Australia Investment

Have received at last AUD$1million in funding from an Australian venture capital firm

The funding must be for:

  • the early stage business start-up
  • commercialisation of a product
  • business development of a promising high-value business idea

The venture capital firm must be a member of the Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association Limited (AVCAL)

The nominating State or Territory Government agency is satisfied that the applicant (or applicant and spouse together) has sufficient assets to settle in Australia

There are no requirements as to:

  • age
  • business history
  • employment history
  • turnover
  • net assets
  • taxation, or
  • source of funds

You must: be under 55 years of age, although a state or territory can waive this requirement if your proposed investment will be of exceptional economic benefit to the nominating state or territory score at least 65 on the points test have a high level of management skill in relation to the eligible investment or qualifying business activity

Australia Business Migration

Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188)

The Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) is part of the Business Innovation and Investment Programme.

You must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect and be nominated by a state or territory government before being invited to apply for this Australia Business Visa.

The Business Australia migration 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 AUD$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 AUD$5,000,000 into complying investments in Australia and want to maintain business and investment activity in Australia.

Holding this visa is the first stage before becoming eligible to qualify for a Business Immigration Australia Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888).

Features

This visa is for people who want to own and manage a new or existing business in Australia, or to invest in an Australian state or territory.

Requirements

You might be able to get this visa if you are nominated by a state or territory government agency and are invited to apply by the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection.

You might be able to get this visa if:

  • You are nominated by a state or territory government
  • You are invited to apply
  • You (and all your family members) meet certain health and character requirements
  • You meet the additional requirements for the stream in which you apply.

188B Visa – Investor stream

You must:

  • Be under 55 years of age, although a state or territory can waive this requirement if your proposed investment will be of exceptional economic benefit to the nominating state or territory
  • Score at least 65 on the points test
  • Have a high level of management skill in relation to the eligible investment or qualifying business activity
  • Have at least 3 years' experience of direct involvement in managing one or more qualifying businesses or eligible investments
  • Have an overall successful record of eligible investment or qualifying business activity
  • Have a genuine and realistic commitment to continuing your business and investment activity in Australia after the original investment has matured
  • Have a genuine intention to live for at least 2 years in the state or territory in which you have made a designated investment.

188B Visa Checklist

You, your partner, or you and your partner combined must:

  • For at least one of the 5 fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply, have directly managed one of the following.
  • An interest owned by you, your partner or you and your partner combined of at least 10% in a qualifying business
  • At least AUD$1,500,000 in eligible investment owned by you, your partner or you and your partner combined
  • During the 2 fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply, have legally acquired net business, investment and personal assets of at least AUD$2,250,000 that are available for legal transfer to Australia within two years of the visa being granted.
  • Make a designated investment of at least AUD$1,500,000 in a state or territory government security using unencumbered funds accumulated from qualifying businesses or eligible investments and be prepared to hold that investment for at least 4 years from date of issue in your nominating state or territory.
  • Have had no involvement in unacceptable activities.
  • Income that you earn from your designated investment in Australia is subject to tax under Australian taxation law.

You must make a complying investment of at least AUD$5,000,000 in any of the following options, in any proportion, 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% 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.
  • ncome that you earn from your complying investment in Australia is subject to tax under Australian taxation law.

188C Visa Checklist

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 4 years while holding your provisional visa.
  • You, your partner, or you and your partner combined must have net assets of at least AUD$5,000,000 that are legally acquired, unencumbered, and available to be used to make the complying investment in Australia.
  • You and your partner must not have been involved in unacceptable business or investment activities.

You, your partner and other family members aged at least 18 must agree not to bring any action against the Commonwealth for any loss relating to your complying investment.

From 1 July 2015 eligibility for the SIV program will have a big change.

The eligible new SIV investment may be of 3 categories-
  • 50% balancing investment,
  • 25% venture capital and
  • 25% Small / Micro capital.

Who is this visa for?

The business innovation stream is for individuals who have owned a business and are now looking to establish a business in Australia.

To be eligible for the business innovation stream, applicant will need to:

  • Have funding in place from a qualifying source for a minimum of a $200,000 to establish an enterprise or business in Australia (see below)
  • Be aged under 55 years old (some exceptions are made)
  • Meet the points test for this stream – currently 65 points
  • Show applicant have an ownership interest of at least 30%
  • Present a business plan of the entrepreneurial entity showing how applicant’s innovative idea will lead to the a product or service being commercialised in Australia, or lead to the development of a business or enterprise in Australia.

What funding sources are acceptable?

The following entities are qualifying sources of funding:
  • An investor registered as an Australian venture capital limited partnership or early state venture capital limited partnership
  • Publicly funded research organisation
  • Commonwealth government agency
  • Specified higher education provider

What business activities qualify?

Interested individuals will need to show how their proposed complying entrepreneur activity will economically benefit the country.

A complying entrepreneur activity is an innovative idea that will bring a new service or product to market, or the development of a business in Australia (activities relating to real estate or labour hire are excluded).

To apply for the entrepreneur visa, applicant will need to have an agreement for at least $200,000 in funding from one or more of the following sources:

  • Commonwealth agencies
  • State and territory governments
  • Publicly funded research organisations
  • Investors registered as venture capital limited partnerships or early stage venture capital limited partnerships

The funding agreement must involve the transfer of at least 10% of the funds within 12 months of commencing the activity in Australia.

Important note:

What applicant need to do before applying for the 188E

Before applying for the 188e, applicant will need to be nominated by an Australian State or Territory government.

This involves lodging an expression of interest (EOI) through the skill select system.

Where applicant can apply for the 188E

Applicant can apply for this visa overseas or in Australia.

If applicant apply for the 188E in Australia applicant will need to hold a substantive visa or a bridging A, B or C visa.

The Points test

Applicant must score at least 65 points (the pass mark) in the points test to be eligible to apply for a Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) in the Business Innovation stream or the Investor stream.

The points test does not apply to applicant , if they are applying in the Significant Investor stream, the Premium Investor stream, the Entrepreneur stream, the Business Innovation Extension stream, or Significant Investor Extension stream.

The test gives points for various elements of human capital and business innovation and includes objective measures of business performance.

Points are awarded for:

age, English language ability, qualifications, experience in business or investment, net personal and business assets, business turnover, innovation, special endorsement.

The points table

Factor Description Points
Age 18–24 years 20
25–32 years 30
33–39 years 25
40–44 years 20
45–54 years 15
55 and older 0
English language ability Vocational English (IELTS score of at least 5 in each of the four test components ) 5
Proficient English ( IELTS score of at least 7 in each of the four test components ) 10
Qualifications

Australian trade certificate, diploma or bachelor degree by an Australian education institute; or

a bachelor qualification recognised by an education institution of a recognised standard

5
Bachelor degree in business, science or technology by an Australian institution; or a bachelor qualification by an education institution of a recognised standard 10
Special endorsement The nominating state or territory government agency could decide that applicant r proposed business is of unique and important benefit to the state or territory where the nominating government agency is located 10
Financial assets Net business and personal assets of applicant , applicant r partner or applicant and applicant r partner combined in each of the preceding two years of at least:
AUD 800 000 5
AUD 1.3 million 15
AUD 1.8 million 25
AUD 2.25 million 35
Business turnover Annual turnover in applicant r main business during a period of at least two years of the preceding four fiscal years of at least:
AUD500 000 5
AUD1 million 15
AUD1.5 million 25
AUD2 million 35
Business Innovation stream only
Business experience
Applicant have held one or more businesses before applicant were invited to apply for the visa for:
Not less than four years within the preceding five years 10
Not less than seven years within the preceding eight years 15
Investor stream only Investor experience Eligible investment of at least AUD100 000 held for:
At least four years before the time of invitation to apply for the visa 10
At least seven years before the time of invitation to apply for the visa 15
Business innovation qualifications
At the time of invitation to apply for the visa:
Evidence of registered patents or registered designs 15
Evidence of registered trademarks 10
Evidence of formal joint venture agreements 5
Evidence of export trade 15
Evidence of ownership interest in a gazelle business 10
Evidence of receipt of grants or venture capital funding 10
State or territory nomination Special endorsement (limited places) 10

Premium Investor Visa (PIV): offering a more expeditious, 12 month pathway to permanent residency than the SIV, for those meeting a AUD$15 million threshold

Reforming skilled migration to improve Australia's competitiveness

Joint media release with Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Minister for Industry Ian McFarlane and Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Scott Morrison.

The Government will reform the 457 visa programme for skilled migrants, while maintaining strong safeguards against abuse.

The 457 programme must be a means of filling genuine skills gaps in the local labour market while not placing unnecessary administrative burdens on business.

An effectively managed skilled migration programme ensures foreign workers supplement rather than substitute Australian workers. A business that is forced to close because it is unable to access the labour that it requires employs no-one. That is a lose–lose situation for both employers and employees.

Following an independent review of the 457 programme, the Government will:

  • Streamline the processing of sponsorship, nomination and visa applications to reward low risk applicants and refocus compliance and monitoring activities on high risk applicants
  • Increase the sponsorship approval period from 12 to 18 months for start-up businesses, to give start-ups more time to make their businesses sustainable
  • provide greater flexibility in relation to English language testing and skill requirements for 457 applicants, to ensure that the standards required are appropriate for the industries and occupations being sought, and
  • Retain the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold at AUD$53,900, ahead of a review within the next two years.

Safeguards will remain in place to ensure that the 457 visa programme is not rorted. It will continue to be a requirement that a foreign worker receives at least the same market rates and conditions that are paid to an Australian doing the same job in the same workplace.

The Government will also expand and improve the Significant Investor Visa programme.

At present, SIVs are available for applicants having an eligible investment in Australia of AUD$5 million, for a minimum of four years.

The Government will reform the programme to encourage more high net worth individuals to make Australia home and to leverage and better direct additional foreign investment, while maintaining safeguards to ensure the migration programme is not misused.

Changes will include:

  • Streamlining and speeding up visa processing, further promoting the programme globally and strengthening integrity measures, to increase the attractiveness of investing and settling in Australia while ensuring Australia's interests are protected
  • Aligning the criteria for eligible investments with the Government's national investment priorities. The investment eligibility criteria will be determined by Austrade in consultation with key economic and industry portfolios
  • Introducing a Premium Investor Visa (PIV), offering a more expeditious, 12 month pathway to permanent residency than the SIV, for those meeting a AUD$15 million threshold, and
  • Tasking Austrade to become a nominating entity for the SIV (complementing the current State and Territory governments' role as nominators) and to be the sole nominating entity for the PIV.
The changes to the SIV will take effect during 2014-15, with the Premium Investor Visa to be introduced from 1 July 2015.

The Government will soon make further announcements on the recommendations of reviews into both the 457 and SIV programmes.

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