Frequently asked questions
Frequently asked questions about the 491 visa – Small Business Owners pathway
Other frequently asked questions
No. The person applying must be the one operating the business.
Migration Queensland’s processing time is currently around 4–6 weeks from receipt of a completed application and processing fee. It may take longer in peak processing season, depending on the number of applications in the queue. We are unable to answer any enquiries regarding an applicants’ place in the queue as it takes resources away from the processing of applications, and extends processing times further.
No. This pathway is available to onshore applicants only.
No. You must have 100% ownership of the business, which must be entirely in your name.
Yes you can. Start-up businesses are now eligible for the 491-SBO (Pathway 2).
To meet requirements you need to have continuously run your business for a minimum of two years. In addition to this, the business must be generating a profit and have a turnover of $200,000 in the 12 months prior to application.
You need to have an occupation on the Department of Home Affairs LIN 19/051 (not a specific Queensland Skilled Occupation List).
You must operate your business within any of these post codes: 4019–4022, 4025, 4037, 4074, 4076–4078, 4124–4125, 4133, 4183–4184, 4207–4275, 4280–4287, 4300–4301, 4303–4498, 4500–4512, 4514–4519, 4521, 4550–4575, 4580–4895.
Yes. You can use the extra 15 points from state/territory nomination towards your overall points.
No. Your business does not need to be related to your nominated occupation, but you still must be able to show you have operated the business for a minimum of 6 months, after 100% settlement of the purchase price, prior to submitting an EOI.
There are some. The business cannot be a home-based business (this includes virtual businesses). All businesses must have been operating for 2 years prior to purchase. For franchises, an applicant must be a direct franchisee (ie cannot sub-lease from an existing franchisee).
For Pathway 1 (Business purchase): Yes, you must employ a minimum of one Australian employee, who must be an Australian resident. This resident must be working at least 20 hours a week and they cannot be a family member or a subcontractor.
You are able to use up to two employees to meet this requirement, ie both doing 10 hours a week.
Note: An “Australian resident” in this situation is an Australian permanent resident, Australian citizen, or a New Zealand citizen residing in Australia on a Special Category visa.
For Pathway 2 (Start-ups): No, under this pathway you do not need to employ anyone in your business.
No. Funds can come from overseas, as long as you have purchased a business and you have been running it for a minimum of 6 months before applying. You may be required to operate the buisiness for longer than 6 months depending on how many EOI’s we have in the queue.
You will need to provide their payslips, and evidence to show they are an Australian Permanent Resident or an Australian or New Zealand citizen.
The business must be a pre-existing business in a regional area and this also includes franchises. The franchise must have been operating for at least two years prior to purchase under the 491-SBO pathway. For franchises, an applicant must be a direct franchisee (ie cannot sub-lease from an existing franchisee).
Make sure that you contact the Master Franchisor prior to purchasing the franchise, as some franchise business will not sell to temporary visa holders. If you purchase without contacting the Master franchise holder and gaining permission to do so, you may lose the business, and you will also be unable to be nominated under the 491-SBO pathway.
- No vendor financing
- No company share transfer (must have a contract of business sale)
- Applicants cannot purchase a business from a family member
- Applicants cannot relocate or sell a business before receiving approval from MQ
- Applicants cannot purchase a business previously owned by a 491-SBO applicant
- Commission agents or leasing agents of franchises (such as petrol stations), and home-based businesses (including those with virtual offices) will not be considered
- Applicants must operate their business for at least 3 years in a regional area (may be subject to monitoring).
Please note: Applicants for the 491 Small Business Owner (SBO) pathway with Migration Queensland must sign a declaration under (item 7(b) to: ‘operate a business and reside in Queensland for at least three years from visa grant’. Should an applicant choose to sell their SBO business prior to this time, Migration Queensland has the option to withdraw the nomination of the 491 visa to allow the applicant to explore other visa options.
Applicants need to be aware of this condition prior to committing to this visa pathway.