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Australia’s General Skilled Migration Program (Skill Stream, also referred to as the Points Tested Skilled Migration Program) is constantly evolving and changes to the way in which the program operates are designed to support economic development in Australia, meet Australia’s labour market needs and enhance future competitiveness and prosperity.

Applications for some Skilled visas can only be lodged through SkillSelect, for example:

The Department of Home Affairs allows the different States and Territories to nominate applicants for Subclass 190 and Subclass 491.

Before the State/Territory Nomination process can commence, applicants must meet the Department’s criteria including:

  • be under the age of 45 at the time of invitation
  • have a nominated occupation on the relevant list of eligible skilled occupations
  • have a valid and positive skills assessment for your nominated occupation
  • have at least 65 points on the Department of Home Affairs points test
Each State and Territory set out their own nomination criteria depending on their labour market needs. Some States also have dedicated program streams for candidates who wish to use their business and entrepreneur skills to apply for State sponsorship.

This is known as the Small Business Owner (SBO) pathway.

SBO Pathway

There are currently three States offering SBO pathways: Queensland, Tasmania and Canberra.


Queensland offers an SBO pathway under the Visa Subclass 491. Some of the key requirements include:

  • applicants must have full-time work rights and must not be currently studying​.
  • applicants must purchase an existing business in regional Queensland, for a minimum of $100,000​.
  • the business purchased must have existed for a minimum of 2 years prior to purchase.
  • applicants must operate the business for a minimum of 6 months after settlement (100% paid)​.
  • applicants must employ at least 1 person that is not a family member and is either a permanent resident, Australian or New Zealand citizen (444) visa.

Applicants who have started their own business

  • must have operated the business for a minimum of 2 years before applying​.
  • must be generating a profit.
  • must have a minimum turnover of $200,000.
Learn more


Tasmania offers an SBO pathway under the Visa Subclass 491. Some of the key requirements include:

  • applicants must operate the business for a minimum of 6 months (solely owned).
  • the business must be able to generate a personal income that would meet the minimum taxable income requirement for the subclass 191 Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (AU$53,900 per year for at least 3 years in the next 5 years).
  • applicants must show their understanding of the responsibilities and requirements around treating employees fairly by completing key units on the Fair Work Ombudsman’s online learning centre (see the Document Checklist – Category 5 Small Business Owner information).
  • applicants must provide a comprehensive business plan.
Learn more


The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) offers an SBO pathway under the Visa Subclass 190 AND Visa Subclass 491. Some of the key requirements include:

  • the applicant must be the majority owner of an eligible registered business located in the ACT and must be claiming Matrix points in the Small Business Owner category.
  • the applicant’s nominated occupation does not have to be on the ACT Critical Skills List.
  • ACT 491 nomination: applicants must be working in Canberra for at least three months.
  • ACT 190 nomination: applicants must be working in Canberra for at least six months.
  • applicants MUST sign a statutory declaration confirming the details of their ACT Small Business activity.
Learn more
Note that State Nomination programs open and close periodically and SBO pathways are also subject to nomination allocations (quotas) being met.
Noemi Gonzalez MARN 1911128

Noemi Gonzalez

Director & Registered Migration Agent MARN 1911128

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About Anzscosearch

Who we are?

We are Registered Migration Agents providing honest and transparent advice in relation to Australia’s visa program.

What is Anzscosearch (the tool)?

It is a search engine based on the ANZSCO catalogue that combines all federal and State/Territory skilled occupation lists in one single place.

We also provide useful information for Australia’s visa program.

Is the information provided accurate?

Anzscosearch data draws on information directly provided by third-party official websites and is thus as accurate as of the information on those websites.

Anzscosearch validation and verification processes ensure that all data published is as complete, accurate and reliable as possible.

We have been doing this since 2014.

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