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Skilled workers queuing up to apply for Queensland's migration program

Queensland's skilled migration program has been opened up for onshore applicants. Source: Getty Images/Alexander W Helin

Queensland has opened its migration program for onshore skilled applicants. Migration Queensland, the state government’s agency responsible for business and skilled visas, says significant interest from applicants may affect processing times.

Last month, the state invited applicants to submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) for Subclass 190 Skilled Nominated visa and Subclass 491 Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa.

A spokesperson from the state’s Department of Employment, Small Business and Training told SBS Hindi, “The response to the opening of the Queensland Migration Program for skilled workers has been very positive, with over 3,000 expressions of interest (EOI) received from onshore migrants.”


  • Queensland Migration Program for skilled workers has received over 3,000 expressions of interest so far 
  • Processing times may be affected due to significant interest in the state's migration program 
  • There are over 500 occupations on the list to apply under for the skilled workers

“As there is a significant interest in the Queensland state nomination program, processing times may be extended,” the spokesperson added.

For 2020-21, there are just over 500 occupations on the list to apply under for skilled workers, the spokesperson said.

“As there are so many occupations available in this financial year, there will be a diverse range of occupations invited to be considered for state nomination. It is too early in the processing phase to determine any one occupation being the most in the demand,” the spokesperson said.

Currently, the program is open to onshore applicants only but the department has confirmed that the program would be reviewed next month to decide on further opening it to offshore applicants.

“The option to open the program to offshore applicants is dependent on the occupation allocation availability and COVID-19 border restrictions impacting temporary visa applicants. This program will be reviewed in December 2021 by the Queensland Government migration policy arm, with a decision to be made in early 2022,” the spokesperson said.

Pavneet Singh Thind, an onshore applicant, submitted his EOI on the very first day of the program being opened by the state.

Pavneet Singh Thind, an onshore skilled visa applicant, based in Gold Coast.
Supplied by Pavneet Singh Thind

He told SBS Hindi it was stressful to know that the processing times will be extended.

“Even though I’m hopeful, there is an ambiguity about if I will be invited,” he said, adding he was concerned about the program remaining open even after the state has received a significant number of applications.

“Why are they not closing the program if they have received applications well over and above the required numbers?” he asked.

For 2021–22, the program will remain open until the nomination allocation (quota) is filled and there is a quota of 1,000 places for the Skilled Nominated Subclass 190 visa and 1,250 places for the Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) Subclass 491 visa.

While announcing the opening of the program, the state said it will only accept “decision-ready” applications.

Migration Queensland website said, “If an application is not complete or contains out-of-date documents, these applications will not be considered.”

“Due to the high demand, competitive nature, and the limited nomination quota of the Queensland skilled migration program, there is no guarantee you will be selected for state nomination, and you need to consider your alternative migration options.”

“When quotas have been filled for specific occupations, we will notify applicants of this on our website.”

Queensland was the last state in the country to open its migration program for the current financial year.

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