Australian Business Innovation and Investment Visas

Business and Innovation

Please be aware that the criteria for making application under the Australian Business Innovation and Investment Visa subclasses are both lengthy and detailed. The evidential requirements require highly skilled preparation and knowledge. We have extensive experience in the preparation and lodgement of both temporary and permanent business visas.

Temporary – Business Innovation & Investment Visa (Sub-class 188)

This is a State or Territory sponsored provisional visa with no minimum English language requirement. It has a validity of 4 years. Visa holders will be able to travel in and out of Australia freely throughout the term of the visa and are able to bring family members (your partner, your or your partner is dependent children and other dependent relatives) to Australia. This visa often leads to an application for permanent residents under subclass 888.

Applicants for Australian Business Innovation and Investment Visa subclasses may be inside or outside of Australia at time of visa grant and application and must:

Submit an Expression of Interest (“EOI“) in SkillSelect (You cannot apply for this visa without first lodging an EOI and after that receiving an invitation to make a visa application. Once you receive an invitation you’ll have 60 days to apply online for the visa.)  Australian Visa Law are extensively experienced in the on-line preparation of EOI and seeking State based nomination. for business clients.

You must meet certain health requirements and character requirements.You must have no debts to the Australian government.

Subclass 188 has three steams:

Business Innovation Stream
Who is this for? Business people who wish to start, develop and manage new or existing businesses in Australia.
Is there an age limitation? Yes, 55 at date of application (this may be waived where the nominating State or Territory provides their support to waive the age requirement)
Is it points tested? Yes, at least 65 points are required on the Business Innovation Points test: Business Innovation Points test
Is an EOI required? Yes, an EOI must be lodged with SkillSelect and a subsequent invitation must be received, before any application for this visa can be made to DIBP.
Is there an “asset requirement”? Yes, net business and personal assets of AUD$800,000.00 are required (DIBP may require you to prove that these assets have been lawfully acquired and available for legal transfer to Australia within 2 years of the visa being granted. Please note that DIBP In establishing an applicant’s net assets, may take into consideration the net assets of the applicant and/or the applicant’s spouse or de facto partner.
Is there a “turnover requirement” in respect to existing businesses? Yes, applicants must demonstrate an ownership interest of their main business (up to 2 main businesses can be considered) and total business turnover of at least AUD$500,000.00 during at least 2 of the 4 financial years before being invited to apply.
What is the ownership interest requirement? In respect to existing businesses, the ownership interest that a visa applicant holds in an existing business or businesses, must be at least 51 percent, where the business turnover is less than AUD$400,000 per year, 30 percent if the business has a turnover of AUD$400,000 or more per year, and 10 percent if the business is a publicly listed company.
Do I need to prove that I’ve already had a successful business career? Yes, you’ll need to demonstrate that you’ve had an overall successful business career prior to application.
Is there any other management history that I may need to prove? Yes, please note that if the nominated main business provides technical, professional or trade services, you’ll also need to prove that at least half of your time is spent in general management of the business, rather than in providing the services e.g. as a professional, tradesman, or technician.
What else may I need to prove? That your intention to establish or participate in the day to day management of a qualifying business in Australia and to maintain substantial ownership interest is genuine and realistic. You also must have had no involvement in any unacceptable activities.
Is there an English language requirement? No, but you’ll have to pay a higher 2nd visa application charge if you cannot prove “functional” English (generally 4.5 on all 4 bands of IELTS).
How long does this visa last? 4 years, with a possible extension of 2 years, (once only), if further criteria are met.

 

The Investor Stream
Who is this for? It is for persons who wish to make a “designated investment” with an Australian State or Territory and to maintain business and investment activity in Australia.
Is there an age limitation? Yes, 55 at date of application (this may be waived where the nominating State or Territory provides their support to waive the age requirement).
Is it points tested? Yes, at least 65 points are required on the Business Innovation Points test: Business Innovation Points test
Is an EOI required? Yes, an EOI must be lodged with SkillSelect and a subsequent invitation must be received, before any application for this visa can be made to DIBP.
Is there an “asset requirement”? For the period of 2 financial years immediately before the date of the invitation to apply for this visa, the applicant had business and personal assets of a net value of at least AUD$2.25 million (DIBP may require you to prove that these assets have been lawfully acquired and available for legal transfer to Australia within 2 years of the visa being granted. Please note that DIBP In establishing an applicant’s net assets, may take into consideration the net assets of the applicant and/or the applicant’s spouse or de facto partner.
Is there a “turnover requirement” in respect to existing businesses? Not strictly. However, for at least 1 of the 5 financial years immediately before the date of the invitation to apply for this visa, the applicant must have either:
maintained direct involvement in managing a qualifying business and held (with or without his/her partner) and ownership interest of at least 10 percent of the total value of a qualifying business, or maintained direct involvement in managing eligible investments (again owned by either the applicant, or his or her partner together) to a total net value of at least AUD$1.5 million. Note that a “qualifying business” in this context is one which is operated for the purpose of making profit through the provision of goods, services or goods and services (other than rental property) to the public and is not operated primarily will substantially for the purpose of speculative or passive investment.
Do I need to prove that I’ve already had a successful business career? Yes, you’ll need to demonstrate that you’ve had an overall successful record of eligible investment or business activity.
Is there any other management history that I may need to prove? Yes, you need to prove that you have at least 3 years experience of direct involvement in an eligible investment and a high level of management skill in relation to that investment activity or one or more qualifying businesses.
What else may I need to prove? That your intention to continuing your business or investment activity in Australia after the initial investment has matured, is genuine and realistic. You must also state that you have a genuine intention to live for at least 2 years in the State or Territory in which you’ll make your designated investment. You also must have had no involvement in any unacceptable activities.
Is there an English language requirement? No, but you’ll have to pay a higher 2nd visa application charge if you cannot prove “functional” English (generally 4.5 on all 4 bands of IELTS).
How long does this visa last? 4 years. No extensions are possible.

 

The Significant Investor Stream
Who is this for? For investors and business people willing to invest a minimum of AUD $5 million into a “Complying investment” and thereafter to maintain business and investment activity in Australia.

The Significant Investor stream has major advantages over the other 2 streams. Not only does this stream have no points test, but it also does not have any age restriction. Perhaps the biggest advantage however, is that it has greatly reduced residency requirements (that is the number of days that the visa holder must live in Australia during the 4 year period of the temporary visa) before being able to comply with the residency requirements for application for permanency under Subclass 888.  A further advantage is that it is able to be extended for 2 periods of 2 years on each occasion.

For more detailed discussion of the Significant Investor Visa stream, see here.

 

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