QLD State Migration (Subclass 190 or 491)

This article will discuss the eligibility requirements and process of applying for QLD State Migration. You would apply for QLD State Migration when you are applying for the State Nominated Visa (Subclass 190) or Skilled Regional Visa (Subclass 491).

This article will discuss recent trends, why is it so popular, the eligibility requirements and the selection process.


What is QLD State Migration

You apply for QLD State Migration when you are applying for the Skilled (or State) Nominated – Subclass 190 visa or the Skilled Regional – Subclass 491.  These are both in the general skilled migration visa stream and do not require you to have an employer to sponsor your visa.

Each state or territory has its own specific list of occupations. This is separate from the Immigration national lists (STSOL or MLTSSL). The occupations on this list have been identified by the QLD as in need in that state. Please refer directly to the QLD State Migration Website



Applying for State Migration is one of the first steps to applying for the general skilled migration visa – Subclass 190 or Subclass 491. You need to meet these standards visa requirements:

  • Under the age of 45
  • Have a positive skills assessment
  • English test requirement


You will also need to meet the specific QLD Nomination Requirements:

  • Your occupation must be on the QLD Occupation List. QLD has 3 different occupation lists: Offshore and Onshore 491 and 190, they also have a Post Grad student list
  • If you are living and working in QLD:
    • You must have worked in QLD for 6 months for 190 or 3 months for the 491
    • You must also have an employer willing to provide you with ongoing employment for 12 months. (They are not your sponsor), they just need to say that they are willing to sponsor you into the future.
    • For offshore, Generally speaking, for most occupations, QLD does not need you to have a job offer or be currently based in QLD
  • For offshore applicants, the list is different again:
    • You must have at least 2 years post qualification work
  • Generally speaking, I believe immigration would always prefer to hire from onshore who is working in QLD. As it shows they can find work in QLD and can assimilate easily and contribute to the Queensland economy.
  • For all visas, you must commit to living and working in QLD for 2 years from the visa grant for 190 or 3 years for 491.
  • You must have received at least 65 points on the points test
  • Certain other occupations may also have individual requirements (you can check on the Occupation List website.)


What is the Process

  1. Pass a Full Skill Assessment in your nominated occupation (Ensure your occupation is on the QLD State Occupation List).
  2. Lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) through the immigration Skill Select website. On the EOI you will need to select QLD as the state that you will be willing to work in. On the EOI, it will ask you if you are willing to live and work in a regional area – if you choose yes to this you are willing to apply for a 491 visa.
  3. You must then wait to receive an invitation from QLD Migration to apply for State Migration. (There is no set timeframe to expect an invitation after submitting an EOI. There is no waiting list or queue of candidates to be invited. Invitations are not guaranteed and the number of candidates who have submitted EOIs far outweighs the number of places available in our program
  4. Once you receive an invitation via email, you will have 14 days to provide QLD Migration the requested documentation. The documentation required would include evidence of skills assessment, work experience, qualifications, evidence you can support yourself in Aus, English ability, commitment statements
  5. If nominated, you will receive an invitation to apply for the 190 or 491 visa from Immigration. This invitation is valid for 60 days



How does QLD Migration select the Applicants:

If your occupation is on the QLD list and you meet the requirements, it doesn’t guarantee you will receive an invitation.  This is a competitive process and there is no set waiting list to apply for QLD nomination, but rather a pool of candidates that is constantly changing.

QLD generally selects the highest-ranking candidates who meet the QLD nomination criteria in each specific occupation. They may not necessarily select the applicants with the highest points.


QLD Migration will consider such factors as:

  • Points Score
  • English language ability
  • Skilled employment


However, QLD will also give weight to factors such as

  • Is the occupation on QLD Priority Skilled Occupation List?
  • What is the demand for the specific occupation in QLD?
  • What other applicants have applied for QLD Migration and what points do they have?
  • Do you have a genuine commitment to living and working in the state?


For the Skilled Independent Visa (Subclass 189), immigration generally selects the applicant with the highest points (regardless of occupation). So 80% or more of the applicants who receive an invitation for the skilled independent visa are engineers, accountants or computing professionals (as these are often the professions with the highest points)

However, QLD Migration focuses specifically on what the demand for the state is for the occupations. QLD would like a variety of different occupations, so quite often applicants with lower scores will receive an invitation. For example, we recently had a chef offered QLD State Nomination with only 50 points + 15 points for QLD Regional Nomination. Whereas, an engineer might not receive an invitation with 80 points.


Recent Trends

Recently we have noticed that QLD 190 migration nomination is becoming increasingly more difficult to obtain. The 190 nominations are frequently closed. We expect it to open again in July 2020. However, QLD is still providing the nomination for applicants applying for 491 ONSHORE applicants.

When applying for state nomination, there is never a certainty. There is never a guarantee you will receive an invitation. PTA has processed applications where we receive an invitation in a few weeks. Other times where it takes months or we don’t receive an invitation at all.


If you have any questions about QLD State Nomination, feel free to contact Pathway to Aus:

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