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This visa is for successful business people and entrepreneurs who want to own and run, develop, or invest significantly in, a business in Australia.

How do I apply?

There are five streams for this visa: Business Innovation Stream, Significant Investor Stream, Investor Stream, Premium Investor Stream, and Entrepreneurs Stream.

A relevant government organization must sponsor you before you are invited to apply for these visa streams. An Australian State or Territory must nominate applicants for the Business Innovation, Investor, and Entrepreneur streams, while Austrade can nominate applicants of the Significant Investor stream. Austrade also approaches potential applicants for the Premium Investor Stream.

To be considered for a nomination, you must first submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). Your EOI is not a visa application; it is a request to be sponsored for a visa. Once nominated, the Australian government may offer you an invitation to apply at any time within two years of your EOI submission. Once invited, you must then apply for the visa within 60 calendar days.

You can do this inside or outside of Australia. The registered migration agents at Mentors’ can help you determine your eligibility, prepare your EOI and apply for your visa.

Am I eligible to submit an EOI?

To submit an EOI, you must meet health and character requirements and have no outstanding debts to the Australian government. Besides:

Business Innovation Stream applicants must be able to demonstrate they are legitimate, successful business people who genuinely want to own and manage a business in Australia. In most cases, you must be under 55 years of age. However, some sponsors may allow older applicants, depending on the perceived financial benefits. You will also need to achieve 65 points on the Points Test, an assessment of your business and personal attributes including language skills. The economic thresholds of this stream are significant, but you can include both you and your partner’s combined assets and turnover to meet them. At the time you are invited to apply, you will need to show that you own and lawfully acquired at least:

  • At least 30% ownership of a company or
  • 10 percent of a publicly listed company
  • Minimum turnover of AUD500 000 in a maximum of two businesses, for 2 of the last four fiscal years
  • Minimum total personal and business assets of AUD800,000

To qualify for the Investor Stream, you need to have a successful track record of over three years as an investor and skilled manager of investments, in particular with the sort of investment you are proposing to conduct in Australia. It is vital that you don’t have any history of illicit or illegal activities. Most states require applicants to be under 55 years of age (although there are some exceptions) and you will need to achieve 65 points on the Points Test. Concerning finances, at the time of invitation, you or your partner (individually or combined) must:

  • Have legitimately acquired total net assets of AUD2.25 million or more
  • For at least one full year within the last five years, have managed a business that you owned at least 10% by, or you must own investments of AUD1.5 million or more
  • Invest AUD1.5 million-plus as a ‘designated investment’ in a state or territory government security for four years or more

Applicants for the Entrepreneur Stream are required to be involved in, or propose to be involved in, a complying entrepreneurial activity in Australia that has been funded for at least AUD200,000 by a specified entity. You don’t have to pass the points test, but you do have to be 55 or under (unless granted an exemption) and prove you have satisfactory English. The entrepreneurial activity cannot be related to residential real estate or labor hire, and you can’t just buy an existing Australian business or franchise – this stream is the innovation of new products, services, and businesses. You will need to own 30% or more of your entrepreneurial entity, have a business plan, and hold a legal guarantee to receive at least 10% of your promised funding within a year.

Significant Investor Stream and Premium Investor Stream requirements are less demanding in every way except financially, although all your previous activities must be legally acceptable. These visa streams require that you have legitimately acquired assets of no less than AUD5 million and AUD15 million, respectively available to invest in a ‘complying investment’, which you must make within four years. Mentors’ can advise you on what qualifies as a complying investment.

What are the features and benefits of this visa?

  • Conduct business and make investments detailed in your visa stream
  • Travel in and out of Australia freely, depending on the conditions of your visa stream
  • Bring members of your immediate family, including your partner and your or your partner’s child or step-child, with you, to live, work and study in Australia
  • You may eventually be able to apply for a permanent visa, such as a Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888)