Are you looking at applying for a visa to Australia? Did you know that there are business visa options available for people who are seeking to establish and manage, invest in a business, or innovate a product or service to commercialise in Australia? There are both provisional and permanent residence business visa options available, including pathways for you to settle in Australia indefinitely.
To be eligible, you need to be granted sponsorship approval by a State or Territory Government.
What Business Visas Are Available?
There are currently two business visa subclass options available, comprising of nine visa streams in total. Note there will be changes from 1 July 2021 (as discussed below).
Subclass 188 Business Innovation And Investment (Provisional) Visa
The first is the Subclass 188 Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (BIIP), comprising the following visa streams:
Business Innovation Stream
This stream is designed for applicants who possess business skills, and enables them to operate a new or existing business in Australia. The visa term is 4 years and 3 months.
Business Innovation Extension Stream
Subclass 188 Business Innovation stream visa holders may be eligible to extend their stay in Australia for an additional 2 years. An additional 2 year extension period is also available to Subclass 188 Business Innovation extension stream visa holders in certain circumstances.
Applicants must invest at least $1.5 million in an Australian State or Territory, and maintain business or investment activity in Australia. The visa term is 4 years and 3 months.
Significant Investor Stream
Applicants must invest at least $5 million in complying significant investments in Australia (that meet certain requirements) and maintain investment activity in Australia. The visa term is 4 years and 3 months.
Significant Investor Extension Stream
Subclass 188 Significant Investor stream visa holders may be eligible to extend their stay in Australia for an extra 4 years. An additional 2 year extension period is available to Subclass 188 Significant Investor extension stream visa holders in certain circumstances.
Premium Investor Stream
For applicants who are nominated by Austrade and who invest at least $15 million in Australian investments and/or philanthropic contributions that meet certain requirements. The visa term is 4 years and 3 months.
This 188 visa stream is aimed for applicants who seek to undertake entrepreneurial activities in Australia. A funding agreement with a third party to carry out entrepreneurial activities is required. The visa term is 4 years and 3 months.
Expression Of Interest
A common feature of the above visa streams (except for the extension streams) is the requirement that applicants must first submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) with the Department of Home Affairs (the Department). Only upon receipt of an invitation can you then proceed to apply for the visa itself.
Note also that age limits may apply.
Permanent Residence Pathway For Subclass 188 Visa Holders
The visa 188 also provides a pathway to permanent residence via the Subclass 888 Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa once you have held the temporary visa for between 1-4 years (depending on the visa stream), provided specified requirements are met.
Subclass 132 Business Talent (Permanent) Visa
Another business visa option available is the Subclass 132 Business Talent visa, which provides automatic permanent residence in Australia (unlike the BIIP visa discussed above, which is provisional, meaning it may lead the the grant of a permanent visa if certain requirements are met).
The subclass 132 visa enables you to establish a new, or to develop an existing business, in Australia.
To qualify, you need to be nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency, and receive an invitation to apply for the visa (as with the subclass 188 visa discussed above). You also need to have the required funding or assets to meet eligibility requirements.
The Business Talent visa consists of the following two visa streams:
Significant Business History Stream
This visa stream enables experienced business owners to operate a new or existing business in Australia.
To qualify, you must demonstrate:
- a net value of at least $1.5 million;
- an annual business turnover of a minimum $3 million for at least 2 of the last 4 years before you are invited to apply for the visa; and
- total net assets of at least $400,000 as the ownership interest in one or more qualifying businesses, for least 2 of the last 4 years before you are invited to apply for the visa.
Venture Capital Entrepreneur Stream
This stream is aimed for applicants who have sourced venture capital funding from a member of the Australian Investment Council (AIC). You must have at least $1 million in funding from an Australian venture capital firm.
Important Changes From 1 July 2021
Please be aware that the Government has announced changes to the Business visa program, which will come into effect from 1 July 2021.
The program will be simplified, with a reduction in the number of visa streams from the existing nine, to four streams. There will also be changes to the eligibility requirements.
Effective from 1 July 2021, the following four visa streams will be available:
- Business Innovation;
- Investor; and
- Significant Investor.
Each provisional visa will have a five-year term. They will also each provide a pathway to permanent residency after three years.
As a result of these changes, the following visa streams will cease from 1 July 2021:
- Premium Investor;
- Significant Business History; and
- Venture Capital Entrepreneur.
Business Innovation and Significant Investor visa holders will continue to have the option to extend their provisional visa if they meet specified requirements;
Eligibility requirements for the Business Innovation visa stream will also change, with minimum business assets required to be held increasing to $1.25 million, and the annual turnover threshold increasing to $750,000; and
Entrepreneur visa stream applicants will no longer need to meet the $200,000 funding threshold. Applicants will require endorsement by a State or Territory government.
Get More Information About The Business Visa
See our article providing a Comprehensive Guide to a Business Investment Visa for a detailed outline of the Business visa options available.
We Can Help You To Obtain A Business Visa
The team of professional registered migration agents at PAX Migration Australia have a wealth of experience in migration law, and the skills and qualifications to advise potential applicants on their eligibility for a business visa, and strategies to help you to achieve your goals for business migration, whether that be a temporary stay, or permanent residence in Australia. Whatever your objectives are, PAX Migration Australia are there to guide you through the process, to carefully explain the requirements and assess your eligibility, so as to ensure that you have a full understanding of what is involved, so that you can make an informed choice on how to proceed. And, if you decide, PAX Migration Australia can take the process out of your hands, and prepare the application on your behalf. With our help, you can rest assured that you are receiving the best advice from experts in migration law, who have extensive experience in assisting people like yourself to achieve your migration goals.
Real-Life Case Study
We have helped our clients over the years to successfully obtain a business visa to Australia. Here is how we helped our client Franco to obtain a Subclass 188b visa. With this example, you will be able to see how we guided Franco to achieve a successful outcome, by carefully analysing his situation, considering the options available and whether he meets the relevant requirements, and advised him on how best to proceed. In the end and with our help, Franco achieved his migration goals, by successfully obtaining a business visa to Australia.
Franco was a successful business person. He had accumulated over $5m in net worth operating various businesses and investments in Europe. He was a good candidate for business migration, but not without some interesting hurdles along the way. Franco had operated three different types of businesses in the last ten years. They were a restaurant, residential property developments and a commercial property development. The question was, which business visa did Franco fit into?
Subclass 132 Visa
At first, we looked at the subclass 132 visa, which grants immediate permanent residence in Australia. This visa is granted to people who have had success operating businesses with turnover of greater than $3m. Did Franco meet this criterion?
His restaurant business did not reach $3m per year.
The residential developments reached $5m in sales value, but across more than one financial year.
The commercial property development had only partly been sold, while most of the commercial property was actually leased and operated as a commercial property management company. That business might reach $3m in turnover, but there was a risk. The risk was that most of the revenue was obtained through the leasing of commercial property. The problem with this was that revenue from rent of real property must be excluded from turnover calculations for the purposes of meeting the revenue test for a business visa.
Franco therefore did not qualify for a Subclass 132 visa.
Subclass 188 Visa
Subclass 188a Business Innovation stream
Next, we proceeded to look at the Subclass 188a visa criteria. These requirements are much more lenient than for the subclass 132 visa. But there is a trade-off in that the subclass 188 visa is a provisional visa, not a permanent visa. This meant that if Franco obtained a subclass 188 visa, he could later qualify for permanent residence if he met certain requirements.
We started off by examining the subclass 188a visa Business Innovation stream requirements.
The 188a visa requires the applicant to have managed a business with turnover of at least $500,000 in two of the last four years.
The problem for Franco again, was that real property rentals must be excluded from the calculation of turnover.
After careful analysis, with the rental income excluded, there was insufficient revenue to meet this requirement. We worked with Franco’s accountants to see if there was any opportunity to classify turnover to meet the criteria, but concluded that it was too risky.
Thankfully, there was a good alternative option.
Subclass 188b Investor stream
The subclass 188b visa allows a person to obtain a provisional visa (leading to a permanent visa), if they can show that they have at least $2.25m in net assets in the last two years, and are willing to invest $1.5m into State Government bonds for at least four years.
In order to demonstrate net assets, Franco also needed to show where the assets came from. This involved working closely with his accountants to ensure all records were congruent, that is, financial statements, tax returns, bank statements and valuations were consistent.
Based on this thorough analysis, we concluded that Franco met the requirements to qualify for a subclass 188b visa.
What Happened Next?
After a thorough process of gathering the right financial documentation, we lodged a state nomination application, and then the visa application shortly thereafter.
The visa was granted within a few months and the applicant is now on his way to permanent residency.
An Important Note
As a result of the changes to the business visa program as announced by the Government (discussed above), although Franco would still have qualified for a subclass 188b visa under these new rules if he were to apply from 1 July 2021, this demonstrates that the laws can change at any time, and it is therefore vital to keep up-to-date on all such developments to ensure that you apply for a business visa based on the current requirements. Speaking with a migration law expert like PAX Migration Australia means you stay ahead of the pack, with the latest information in the world of migration. And this means giving yourself the best chance to achieve a successful outcome on your application, so that you can achieve your migration goals in Australia.
What Do Our Clients Have To Say About Us?
Franco is just one of our many satisfied clients over the years. Our client testimonials, reviews and feedback are testament to the service we provide. See what our clients have had to say about us on our website. And, we have been rated the top agent in South Australia! See the links below to find out more.
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In conclusion, we note that the above discussion provides a real life case study of how PAX Migration Australia assisted our client to obtain a business visa to Australia. Australia’s migration laws are complex, and each case is different. We recommend that you seek professional advice before you proceed with applying for a business visa, as being fully informed about the process and requirements that apply will give you the best chance of achieving a successful outcome on your application, and thus lessen the chance that it will be refused. A migration professional can help you to do this. Start off on the right foot by contacting PAX Migration Australia today.
For up-to-date advice on a business visa and to achieve results just like Franco did, book your confidential consultation with a migration agent in Adelaide. PAX Migration Australia is a leading immigration advice service based in Adelaide.
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