Business/Investor Migration

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If you have a background in business management or high level investment activities and are interested in investing in Australia, starting up a new business in Australia or purchasing an ownership interest in an existing Australian business, you and your family may be eligible for permanent residence status under Australia’s business migration program. In most cases you will be required to enter Australia on a Provisional 4 year visa, after which you may apply for permanent residence through the Residence Visa categories.

Temporary Visa categories:

Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Subclass 188 Visa

This is a 4-year provisional visa available to business owners and investors.

Business Visitor Visas

If you wish to visit Australia for 3 months or less to attend business meetings or to explore business opportunities, you may be interested in applying for a business visitor visa.

Residence Visa categories:

Business Talent (Migrant) Visa

Business Talent (Migrant) visas are granted to people with an overall successful business career as the owner of a business or people with Venture Capital funding in Australia. There is no need to apply for a provisional visa before applying for this permanent visa.

Business Innovation and Investment (Residence) Subclass 888 Visa

This is the permanent stage of the Subclass 188 Provisional Business Innovation and Investment. It requires applicants to have established business operations in Australia or to have maintained an investment in bonds.

1. Business Innovation and Investment Provisional Visas (Subclass 188)

Business Innovation & Investment Subclass 188 visas are for investors and business owners who wish to establish business operations in Australia. The visa is valid for 4 years.

Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa allows people who have ownership interests in business(es) to reside in Australia for up to 4 years to establish or invest in an Australian state or territory.

The visa includes three streams:

  • Business Innovation stream: for people with business skills who want to establish, develop and manage a new or existing business in Australia.
  • Investor stream: for people who want to make a designated investment of at least $1,500,000 in an Australian state or territory and maintain business and investment activity in Australia.
  • Significant Investor stream: for people who are willing to invest at least $5,000,000 into complying investments in Australia and want to maintain business and investment activity in Australia.

This is a 4 year temporary visa. Once you have maintained an investment in Australia for 4 years or established an ownership interest in an Australian business, you can apply for permanent residence through the Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) Subclass 888 visa. Extension of 188 visa can be allowed for 2 years once you have held the subclass 188 visa for 3 years.

Common Criteria

  • Nomination by a state or territory government
  • Under 55 years of age (Nominating state or territory may exempt the age requirement if you are proven that you will make an exceptional economic benefit.)
  • Meet the pass mark in the Points test for the Business Innovation Investment

Business Innovation Stream Requirements

  • Ownership of a business with turnover: at least $500,000 for 2 of the last 4 fiscal years
  • Net assets (personal and business): at least $800,000

Investor Stream Requirements

  • Net assets (personal and business): at least $2,250,000 for the last 2 fiscal years
  • 3 years of experience managing a qualifying business or eligible investments
  • For at least 1 of the last 5 fiscal years,
    • Managed a business with 10% shareholding, or
    • Managed eligible investments of at least $1,500,000
  • Making an investment of $1,500,000 in Australian State or Territory bonds prior to the 188 visa grant

Significant Investor Stream Requirements

You must make a complying investment of at least $5,000,000 in any of the following options, and hold that investment continuously for at least 4 years:

  • Commonwealth, state or territory government bonds
  • Eligible managed funds – that are limited to investing in any or all of the following Australian assets:
    • infrastructure projects in Australia
    • cash held by Australian deposit-taking institutions
    • bonds issued by the Australian Government or a State or Territory government
    • bonds, equity, hybrids or other corporate debt in Australian companies and trusts listed on any Australian stock exchange
    • bonds or term deposits issued by Australian financial institutions
    • real property in Australia
    • Australian agribusiness
    • annuities issued by an Australian registered life company
    • loans secured by mortgages over the investments listed above
    • derivatives used for portfolio management and non-speculative purposes (which constitute no more than 20 per cent of the total value of the managed fund)
    • other managed funds that invest in the investments listed above
  • direct investment into private Australian companies – in which you have an ownership interest.  The company must operate a qualifying business.

You must also have a genuine and realistic commitment to:

  • reside in the state or territory whose government agency nominated you
  • continue your business and investment activity in Australia after your complying investment matures
  • live in Australia for at least 160 days over four years while holding your provisional visa

2. Permanent Business Innovation and Investment Visas (Subclass 888)

Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa allows people who have ownership interests in business(es) to reside in Australia for up to 4 years to establish or invest in an Australian state or territory.

Business Innovation Stream Requirements

You must be able to show that you (or you and your partner together) have:

  • had an ownership interest (and continue to have an ownership interest) and a direct and continuous management role in an actively operating main business (or main businesses) in Australia for the two years immediately before you apply.
  • had an annual turnover of at least $300,000 from the main business (or businesses) in the 12 months before you apply. (A nominating state or territory might agree to waive the requirement to show an annual turnover of $300 000 if you live and operate business in a specified regional area of Australia)
  • owned at least one of the following percentages of the main business (or main businesses) in Australia in the year immediately before you apply:
    • 51 per cent of a business with a turnover of less than $400,000 per year
    • 30 per cent of a business with a turnover of $400,000 or more per year
    • 10 per cent of a publicly listed company
  • obtained an Australian Business Number for each of your main businesses
  • submitted Business Activity Statements to the Australian Taxation Office for the two years immediately before you apply
  • not acquired the ownership in your main business (or two main businesses) from a person who was an applicant for, or a holder of, a permanent Business Innovation and Investment visa (subclass 888)or a permanent business skills visa (in subclasses 890891892 or 893), unless you and that person had a joint interest in the main business for at least one year before you lodge your application for this visa.

You (or your partner, or you and your partner together) must also demonstrate that you have achieved at least two of the following requirements:

  • a net value of business assets of at least $200,000 in your nominated main business (or two main businesses) in Australia throughout the year immediately before you apply
  • a net value of personal and business assets of at least $600,000 in Australia throughout the year immediately before you apply
  • employed at least the equivalent of two full-time employees in your main business (or main businesses), throughout the year immediately before you apply who are:
    • Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents, or holders of valid New Zealand passports
    • not your family members.

Investor Stream Requirements

If you are applying for this visa in the Investor stream, you must have been in Australia and held your provisional visa for at least two of the four years immediately before you apply.

In addition, you (or you and your partner combined) must have held a designated investment with an Australian state or territory for at least four years.

Significant Investor Stream Requirements

If you are applying for a permanent visa (subclass 888) in the Significant Investor stream, you must have held at the time of application:

  • a provisional visa (subclass 188) in the Significant Investor stream or in the Significant Investor Extension stream.

You must have been in Australia as the holder of a provisional visa (subclass 188):

  • in the Significant Investor stream—160 days in the past four years
  • in the Significant Investor Extension stream (one extension) —240 days in the past six years
  • in the Significant Investor Extension stream (two extensions) —320 days in the past eight years.

In addition, you (or you and your partner combined) must have:

  • held the complying investments continuously for at least 4 years while holding your Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188).
  • operated a qualifying business under the private Australian company in which you have made a direct complying investment if applicable.
  • Please, refer to the below regarding the Business Visa information before 1st July, 2012.

 

TEMPORARY VISA CATEGORIES

BUSINESS OWNER (PROVISIONAL)

Business Owner (Provisional) visas allow people who have ownership interests in business(es) to reside in Australia for up to 4 years to establish or invest in a business there.

Duration and Conditions

This is a 4 year temporary visa. Once you have maintained an ownership interest in a business in Australia for 4 years, you can apply for permanent residence through the Business Owner (Residence) visa.

State/Territory Sponsorship

Australia encourages business investment in rural and regional areas and State and Territory government sponsorship is available for business people who can assist in the economic development of these areas. It should be noted that different requirements will apply if you are sponsored by a State/Territory government. If you are sponsored, a number of threshold requirements for the visa are lower.

Criteria

  1. You have a successful business background.
  2. You have been employed in a senior management role for at least 4 years before applying and have a high level of management skills if you are sponsored by a State/Territory government.
  3. Throughout at least 2 of the last 4 fiscal years immediately before applying you (or you and your spouse together) had:
    • net assets in a business of at least $200,000; or
    • shareholding equalling at least 10% of total issued capital if business was a publicly issued company.
    • You are exempt from this requirement if you are sponsored by a State/Territory government.
  4. If the business provides professional, trade, or technical services, then throughout at least 2 out of the last 4 fiscal years immediately before applying, you have spent at least 50% of your time in managing the business rather than providing such services.
  5. Throughout at least 2 of the last 4 fiscal years immediately before applying your main business (or main businesses together) had an annual turnover of:
    • at least $500,000; or
    • at least $300,000 if you are sponsored by a State/Territory government.
  6. You, or you and your spouse together, have net assets of:
    • at least $500,000; or
    • at least $250,000 if you are sponsored by a State/Territory government.
  7. You are:
    • under 45 years of age; or
    • under 55 years of age if sponsored by a State/Territory government.
  8. You have vocational English. There are no English language requirements if sponsored by a State/Territory government.
  9. You have a genuine and realistic commitment after entry into Australia to either establish a new business or to participate in an existing business, and to maintain a substantial ownership interest, and be involved in the day to day management of the business.

 

SENIOR EXECUTIVE (PROVISIONAL)

Senior executives with management experience in a large overseas corporation may be granted a 4 year provisional visa in Australia under this visa category. Once in Australia, they are expected to establish or make a significant investment in an Australian business.

INVESTOR (PROVISIONAL)

Investor (Provisional) visas are granted to applicants who have maintained a considerable investment portfolio or ownership in a business, and are willing to make an investment of at least $750,000 in Australian bonds for 4 years. The visa is valid for 4 years.

 

RESIDENCE VISA CATEGORIES

BUSINESS TALENT (MIGRANT) VISA

Business Talent (Migrant) visas are granted to people with an overall successful business career who are sponsored by an Australia State or Territory government. You are expected to maintain substantial ownership in a business and be involved the management of this business once in Australia. There is no need to apply for a provisional visa before applying for this permanent visa.

BUSINESS OWNER (RESIDENCE) VISA

Business Owner (Residence) visas allow people who have had an ownership interest in an Australian business for at least 2 years to migrate permanently to Australia. You must already hold one of the following Provisional visas to be able to apply:

INVESTOR (RESIDENCE) VISA

Holders of an Investor (Provisional) visa who have maintained their investment for 4 years can apply for permanent residence.

EXISTING AUSTRALIAN BUSINESS

This visa allows people who have owned a business in Australia for at least 18 months to apply for permanent residence.