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South Australia Small Business Owner Stream - SBO 491/190

South Australia Small Business Owner Stream - SBO 491/190

Australia Skilled Migration Program: Small Business Owner for Regional Skilled Visa 491 and Skilled Nominated Visa 190

The general skilled migration program in Australia has been the most popular program used by migrants to obtain permanent residency status.

Visas represented for this program can be named subclass 189 (skilled independent visa), subclass 190 (skilled nominated visa), and 491 (skilled regional) (the previous visa for 491 is 489 visa)

The skilled migration program attracts skilled migrants worldwide and onshore graduates and workers as its benefits that the country can bring to each family.

Not surprisingly, Australia receives thousands of applications every year under the skilled migration program, which is highly competitive.

Those who are not highly skilled in their occupation might consider the Small Business Owner (SBO) pathway to aim for permanent residency.

Queensland was the first state to launch this program, and it has been increasingly popular over the years. 

As of July 2021, four states in Australia, Queensland, Tasmania, Canberra, and South Australia, have this program officially in place.

You may not be aware that South Australia even has this stream. Very few articles talk about the small business owner skilled migration stream in South Australia.

This blog will give you full details of the South Australia small business owner stream.

Before that, watch out video for the quick overview of the Small business owner stream South Australia 491/190


The program is called “Startup and small business stream.”

This is open for skilled entrepreneurial migrants who have started or planning to start their businesses in South Australia.

Small business owner Skilled Visa 491190 stream

This stream is under The Talent and Innovators program, which provides opportunities and pathways for highly skilled migrants who can contribute to South Australia’s critical priority sectors.

South Australia has announced their eligibility guidelines on the SA Migration website.

However, they have added that the guide is just for indication; if you are close to meeting the guidelines, you can submit a registration of interest (ROI).

Book an appointment with our Immigration Lawyer for your best advice >

Eligibility for Small business owner stream 491/190 visa South Australia:

  • Your business must be established in South Australia and operating in South Australia for the last 12 months, and you must have resided in South Australia for at least the previous 24 months
  • If you are an existing SISA visa holder, you must have an established business in South Australia for the last six months and have resided in South Australia continuously during this time
  • Your business must be able to give you a personal income that would meet the minimum taxable income requirementset by the Department of Home Affairs (currently at 53,900 AUD)
  • Businesses aligning with the priority Growth State industry sectorwill be favoured. Those sectors are:
International Education
Defence Industry
Food, wine and Agribusiness
health and medical industries
Energy and Mining
Space industry
Creative industries
  • Businesses employing at least two employees other than the applicant) on an ongoing full-time basis will be prioritized
  • You must provide a business case (maximum 2 pages) with: 
  1. Evidence of thorough research into, and understanding of the relevant industry conditions in South Australia 
  2. how the business will be innovative, contribute to South Australia’s economic growth, and support South Australians' job creation.  
  3. how the applicant's previous experience and qualifications will help the applicant successfully build their business in South Australia over at least three years 
  • Self-employed applicants and subcontractors must apply through this stream. This includes applicants working for businesses in which they have some shares, partly own, or owned by their partners
  • Only the business owner can apply through this stream. Business structures can include sole trader, partnership, company, and trusts
  • Franchise businesses are ineligible for this stream. 

Important notes for Small business owners for Skilled Visa 491/190 Elgibility

*Self-employed applicants: we have met a lot of self-employed applicants who wish to go for the “currently working” stream or “SA graduate” stream. As a result of the eligibility listed above, those applicants must go through the Talent and Innovator program.

*Franchise businesses or startups: applicants who own a franchise business cannot apply for the SA Migration Program by any streams, but you can start a business from scratch or acquire the established business without the minimum requirement of the purchasing price. This makes South Australia small business stream more attractive than Queensland (The current minimum purchase price in Queensland is 100,000 AUD)

*Number of full-time employees: South Australia will PRIORITISE any business employing more than two full-time staffs and align with Growth State industry sectors. It is not compulsory to do so. In our experience, businesses that satisfy those points are likely getting 190 invitations.


Permanent Residency Pathway from Small Business Owner Stream - Skilled Visa 491 to PR 191 Visa

With small business owner in South Australia or in any state, you must meet the requirements of 191 Visa (Permanent Residency) that includes:

1) Earn a personal income of $53,900 AUD for every financial year.

There is no specific requirement as in employment that you must be working in your nominated occupation. You will be able to change job or work more than one job to reach the income threshold.

Morever, SBO Visa 491 holders can even use their business to pay for their personal income. Please be careful with the business structure mentioned above, for example, sole trader will only count your profit as your personal income.

However, a company registered business will be able to pay the income threshold level to you as director's salary even though the business is making loss.

2) Been residing in regional areas of Australia - Do you still have to hold the small business for permanent residency?

After you are granted a 491 visa, you do not have to hold that business. It all depends on you whether you would like to keep the business.

Furthermore, you can be moving anywhere in Australia as long as the new location is listed as regional area of Australia. In this case, the whole South Australia is counted as regional area. Please do not be confused with the South Australia outer regional postcodes.

3) Hold a positive skill assessment 

This is one of the basic requirement of Skilled Migration program which most applicants ignore it before establishing the business.

A positive skill assessment is compulsory for Small Business Owner Visa 491,190 nomination stream. 

You do not have to hold a skill assessment of a business occupation to open a business in different industry. South Australia Skilled Migration officer will look at the progress of your business and its profitability.


Important factors for 190 nominations for Small Business Stream South Australia

Unlike Queensland, the small business owner stream there is mostly for 491 visa applicants where business owner will likely be invited 491 nominations only, South Australia has nominated many small business owner 190 visas which is an advantage for Skilled Migrants who are looking for direct permanent residency.

How to get 190 nomination under small business owner stream in South Australia?

- Business profit: you may need to gain as much profit as possible to show your contribution to the South Australia economy

- Employed 2 full-time staffs who are Australian Permanent Residents or Australian Citizen. By doing this, you are showing that your business is growing well and can give job opportunities to Australian residents. As a small business, it is sometimes imposssible to employ 2 full-time staffs, however, in order to get 190 nomination you may need to acquire a good existing business in South Australia to apply for the stream. A brand new business will normally need more time to establish and earn a big turnover its first steps.

- It is better if you open a business in your field of expertise (your nominated occupation). This does not mean you only get 491 nominations if you open a business in different industry. But if that is a business in your area, you are more likely to growing it up and running it in the long term.

Work Visa Lawyers – South Australia Skilled Migration Program 491 and 190 - Start up and Small Business Owner stream

With the current allocations provided after the announcement of Australian Budget for Immigration 2022-2023, Skilled Migration program is the main focus for the new financial year with attributing to 70% of the allocations.

Work Visa Lawyers is a specialized Immigration law firms based in South Australia and has more than 10 years experience. Our reputable in Immigration industry has been proved by many successful clients 

If you are interested in Small Business Owner 491/190 visa stream in South Australia, book a call with us.

Work Visa Lawyers will assess whether your occupation and your current profile fits into this skilled migration program. We will then draft and collate all the necessary paperwork, submit it, and follow up on your behalf.

We are one of the best Immigration Agents and Lawyers in Australia. we are based in South Australia, and you are always welcome to book an appointment with us via phone call, Zoom/Skype or Face to face consultation.


Book an appointment with one of our experienced Immigration Lawyers and Registered Migration Agents here.

Contact us on (08) 8351 9956 or +61 8 8351 9956 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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