Business Skill Visa

There are a number of skilled work visa options available under the Australian visa program. The employer nominated/sponsored options are outlined in separate sections of our website and include:

  • TSS Visa – Temporary Skill Shortage (Subclass 482)
  • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS)
  • Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) Visa Subclass 494

Employer sponsored visas make up a significant percentage of annual visas approved, however some individuals may be better placed to pursue a more general and other skilled migration options including:

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Skilled Independent Visa Subclass 189

This visa is for individuals and their immediate family unit. Primary criteria and the points test take into account various factors including formal migration skills assessment, qualifications, employment history, English language ability and age.

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Skilled State Sponsored Visa Subclass 190

Similar to the subclass 189, this visa has primary criteria and points test with the variation of attaining an Australian State/Territory government sponsorship/nomination. Often this visa is an alternative for applicants who do not have an occupation on a Skilled Occupation List, but their occupation is on the relevant State/Territory government list. It can also be useful for applicants who may fall slightly short on the points and additional points are provided for the State/Territory Government sponsorship.

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Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa subclass 491

This visa was opened for new applications from 16 November 2019. It replaces the Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa subclass 489. This is a provisional visa providing 5 year validity. Also points tested with similar primary criteria to the above with the variation of State/Territory or close Australian family sponsorship. With the 491 visa you can live, work and study in designated regional areas of Australia only (designated regional areas are defined as any area excluding Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane – Note: Gold Coast is classified as a regional area).

To be eligible to apply for Subclass 491, applicants must be either:

Sponsored by an eligible relative: for family sponsored the family member must be an Australian Citizen or permanent resident, a close family member and be living in a postcode designated regional area. In addition family sponsored applicants must have an occupation on a Skilled Occupation List.

Sponsored/Nominated by an Australian State or Territory Government agency.
For Small Business Owners in Queensland, a new Small Business Owners (SBO) pathway was open to applications on 11 December 2019. Please note that the SBO pathway is currently only available to applicants who will be located in designated regional Queensland.

The 491 visa does not grant immediate permanent residency, however a 491 visa holder may be eligible to apply for the new Permanent Residence (Skilled Regional) Visa (subclass 191) (open to applications from 16 November 2022).
The above skilled work visa options operate under an Expression of Interest (EOI) process where individuals submit an expression to apply for the relevant visa. Twice a month the Department of Home Affairs provide invitations to apply.


Frequently Asked Questions

Noting this process, we outline the following important considerations if you are considering pursuit of general skilled work visa:

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