UPDATE – The visas detailed below changed on 1st July, 2021. If you were invited to apply for a visa, or submitted a visa prior to this date, then the criteria will be different. Please contact us to discuss any queries. 

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.

Temporary residency (Subclass 188) & Permanent Residency (Subclass 888) visas

From 1st July, 2021 all business visa applicants will initially be required to apply for a 5 year temporary residency visa – Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (Subclass 188).  There are four streams. 

For business owners, investors and entrepreneurs  to continue their activity in Australia they can apply for a permanent residency visa – Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa  (Subclass 888).  

Business Innovation and Investment (subclass 188) visa 

The Subclass 188 visa is a temporary residents visa. There are four streams that can be applied for:

1. Business Innovation stream

2. Business Investor stream 

3. Significant Investor stream

4. Entrepreneur stream

Subclass 188 visas – 4 streams 

– Business Innovation stream   

For holders that want to operate a new or existing business in Australia. The criteria includes:

  • Be nominated by a state/territory 
  • For 2 out of 4 fiscal years immediately before you receive an invitation to apply, you must have had an ownership stake in 1 or 2 businesses that had at least 750,000 AUD turnover
  • Personal & business assets of AUD $1,250,000 
  • Meet the points test
  • Be under 55 – unless you will be of exceptional economic benefit
  • Have functional english 

– Business Investor stream

This provisional visa requires the holder to invest at least $2.5m AUD in Australian investments that meet certain requirements and maintain business or investment activity in Australia.  The criteria includes:

  • Be nominated by a state/territory 
  • Have managed a qualifying business or investment to the value of at least $1.5M AUD.
  • Have assets of $2.5m AUD
  • To invest $2,500,000 AUD in complying investments. At least:
    • $ 500,000 AUD in venture capital and growth private equity funds which invest in start-ups and small private companies
    • $750,000 AUD in approved managed funds. The managed funds must invest in emerging companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange
    • balancing investment’ of at least $1.25m AUD in managed funds
  • Meet the points test
  • Be under 55 – unless you will be of exceptional economic benefit
  • Have functional English  

– Significant Investor stream 

This provisional visa is for holders who invest at least $5,000,000 AUD in eligible Australian investments and maintain investment activity in Australia. 

  • be nominated by a state/territory or Austrade 
  • that are able to invest AUD $5 million into complying investments for at least 4 years and maintain business and investment activity in Australia for the life of the provisional visa. It must be invested as below. 
    • at least $1,000,000 AUD in venture capital and growth private equity funds which invest in start-ups and small private companies
    • at least $1,500,000 AUD in approved managed funds. The managed funds must invest in emerging companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange
    • a ‘balancing investment’ of at least $2,500,000 million in managed funds

The managed funds can invest in a range of assets, including companies listed on the Australian stock exchange, Australian corporate bonds or notes, annuities and commercial real estate. Direct investment in residential real estate is prohibited. Indirect investment in residential property through managed funds is strictly limited.

– Entrepreneur stream 

This provisional visa allows people to cary our entrepreneurial activity in Australia.  The criteria includes: 

  • Be nominated by a state/territory agency 
  • Be under 55 –  unless you will be of exceptional economic benefit
  • Have a complying entrepreneur activity.  You must be undertaking, or proposing to undertake, a complying entrepreneur activity in Australia. You must have a genuine intention to continue this activity. A complying entrepreneur activity* must relate to an innovative idea that will lead to:
    • the commercialisation of a product or service in Australia, or
    • the development of an enterprise or business in Australia 
  • Have functional English  

* This activity must not relate to any of the following categories: residential real estate, labour hire or purchase of an existing enterprise or a franchise in Australia

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.

Further details about these can be found here.

Support Services

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
Email: mark@cargilmigration.com
Contact Us: Please send your general enquiry using the button below.

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