UPDATE – The below visas are changing from 1st July, 2021. Please contact us to discuss your options, and how you may be eligible for the new business & investor program.
Business skills program – temporary residency visas
The business migration program provides opportunities for successful business owners, entrepreneurs, investors and high net wealth individuals to obtain temporary and permanent residents status in Australia.
Applicants will need to prove their business background and net business and personal assets. To obtain their visa they will need to either start up or buy into an Australian business or make an investment in an approved investment fund or state/territory bond. They may also find an approved venture capital partner to establish a business.
General Visa Criteria
To be eligible for a business skills visa certain requirements need to be met. This includes criteria such as:
- Age (under 55 – unless exceptional circumstances apply)
- Years of business ownership or investment experience
- Applicants turnover in the previous 4 fiscal years – at least $500,000 AUD for 2 of these years
- Evidence of any innovative business skills – e.g. trademarks, patents
- Net personal & business assets – at least $800,000 AUD
- Applicants intended business or investment activities in Australia
- State/territory that the applicant intends to establish business or investment activities
- Meeting health and character requirements.
Depending on the points that applicants can claim against the above criteria, they may be eligible to apply for a Business Innovation and Investment (subclass 188) visa. There are various Subclass 188 visa streams – detailed below – that applicants may be able to apply under.
Temporary residency v Permanent Residency
Most business visa applicants initially apply for a temporary residency visa. This will enable them, if they meet the follow on criteria, to apply for a permanent residents visa.
Some applicants however will be eligible for a permanent residency, without needing to obtain a temporary residents visa initially.
Business Innovation and Investment (subclass 188) visa
The Subclass 188 visa is a temporary residents visa. There are five streams that can be applied for:
1. Business Innovation Stream – For applicants that want to establish or manage a new or existing business in Australia.
2. Investor Stream – For applicants that can make a designated investment of AUD $1.5 million in an Australian State or Territory bond for 4 years and maintain business and investment activity in Australia.
3. Significant Investor Stream – For applicants that are able to invest AUD $5 million into complying investments for at least 4 years and maintain business and investment activity in Australia.
4. Premium Investor stream – For applicants who are willing to invest at least AUD $15 million into complying premium investments in Australia and want to maintain business and investment activity in Australia. Applicants must be nominated by Austrade on behalf of the Australian government.
5. Entrepreneur stream – For applicants who have a funding agreement from a third party for at least AUD $200,000 to undertake a complying entrepreneur activity that is proposed to lead to either the commercialisation of a product or service in Australia or the development of a business in Australia. Applicants must be nominated by a state or territory government.
Permanent residency visas
The pathway to permanent residency is usually through the Subclass 188 visa, and then onto the the Subclass 888 – Business Innovation and Investment visa.
Alternately business owners or investors may be eligible for permanent residency, bypassing temporary residency, through the Subclass 132 Business Talent visa streams.
Further details about these can be found here.
The business skills visas require significant planning, and can require detailed financial planning as well as market research information about your intentions in Australia. There can also be specific requirements, depending upon which state or territory the applicant intends to establish their business or investment activity.
Banks, Accountants, Lawyers, Financial Advisers, approved fund managers ….
In order to meet these visa requirements consultation with banks, accountants, commercial lawyers, financial advisers, fund mangers and other professional service providers may be required.
We have affiliations with companies and advisers that can support the visa applications well to provide ongoing assistance upon arrival in Australia.
Want to know more?
For some thoughts on Doing Business in Australia and the Top 5 tips on where to start please read our Blog .
Are you eligible?
If you want to know more about the visas, and whether you are eligible please Contact Us for an assessment.
Freephone: 0800 772 0570
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