the Skilled Nominated Subclass 190 visa

  • 1,250 places for the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Subclass 491 visa

Furthermore, for the Skilled Migration Program, Queensland will only accept “decision-ready” applications. If an application is not complete or contains out-of-date documents, these applications will not be considered.

There’s no guarantee that you will be selected for the state nomination due to the high demand, competitive nature and the limited nomination quota of the Queensland skilled nomination program. Speak to your migration agentexternal icon to explore alternative migration options.

When quotas have been filled for specific occupations, Migration Queensland will notify applicants of this on their websiteexternal icon.

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Queensland’s Skilled Migration Visas

Queensland’s skilled visa nomination allows applicants who are already living and working in Queensland to remain in the state and help drive its economic growth. The state also provides visa nominations to highly skilled professionals, who are currently employed and living in Queensland for the following skilled visas:

Both visa types are points-based. As a part of the application process, candidates need to meet both the Home Affairs criteria and Migration Queensland criteria for their chosen visa, submit an Expression of Interest (EOI)external icon with SkillSelectexternal icon and lodge a visa application once they receive an invitation from the Department of Home Affairs.

Learn more about Australia’s points system for migration

What is the English Language Requirement?

At a minimum, you are required to evidence a Competent level of English for your nomination application. That’s for both the Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) and Skilled Work Regional (subclass 491).

However, if you hold a passport and are citizens of the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, the United States of America, or the Republic of Ireland, then you don’t need to provide English language test results. If this exemption applies to you, you must provide a copy of the bio page of your passport.

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Is an English language test required as part of the visa nomination application?

Yes, you must provide a copy of your English language test when you apply.

The Government accepts all English language tests which are deemed eligible by the Department of Home Affairsexternal icon. IELTS is trusted by the Department of Home Affairs.

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Your visa options 

If you like the opportunity to live, study or work in Australia, there are many visa options available to you. There is a study visa, skilled, sponsored work visa and business visa. Some of these may lead to Permanent Residency (PR) in Australia.

Your IELTS options 

The IELTS Academic test has been developed if you wish to study at university or college as an undergraduate or postgraduate student or if you want to join or gain entry into a professional institution. The IELTS General Training test has been developed to test your every-day, non-academic English.

Graduates of a Queensland university

This pathway is for high performing graduates, who have graduated from a Queensland university with a Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree or PhD, and are currently onshore in Queensland.

Graduates may apply for a subclass 491 visa only (unless you are a Queensland PhD graduate). If you would like to apply for a subclass 190 visa you must meet the “Skilled Workers Living in Queensland”external icon criteria.

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Only onshore applicants working in Queensland will be considered. To be eligible for the visa pathway, you need to:

PhD Graduates (190 and 491)

  • Have an occupation on the list of eligible skilled occupations on this list LIN 19/051external icon 

  • Complete 100% of your course in Queensland and have a decision on a thesis or graduated in the last 2 years

  • No job required

Masters and Bachelor Graduates (491 only)

  • Have an occupation on the list of eligible skilled occupations on this list LIN 19/051external icon 

  • Studied at a Queensland university/institute

  • Completed 100% of your course

  • GPA 6.0 or higher

  • Have Proficient English or higher 

  • Have a minimum of 3 months’ work experience of at least 20 hours per week (after graduation) in the nominated or closely related occupation

  • Job offer for a minimum of 20 hours per week for 12 months

Explore courses to study and stay in Australiaexternal icon

Get migration advice

If you meet Queensland state nomination requirements, you will be invited by Migration Queensland to lodge further documentation.

If you do not meet the requirements you will not receive an invitation and will need to speak with an Australian Registered Migration Agent or immigration lawyer about other possible visa pathways.

Get Migration Adviceexternal icon

Skilled workers living in Queensland

Skilled workers living in Queensland can apply for Skilled Nominated (Permanent) visa (subclass 190) and Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491).

You may undertake employment through:

  • work for one or more employers,

  • work at two part-time jobs, or

  • work in your own business as an owner or operator.

You must live and work within one of the following postcodes to be eligible for the 491 Regional visa: 4124–4125, 4133, 4183–4184, 4207–4275, 4280–4287, 4306–4498, 4507, 4517–4519, 4550–4575, 4580–4895.

To be eligible for a Queensland nomination, you must meet both the Australian Department of Home Affairs criteria and Migration Queensland criteria for your chosen visa category.

Home Affairs criteria:

  • 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;

Migration Queensland criteria:

  • have a points-test result of 80 or higher for Subclass 190, and 65 or higher for Subclass 491;

  • have an occupation on Home Affairs’ relevant list of eligible skilled occupations (LIN 19/051external icon);

  • have Proficient English;

  • EOI for a 190 visa: provide evidence of post-qualification employment in Queensland;

  • EOI for a 491 visa: provide evidence that you have been living in regional Queensland and undertaking full-time post-qualification employment;

  • provide evidence of ongoing employment with a Queensland employer;

  • commit to living and working in Queensland for 2 years for a 190 visa and 3 years for the 491 from visa grant.

Please note: Businesses must have an office in Queensland. A virtual office will not be accepted.

Quotas for specific occupations with a high level of applications

Occupation groupingOccupationsVisa Quota
FinanceAccountant (General), Finance Manager, Management Accountant50 each (150 in total)
EngineersCivil Engineer, Mechanical Engineer, Electrical Engineer, Engineering Technologist50 each (200 in total)
ICTSoftware Engineer, Developer Programmer, ICT Business Analyst, Software & Application Programmers NEC50 each (200 in total)
Quantity SurveyorQuantity Surveyor30 each (30 in total)
NursesAged Care, Critical Care & Emergency, NEC nurses50 each (150 in total)
TradesMotor Mechanic, Cook30 each (60 in total)

Caveats for Selected Occupations

For Accountants (General), preference will be given to applicants employed in an accounting firm. They must be a CPA or are studying towards becoming a CPA. For Internal and External Auditors, they must have a job as an Auditor (not an Accountant). Finally, for Cooks and Chefs: they should not be employed in the takeaway or fast-food businesses.

Small business owners in regional Queensland

This pathway is for migrants who are currently living and operating a small business in a regional area. You must have an occupation that is on the list of eligible skilled occupationsLIN 19/051external icon and have a positive skills assessment. Additionally, you must also have full-time work rights and not currently be studying. And finally, Migration Queensland offers nominations under the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491).

Learn more about this visa pathway for small business ownersexternal icon.

Immigration and the law

Legislation about immigration changes frequently. It’s important to check the Australian Department of Home Affairsexternal icon website for changes that may apply to you. If you are interested in Australian student visas, work visas, or looking to migrate permanently, you need to lodge an application with the Australian Government. You may want to consider getting support from a lawyer or migration agent. However, you can also get free adviceexternal icon for student visas.