Please see below the responses to frequently asked questions about Queensland state skilled migration.

What is State Nomination?


State Migration Plans were introduced in Australia to allow individual states and territories to sponsor skilled migration applicants under a broad range of industries, to meet skilled shortages within the state. The state nominating body specifies which business and skilled visas state and territories can nominate applicants under, and specify the number of visas that will be granted as part of this program.

Who is BSMQ?


Business and Skilled Migration Queensland (BSMQ) is the state nominating body for the Queensland government and a business unit of Trade and Investment Queensland (TIQ). In partnership with the Department of Home Affairs, BSMQ nominates successful skilled and businesses applicants wanting to establish themselves in Queensland.

How much does it cost to apply for state nomination?


There is a fee charge for each application and the fee is non-refundable. Please refer to the BSMQ Fee Schedule for further details.

What are the conditions of Queensland Government state nomination?


Applicants nominated by the Queensland Government agree to live and work in the state of Queensland for a period of 2 years and must advise our office of their contact and employment details once settled in Queensland. For more information see How to Apply.

When does the 2-year (for the 190 visa) and 3-year (for the 491 visa) commitment to Queensland for nomination begin?


The commitment commences on the date that you arrive in Queensland to live permanently. If you already reside in Queensland, it is from the date of your visa grant.

How many points do I require?


The minimum points requirement are 65 points for the 190 and 491 visa subclasses. BSMQ will not be selecting any EOI’s from SkillSelect that score below 65.

How long do I have to submit my BSMQ required documents?


You are given 14 days to submit your required documents to BSMQ. If you are unable to provide all your documents for processing within the 14 days, you just need to contact your case officer and request an extension of time (this is done at the Case Officers discretion and there is no guarantee you will be granted an extension).

How long is skilled state nomination valid for?


State nomination is valid for 60 days. You must complete your application with the Department of Home Affairs within this period in order to be granted a visa.

How much money do I need to migrate to Queensland?


The amount of settlement funds required depends on the number of people that will be on the application form. See our Settlement Funds Guide to know how this is calculated.

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


All applicants are required to sit an English language test as part of the migration process. However, passport holders and citizens of the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, United States of America, or the Republic of Ireland do not need to unless they wish to gain further points.

Which English language tests does the Queensland Government accept other than IELTS?


The Queensland Government will accept all English language tests that may be used for a Department of Home Affairs visa application. These include IELTS, OET, TOEFL iBT, and PTE Academic and Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE). Visit the Department of Home Affairs website for language tests accepted and translation of test scores.

What is the English language requirement?


The minimum English language requirement is an outcome of ‘COMPETENT’ unless otherwise specified by assessing/licensing or registration body.

My occupation is not on the Occupation Lists (QSOL), will it be added?


Unfortunately, we are unable to advise you if and when your occupation may be added to the QSOL. Refer to our website for any updates.

Should I use a migration agent?


It is not necessary however, it is up to you whether you use an agent or not. You can find further information about Australian registered migration agents on the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) or Migration Institute of Australia (MIA) websites.

I am a PhD graduate, can I apply for state nomination?


In order to be eligible for state nomination with a PhD, applicants will need to have completed a PhD at a university in Queensland in the past 2 years, in an occupation that is listed on the Department of Home Affairs relevant list of eligible skilled occupations.

Is there a work experience requirement for applicants applying with a PhD?


No. Applicants applying under the PhD alumni pathway are not required to have any previous work experience except for the occupation of University Lecturer ANZSCO 242111 – in which applicants are required to meet the ‘Working in Queensland’ requirements of having 6 months full-time work experience immediately prior to application for the 190 visa and 3 months full-time living and work experience in regional Australia and a full-time job offer (minimum of 35 hours per week) for a minimum of 12 months in the nominated occupation.

I have a PhD from a university outside of Australia – am I eligible to apply?


Not under the alumni stream, but you can apply if you have an occupation on the ‘Offshore’ list. 

However, please check if there are any additional requirements against your nominated occupation – which may include a job offer or work experience requirements.

Can I apply for nomination before I have completed my PhD?


No, applicants may only apply once they have completed their PhD. Applicants must be able to provide a copy of their completion letter or other course completion documentation.

I am a Master’s graduate, can I apply for state nomination?


In order to be eligible for state nomination as a Masters graduate, applicants will need to have completed their Masters course at a University in Queensland in the past 2 years, in an occupation that is listed on the Masters’ QSOL and apply within 2 years of completion. Masters graduates must also be in Queensland and employed with they apply.

I have an undergraduate degree from a Queensland university, can I apply for state nomination?


Yes, but you will not be able to apply through the postgraduate alumni stream.

You will have to apply through the “I’m working in Queensland” stream.

Am I eligible to apply for state nomination for the Skilled Nominated (subclass 190) visa?


To be eligible for state nomination you must have an occupation on the relevant Queensland Skilled Occupation Lists (QSOL) and meet the occupation specific requirements stated on the list. You must also have a minimum of 2 years work experience (unless otherwise specified). If onshore, you must provide evidence that you have worked for 6 months in Queensland (full-time, minimum of 35 hours per week) immediately before submission of EOI as well as provide evidence of a job offer in the nominated or closely related occupation that is for a minimum of 12 months and 35 hours per week.

I am on a 489 or 491 visa, (or have been nominated for or applied for a 489 or 491 visa) - can I now apply for a 190 visa?


If you are a current holder of a Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489)or a Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491) you will not be eligible for nomination for the Skilled Nominated (Permanent) visa (subclass 190).

If you have been nominated for or applied for either of these visa subclasses (489 or 491) you will also not be eligible for nomination for the Skilled Nominated (Permanent) visa (subclass 190).

What are the applicable postcode areas for the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491)?


Applicable regions

Includes 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.

Does the work experience I gained prior to qualification count?


No. BSMQ only counts ‘post-qualification’ paid work experience toward the minimum work experience requirement. Work experience must be full-time, and a minimum of 35 hours per week. Applicants on a student visa are not eligible for nomination of the 491 or 190 visa where work experience is required.

Does my evidence have to be certified?


No, documents do not need to be certified for BSMQ, however they do need to be certified when lodging your visa application with the Department of Home Affairs.

Can I submit a paper application?


No, after an invitation is sent to you via email, all of your documents must be returned through our document portal as directed in the email. If you have more than one file to upload, then create the document as a multi page document and save as one file.

What happens if I do not make a payment or there is a payment error when I submit my application?


You must make payment at the time that you submit your documents in order to have your application processed. If you do not make the payment at this time, your file will not be processed until we receive payment or it could be closed if a significant period of time has elapsed. You would then have to lodge a new EOI and resubmit your required documents.

If there has been an error when you have attempted to submit payment, click the back button at the bottom and try again to enter your details. If you are still having difficulties in submitting your payment please contact our office at or call +61 7 3514 3013 between 9am and 4pm Monday to Friday (AEST). Most payment issues are because:

  • there is insufficient funds on the card.
  • the bank has stopped the payment because it is seen as a suspicious withdrawal. You will have to speak with the bank and ask them to let the fee go through.
  • you are using a Debit Card instead of a Credit Card.
Does state nomination guarantee a visa grant?


State nomination does not guarantee a visa grant from the Department of Home Affairs.

What happens if I receive an invitation to apply for the Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) from the Department of Home Affairs while I have an outstanding application for state nomination?


You are free to apply for the subclass 189 visa. However, if you do so, your application for state nomination will be declined, as we are no longer able to assess your application, because the Department of Home Affairs has locked access to your Expression of Interest in the SkillSelect database. The application fee is non-refundable.

If you still wish to pursue state nomination, you will need to:

  1. lodge a new EOI in Skillselect
  2. select only the intended visa class
  3. and select QLD as the preferred state.
I have paid the processing fee but have not received a receipt to confirm payment has been successfully paid


Once your payment has gone through, you will receive email receipt confirmation.

If you happen to have paid twice due to not realising the payment went through successfully, you will need to contact our office in order to request a refund of the second payment.

Can I apply as an offshore applicant for a 190 or 491 nomination if I am on a tourist visa?


No. If you are on a tourist visa and onshore, you can’t apply as an onshore or offshore applicant. If you want to apply as an offshore applicant you must be living and working offshore.

You cannot apply for any Queensland skilled visa (190 or 491) while on a tourist visa as you must have full-time work rights.

Can I apply for a subclass 190 or 491 visa while on a student visa?


No, if you are on a student visa you cannot apply for a subclass 190 or 491 (including those on a PHD) You need to have full-time work experience after completing 100% of your course (a minimum of 35 hours per week) for a period of 6 months for the 190 visa or 3 months for the 491 visa immediately prior to submitting your EOI (note: a longer period of work experience may be required for your occupation).

You also need to have full-time work rights to allow you to work a minimum of 35 hours per week for at least 12 months with your current employer.

Note: You cannot combine 20 hours of work experience on a student visa over 12 months or 6 months to meet the Queensland work experience requirements for the subclass 190 or 491 respectively.

I am a dependant of a student visa holder. Can I apply for a subclass 190 or 491 visa while on a student visa?


Yes, you can only if you have full-time work rights – ie a dependant of a Masters Degree or PhD student.

No, you can’t if you have part-time work rights of 20 hours a week (or 40 hours a fortnight) – ie a dependant of a Bachelor, VET, or ELICOS student.

What do I need to do to be eligible for the Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) visa (subclass 191) visa from a Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 491)?


You must:

  • hold an eligible visa (ie the subclass 491 visa).
  • have lived for at least 3 years and have a taxable income at or above a specific income threshold (currently $53,900) for at least 3 years in a designated regional area outside of Brisbane.
  • both primary and secondary applicants have complied with the conditions of the eligible visa you hold or have held (and must also live, work and study in a designated regional area).
I have already received a nomination but did not make a visa application. Can I be renominated?


BSMQ will not accept a second EOI from the same applicant for renomination within 6 months of the first nomination being issued.

After a 6 month period of the first nomination, an applicant can submit a new EOI if they continue to meet Queensland State Nomination criteria and our program is open.