If you are a successful business owner or can demonstrate a history of successful investment activity, you may be eligible for a visa to migrate to Australia. There are two types of business visas that are available to business owners and investors:

  1. business innovation and investment visa; and
  2. business talent visa.

Each of these visas can grant you the right to stay in Australia either temporarily or permanently. They also allow you to establish a business or conduct investments within Australia. This article will explain the legal requirements for acquiring an Australian visa as a business owner.

The Business Innovation and Investment Visa

If you are a skilled business owner, you might wish to establish, develop and manage a business in Australia. When selecting the right visa, the provisional business innovation and investment visa (subclass 188) may be best for you. It allows you to migrate to Australia and conduct business activity for four years and three months.

There are five streams under this visa. The requirements for the three most common streams are discussed below.

1. The Business Innovation Stream

The business innovation stream requires you to prove that you are providing valuable input to the Australian economy. You must be a substantial owner in an Australian business and participate, at a senior level, in the day-to-day management and decision making of that business. For instance, you must do at least one of the following in the business:

  • develop business links with international markets;
  • create or maintain employment in Australia;
  • export Australian goods;
  • produce goods or services that would otherwise be imported;
  • introduce new or improved technology; or
  • add to commercial activity and competitiveness within the Australian economy.

This stream allows you to migrate to Australia for four years and three months. Under certain circumstances, you might be eligible to apply for an extension of the visa under this stream for another two years.

2. The Investor Stream

The investor stream is appropriate if you are a highly experienced business owner or investor who is prepared to make an investment of AUD $1.5 million in Australia. You must also:

  • score at least 65 on the points test;
  • have at least three years’ experience of direct involvement in managing one or more qualifying types of businesses; and
  • have net assets, or combined net assets with your partner, of at least AUD $2.25 million.

3. Significant Investor Stream

This stream is ideal if you have at least AUD $5 million that you are willing to invest in complying investment funds.

You must invest at least AUD $500,000 (10% of your total investment) in venture capital funds or growth private equity funds that invest in startups and small private companies. Furthermore, you must invest at least AUD $1.5 million (30% of your total investment) in eligible managed funds or Listed Investment Companies that invest in emerging companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

What Will The Business Innovation and Investment Visa Allow You to Do?

Once obtained, any of these three streams will allow you to travel in and out of Australia for the period of your visa. This period is four years and three months. You may also be able to bring your family with you.

Upon the expiry of this visa, you will also be eligible to apply for the permanent business innovation and investment visa (subclass 888). Under this visa, you will become a permanent resident of Australia.

The Business Talent Visa

The business talent (permanent) visa (subclass 132) is an alternative visa that will allow you to establish a new or develop an existing business in Australia. Unlike the business innovation and investment visa, which requires you first to obtain a provisional visa and then convert to a permanent visa after four years, this visa grants you permanent residency rights in Australia straight away.

There are two streams under this visa.

1. The Significant Business History Stream

The significant business history stream is appropriate if you are a high calibre business owner wanting to do business in Australia. To be eligible for this stream, you need to have:

  • net business and personal assets of at least AUD $1.5 million;
  • personal or combined (with your partner) net assets of at least AUD $400,000 in one or more businesses; and
  • an annual business turnover of AUD $3 million in one or more of your main businesses.

2. The Venture Capital Entrepreneur Stream

The venture capital entrepreneur stream will be appropriate for you if you have obtained at least AUD $1 million of venture capital funding from a member of the Australian Venture Capital Association Limited (AVCAL) for your business. You need to be a substantial owner of the business and must be involved in its day-to-day management. Furthermore, the government must be satisfied that you have sufficient assets to allow you to settle in Australia.

What Will the Business Talent Visa Allow You to Do?

Once you have obtained this visa, it allows you and any nominated member of your family to stay in Australia indefinitely. As a permanent resident of Australia, you will also be able to enrol in Australia’s scheme for health care called Medicare. You might also qualify for other special benefits from Centrelink. You can also sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residency and may be eligible to apply for citizenship.

How Can I Apply?

Generally, to apply for the two visas, you will need to:

  1. submit an expression of interest through the Department of Home Affairs SkillSelect online service;
  2. be nominated by an Australian state or territory government; and
  3. be invited to apply for the visa.

You will also need to meet certain health requirements and the additional requirements for the stream in which you apply for each visa.

Key Takeaways

If you are a business owner, there are certain pathways for you to move to Australia permanently and conduct business here. Under the business innovation and investment visa, you will need to first apply for a provisional visa that is valid for up to four years. Then, you can convert to a permanent visa. The business talent visa, on the other hand, grants you permanent residency rights in Australia straight away. If you are a business owner and need assistance with obtaining an Australian visa, contact LegalVision’s immigration lawyers on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page.

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a tech-driven, full-service commercial law firm that uses technology to deliver a faster, better quality and more cost-effective client experience.
Natasha Bahari

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