The Australian Business Visa Program provides opportunities for successful business owners, investors and senior executives to settle in Australia with their family while developing new or existing opportunities in the Australian business market.
There is a new Business visa program available that started from 1 July 2012 through the SkillSelect program. These are the current available pathways for people interested in obtaining a business visa in Australia:
- Provisional visas – for business people to establish a business in Australia, manage an existing business or invest in Australia. Provisional visas can later offer a pathway to permanent residence.
- Permanent residence visas – for holders of a provisional visa who have established the required level of business in Australia. A direct permanent residence visa, without the need of a provisional visa is also available for high-calibre business people.
- Business visits – Business visitor visas are for business people looking to visit Australia for business purposes, such as attending a training session or conference, conducting business with an Australian based organisation, conducting business negotiations or for an exploratory business visit. Acting, musical performances or commercial film making are not regarded as business activities. To travel to Australia for any business purpose for up to three months at a time and as many times as you require in one year, you may apply for a travel visa, such as an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) Visa.
Business migrants who wish to obtain permanent residency must undergo a 2 stage visa progression. Applicants must first be granted a Business Skills (Provisional) Visa for 4 years and, after establishing the required level of business or maintaining their investment, they will be eligible to make an application for a Business Skills (Residence) Visa.
The second pathway is known as Business Talent Visa and it leads to direct permanent residence but is only open to high-calibre business migrants that are sponsored by a State/Territory Australian government.
Provisional business skills visas
Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) (subclass 188) visa
This visa has two streams.
- The Business Innovation stream – for people who want to own and manage a new or existing business in Australia.
- The Investor stream – for people who want to make an investment in an Australian state or territory and want to maintain business and investment activity in Australia after the original investment has matured.
To be eligible to apply for either stream, an applicant must fulfil certain requirements.
Applications are by invitation only. To be invited lodge an application, a person must first lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) with the SkillSelect system and be nominated by a state or territory government. The main requirements are:
- Be less than 55 years of age.
- Have a successful business or investment history.
- Have the required personal and business assets.
- Score at least 65 points on the innovation points test.
Innovation test points are awarded for:
- English language ability.
- Experience in business or investments.
- Net personal and business assets.
- Business turnover.
There are other requirements that mainly depend on whether you apply for the Business Innovation stream or the Investor stream.
You can find more details on SkillSelect dedicated page.
Permanent business skill visas
Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) (subclass 888) visa
This is a permanent visa with two streams:
- Business Innovation stream – designed for people who own and manage a business in Australia
- Investor stream – designed for people who have a designated investment in an Australian state or territory and want to maintain business or investment activity in Australia after the original investment has matured.
To be eligible to apply for the Permanent Business Visa an applicant must meet the following requirements:
- Already hold a provisional Business Innovation and Investment visa.
- Have met the requirements of that visa (including the specific requirements for the stream in which they first applied).
- Are nominated by a state or territory.
You can find the full set of requirements on the SkillSelect dedicated page.
Business Talent (Permanent) (subclass 132) visa
The Business Talent Permanent Visa has also two streams.
- The Significant Business History stream is for affluent owners or part owners of a business who want to have a major management role in a new or existing business in Australia.
- The Venture Capital Entrepreneur stream is for business people who have obtained at least AUD $1.000.000 ($1 Million) in funding from an Australian venture capital firm.
Applications are by invitation only.
To be invited to apply, you must first lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI), be nominated by a state or territory government, and
- Have personal and business assets of AUD $1.5 million (AUD $400 000 must be net assets in the business), and have a business turnover of AUD $3 million, or
- Have obtained at least AUD $1 million in funding from an Australian venture capital firm for a promising high value business idea.
The additional requirements that you must meet depend on whether you are interested in the Significant Business History stream or the Venture Capital Entrepreneur stream. They are available here.