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Visas and Immigration Options for business owners!Immigration News

Migrating to Australia for business owners: Visas and Immigration

 There is a wide range of Australian business visas for successful business owners and investors looking to set up a business or make investments in Australia. There are a number of visa options for people seeking to undertake a business visit, own or manage a business in Australia, or invest in Australia, including Business Talent visas, and Business Innovation and Investment visas.

 

In the recent media release, the Turnbull government said that their main focus is on job creators, those with key skills and migrants who are going to invest in Australia’s future the business innovation and investment program, which will go on to maximise the economic contribution and provide a positive outcome for the Australian economic growth. For this reason, the number of places available in the Business Innovation and Investment Program (‘BIIP’) has almost doubled from 6862 in 2019-20 to 13,500 places for 2020-2021.[1]

 

This clearly suggests that the Australian government welcomes business owners who are successful business owners and investors in various sectors. From IT, health, trading, hospitality, retail and more – there are countless opportunities for the savvy business professional.

 

Importantly, regulatory arrangements can change from time-to-time. The Australian Immigration has recently released information on future changes to the Business innovation and Investment Program which will come into effect from 1 July 2021. The changes will be quite significant as it aims at simplifying the entire business and investor program. The team at No Borders Migration will write another article regarding the changes that will come into effect in July 2021.

 

In this interim, this article focuses on the current rules and regulations of the BIIP program before the changes will come into effect on 1 July 2021.

 

The BIIP program is for successful business owners or investors from overseas who are willing to invest in new or existing business in Australia or make designated investment in Australian State or Territory government bonds. For this, you must satisfy that you have operated a qualifying business as a successful owner.

 

Is my business qualified for applying business visa?

 

Qualifying business means:

  • Your business is at least 2 years old
  • You own at least 30% (private company) or 10% (public listed) of the business
  • The minimum sales/ revenue is equivalent to at least AUD500k/ year for 2 years
  • Your business + personal net assets is equivalent to at least AUD800k

 

What Type Of Business Visa Can I Then Apply?

 

188Visa

Suitable for applicants with an overall successful business career and with a genuine and realistic commitment to be involved as an owner of a new or existing business in Australia.

 

Business requirements:

  • Revenue/ Sales: AUD$500,000/ year (or equivalent) [Increasing on 1 July 2021]
  • Personal/ Business Net Assets: AUD$800,000 (or equivalent) [Increasing on 1 July 2021]
  • Points Test: 65 points

 

This visa is valid for 4 years*. You and your family can live in Australia during this period. Upon fulfilling certain criteria within this period you can convert it to permanent residency.

 

*A further 2 years extension may be possible once this visa has been granted

 

132Visa

Suitable for applicants who are high calibre business owners wanting to enter into business in Australia (new or existing).

 

Business requirements:

  • Revenue/ Sales: AUD$3,000,000/ year (or equivalent)
  • Personal/ Business Net Assets: AUD$1,500,000 (or equivalent) – [AUD400,000 must be net business assets]

 

This visa is for Permanent Residency.

 

[This visa will be stopped on 1 July 2021]

 

Are you residing in Queensland?

Queensland welcomes those interested in owning and managing a new or existing business or making an investment in Queensland.

 

This visa is a state-nominated four year provisional visa with a pathway to the Business Innovation and Investment (subclass 888) permanent residency visa.

 

Eligibility Criteria for Queensland State Nomination

To be considered for Queensland state nomination for a Business Innovation and Investment visa, you must first meet the Australian Government’s HA criteria.

 

You must also meet BSMQ criteria, which is different for each of the following visa streams.

 

Business Innovation 

 

To seek Queensland state nomination you must:

  • demonstrate that you have net business and personal assets of at least A$800,000 to be transferred to Queensland within 2 years of the visa being granted.
  • Must make a business investment of at least $200,000 after your visa is granted
  • must commit to living in Queensland.

 

Please note:

  1. Entry level small retail business, such as convenience stores, cafes, restaurants are only accepted if your proposed business is established in regional Queensland.
  2. General importing business will not be accepted unless the imported products are highly innovative, advanced in technology, or currently unavailable in Queensland. You should also provide value-adding service to the imported products such as customised design, product assembly installation, testing, repair, maintenance etc.
  3. Property development businesses will not be acceptable.

You are permitted to extend this visa for an additional two years or you can apply for permanent residency (subclass 888).

 

Investor 

 

To seek Queensland state nomination through this stream you must:

  • demonstrate that you have net business and personal assets of at least A$2.25 million to be transferred to Queensland within two years of your visa being granted.
  • make and maintain your designated investment of at least A$1.5 million in Queensland Treasury Corporation Bonds for at least four years.
  • commit to living in Queensland.

 

At the end of your Investor visa, you can apply for permanent residency (subclass 888). This visa cannot be extended.

 

Significant Investor

 

To seek Queensland state nomination through this stream you must:

 

  • demonstrate that you have at least A$5 million available for transfer into Australian complying investment frameworks, for four years.
  • meet the complying investment frameworks set by Austrade and provide details of your complying investment intentions to BSMQ.
  • commit to living in Queensland with additional investments indicated.

 

You can extend your Significant Investor visa for an additional four years.

 

Entrepreneur 

 

To seek Queensland state nomination through this visa stream you must:

  • have a funding agreement from a third party* of at least A$200,000 to undertake a complying entrepreneur activity,
  • provide a comprehensive company business plan, demonstrating an entrepreneurial activity which relates to an innovative idea that is proposed to lead to the commercialisation of a new or improved product or service or the development of a new enterprise of business,
  • provide proof of at least 30% share in the ownership of the entrepreneurial entity at the time of entering into the agreement,
  • provide proof of sufficient settlement funds,
  • commit to living in Queensland.

 

At the end of your Entrepreneur visa you can apply for permanent residency (subclass 888).

 

*Third Party Definition

  • Commonwealth Government agency
  • State or Territory Government
  • Publicly Funded Research Organisation
  • Investor registered as an Australian Venture Capital Limited Partnership or Early State Venture Capital Limited Partnership
  • Specified Higher Education Provider

 

Business Innovation and Investment migration program is an extremely complex process, and even determining your eligibility can be challenging. Moreover, you may be able to qualify in a number of different business migration categories. Most investor and business migrant visas require a state nomination before you can apply for a visa. Our role is to assess your eligibility and determine the best course of action given your circumstances including your assets and business ownership history.

 

At No Borders Migration, we offer professional services to business people and people who have business talents to obtain your permanent residency in Australia. We offer services to provisional visa holders who need to start setting up and running a business to fulfil their permanent visa requirements.

 

[1] https://minister.homeaffairs.gov.au/alantudge/Pages/Getting-a-better-deal-for-Australia-from-business-and-investment-visas.aspx

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