Business Visas

The Australian government welcomes the migration of businessmen and investors: for many years, talented and successful entrepreneurs from different countries have been actively attracted, wishing to bring additional funds to the Australian economy. 

For this purpose, Department annually issues about 5,000 business visas.

This type of migration obligates candidates to bring the required amount of funds to inject into the Australian economy directly (through direct investment) or indirectly (through the development of their own business in Australia).

Business visas are always the highest priority for migration and are important for all Australian states and territories. Business Stream Visitor visas used to be granted in some days after application submission, and migration cases of businessmen and investors are considered with great interest.

The advantage of doing business in Australia is that the Australian economy has been and remains one of the strongest and most stable in the world, and this especially attracts businessmen and investors from all over the world.

To develop your own strategic migration plan from the first step to the moment of getting a Permanent Resident of Australia, please book an individual consultation with an experienced migration agent right now!

Requirements for Business Visas to Australia

  • All visas are required to be sponsored by the state or territory where the applicant intends to conduct business, reside or invest.
  • Most visas have an age limit: the applicant must not be older than 55 years (limited exemptions apply).
  • Some business visas require applicants to prove Competent English level by results of an international exam (for example, IELTS 6666 or its equivalents).
  • For all types of Business visas, it is mandatory to confirm there are no major health issues or character issues for applicants and family members through a health checks and police clearance certificates.
  • It is also important to determine the acceptable type of business that you plan to develop. For example, securities trading or passive leasing of real estate as a business activity is not considered for immigration.
  • Please be aware, the requirements of some states/territories for Business visa nomination may be higher than the basic DOHA’s visa criteria.

Bear in mind, since you have got your Business visa, you have to live and run your business in a particular state for the next several years (from 2 to 6). Thus, please choose your state for nomination very carefully.

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Types of Business Visas to Australia

In general, all Australian business visas can be divided into two types – standard and alternative.

Standard business visas include Business innovation and investment streams (A, B and C), which are significantly different in terms of the amount of invested funds and personal financial capital, requirements for staying in the country holding this visa and the nature of the applicant’s employment.
The total period for the transition to permanent residence for standard visas maybe 5-6 years.

Alternative Business visas include the Entrepreneur visa and the Small Business Owner visa. Such kind of visas is suitable for people who have good entrepreneurial skills and strong plans to develop their own business in Australia.

Business visas have mostly two-stage: a temporary visa 188 for up to 5 years (could extend for another 2 years), and then there is an opportunity to transition to a Permanent visa 888 if the visa holder meets all relevant requirements. 

I recommend that you take a closer look at business migration if:

  • you want financial stability and security,
  • you have a great business idea and drive to start your project in Australia,
  • you don’t want to waste time studying,
  • you do not have enough points for skilled migration program,
  • you don’t want to work “for anyone else” or don’t know how to approach the search for an employer.

Standard business visas 

Business Innovation Stream visa 188a/888 is designed for businessmen with a starting capital of 1.25 million AUD, successful businesses with a turnover of 750,000 AUD and with the firm intention to actively develop a new or existing business in Australia.

This temporary visa is for people with advanced business skills. The visa allows the holder to run a new or previously existing business in Australia.

Investor Stream visa 188b/888 is suitable for people who have 2.5 million AUD for investment in eligible financial vehicles for a period of at least 5 years. Such visa allows holders to manage their business actively or conduct business research focused on the future development of business projects.

Significant Investor Stream visa 188c/888 is for applicants who do not have the opportunity to stay in Australia for a long time, but who can invest at least 5 million AUD in big projects for all period of their provisional visa, show their successful existing business and legal origin of money funds.

Common criteria for the above visas:

  • applicant must already be successful businessman
  • primary applicant age is under 55, concessions are available
  • applicant must obtain at least 65 points according to business visa point test
  • applicant must obtain approval from State / Territory where he/she is aiming to relocate and run business. Please note that each State / Territory has their own criteria, depending on business activity and state itself, criteria may be higher than visa criteria
  • applicants must not have a history of illegal activities (including bankruptcy)
  • all applicants must satisfy character and health criteria
  • currently, States /Territories abolished the requirement for the first compulsory visit, therefore applicants can apply any time they are eligible
  • no recycling business!!! State/ Territories warned that new business ideas / new directions are very welcomed, but not buying the business that was used in the past to satisfy business visa criteria.
  • applicants do not have to have any compulsory minimum level of English, though it is highly recommended for a successful transition to run a business in Australia.

Temporary subclass 188 visas features:

  • applicant to arrange health insurance, no Medicare
  • free government schools for children
  • full work rights for all applicants
  • transitional visa for dependent children – dependency must be proven for stage 1 (subclass 188) and is not compulsory in transition stage 2 (subclass 888)
  • applicant to reside / run a business in the State / Territory that approved your nomination.

Alternative business visas 

Entrepreneur Stream visa 188e/888 is a temporary visa for up to 5 years that will lead to permanent residence after 4 years. This is a visa for businessmen with innovative ideas that will lead to the commercialisation of a product or service in Australia or the development of an enterprise or business in Australia. 

You must be endorsed by your nominating State or Territory government agency to develop your entrepreneurial concepts. There are no requirements of third-party attracted funds from the Department. However, every single state offering this Entrepreneur visa has its own requirements for applicants as well. 

Mandatory English IELTS requirements of 6666 band score or equivalent.

A complying entrepreneur activity must relate to an innovative idea that will lead to the commercialization of a product or service in Australia, or the development of an enterprise or business in Australia

Please bear in mind, the types of business actives may be restricted by the Department, and may also have additional restrictions of state or territory. For example, the restrictions for an Entrepreneur visa include activities related to:

  • residential real estate
  • labour hire
  • purchase of an existing enterprise or a franchise in Australia

Common criteria for Entrepreneur visas:

  • an applicant does not have to have any prior business / investment experience
  • primary applicant age is under 55, concessions are available
  • applicant must have Competent English (no concessions)
  • applicant must obtain approval from State / Territory where he/she is aiming to relocate and run the business. Please note that each State / Territory has their own criteria, depending on business activity and the state itself, criteria may be higher than visa criteria
  • you must be undertaking or proposing to undertake a complying entrepreneur activity in Australia and have a genuine intention to undertake, and continue to undertake, the complying entrepreneur activity.
  • applicants must not have a history of illegal activities (including bankruptcy)
  • all applicants must satisfy character and health criteria

The skilled visa SC 491 Small Business Owner stream is a provisional visa that allows the visa holders to work and live in a regional Australia for 5 years.

This visa offers small business owners an alternative pathway through the state nomination process, where the primary applicant still requires to have an occupation from an eligible skilled occupation list. The application can only be lodged / approved in the State / Territory that supports this program.

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Would you like to run your own business or invest to Australian economy?

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Australian Business Visa processing time

There is no defined period of consideration for business visas by the Department, but from my own experience it may take about 15 months for processing.

Preparation of documents, which is also supervised by migration agent, takes on average 3-4 months.

Please be aware, the business migration program is one of the most complex of all Australian migration programs and require a comprehensive assessment of your skills, qualifications, detailed document preparation and precise approval process to submit your application to DOHA.

You can ask me questions at any time.

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