Business Migration Process

Small Business Visa

Small Business Visa

Queensland (QLD) state nominations are managed by Business and Skilled Migration Queensland (BSMQ), a division of Trade and Investment Queensland. BSMQ has announced that a Small Business Owners (SBO) pathway, that is part of the new regional visas, is open as of 11 December 2019. The SBO option is available to onshore applicants that have been living and operating a business in regional Queensland area for at least 6 months prior to their application. Small business owners under this stream must have full-time work rights in Australia and cannot be studying. In 2019-2020 program year the number of SBO places will be limited to 500 visas only.
Queensland Small Business Visa


SBO Pathway Application
  • Meet all eligibility criteria for the Skilled Work Regional visa
  • Receive a free assessment of your eligibility by completing an assessment form
  • Lodge an Expression of Interest and select Queensland as nominating state
  • Submit the online 491-SBO assessment form
  • If invited to apply for QLD nomination provide additional documents within 14 days
  • Pay a non-refundable application fee for BSMQ SBO pathway
If SBO application is approved, an applicant will receive a SkillSelect invitation and will be given 60 days to lodge a visa application.

SBO Pathway Documents
  • Application form
  • Personal bank statement
  • Positive skills assessment
  • QLD commitment statement
  • Settlement funds declaration form
  • Evidence of business management
  • Evidence of academic qualifications
  • Business purchase contract of sale
  • Business ownership/registration documents
  • Evidence of Australian resident employee
  • Business activity statements (BAS) for the past 6 months
  • Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) records
  • Utility bills/lease agreement for the past 6 months
  • Evidence of salary and weekly working hours


All applicants must meet eligibility criteria applicable to a Skilled Work Regional (SWR) visa.

SWR Visa Criteria
  • Meet the points test pass mark requirement including points for regional nomination
  • Meet health and character requirements and be under 45 years of age

In addition, the primary applicant must meet BSMQ requirements for SBO pathway.

SBO Pathway Criteria
  • Have prior business experience or qualifications to successfully run the business
  • Have purchased an existing business in regional Australia for a minimum of AUD $100,000
  • Have 100% ownership of the business
  • Have been operating a business for a minimum of 6 months after the purchase
  • Have employed at least one Australian resident that is working a minimum 20 hours per week
  • Have sufficient funds for business and family settlement

Both the business and the applicant must be located in regional Queensland but not necessarily in the same area. Eligible postcodes include: 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.

Permanent Residency

Queensland SBO pathway is part of the skilled migration program and is designed to:

  • Promote job creation and economic development in regional areas
  • Encourage migrants to stay in and integrate into local regional communities
The SBO option will be used to reward small business owners that invest in regional Queensland business and provide employment for local residents. It is a point-tested provisional 5 year visa that has a pathway to an Australian permanent residency (PR). To be eligible for PR applicants must live and work in a regional area for a minimum of 3 years. However, in case of SBO pathway the employment requirement will be fulfilled by owning and operating a business.


The current processing times for SBO nomination is approximately 10 days from the receipt of a completed application and a payment of fee.

Follow the Yellow Pattern Road for a free visa assessment

Follow the Yellow Pattern Road for a free visa assessment