BUSINESS AND INNOVATION VISAS

Business and Innovation Visa

On 1 July 2012, the new Business Innovation and Investment visa was introduced. There are 3 visa streams within the class:

  1. Business and Innovation Stream;

  2. Investor Stream; and

  3. Significant Investor Stream (which came into operation in November 2012).

Applications for all of these visas is by invitation only. To obtain an invitation, applicants must lodge an Expression of Interest (“EOI”) through Skill Select and must also be nominated by the government of a state or territory. Each of the states and territories has its own requirements for nomination. Let me know which state you want to invest (or do business) in and I will assist you with the requirements.

There is an overlap between the EOI, nomination and visa application requirements. You will not be able to obtain a nomination without convincing the nominating state or territory that you will meet the visa requirements.

Visa applications must be lodged within 60 days of the date of the invitation.

All of the visas listed are provisional initially and a separate application is required to achieve permanent residence.

All of the visas listed are subject to health and character requirements.

I set out a summary of the visa requirements in each of the three streams below. If you are the holder of an older provisional business skills visa and are wanting to apply for permanent residence, let me know. I have not put a summary of the pre July 2012 visa requirements on this site.

Business Innovation Stream
Age Must not have turned 55 at the time of the invitation (unless the state/territory determines the activity is of “exceptional economic benefit” to the state).
Points Test Must achieve a score of 65 on the business innovation and investment points test
Background The applicant has overall had a successful business career
OwnershipInterest For at least 2 of the 4 fiscal years immediately before the invitation the applicant had an ownership interest in one or more established main businesses that had an annual turnover of at least AUD500 000 in each of those years.If the applicant was providing professional, technical or trade services, then no more than 50% of time was spent in the provision of services
Assets At the time of invitation, the business and personal assets of the applicant (or spouse or applicant and spouse together), that can be applied to the establishment or conduct of a business in Australia have a net value of at least AUD800 000.Those assets must be lawfully acquired and available for transfer to Australia within 2 years of the grant of the visa
Commitment The applicant genuinely has a realistic commitment to:(a) establish a qualifying business in Australia; or participate in an existing qualifying business in Australia.

(b) maintain both a substantial ownership interest in the qualifying business; and a direct and continuous involvement in the day to day management of the qualifying business

Investor Stream
Age Must not have turned 55 at the time of the invitation (unless the state/territory determines the activity is of “exceptional economic benefit” to the state).
Points Test Must achieve a score of 65 on the business innovation and investment points test
Background The applicant has overall had a successful record of eligible investment activity or qualifying business activity with a total of at least 3 years experience of direct involvement in managing (with a high level of skill) one or more qualifying businesses or eligible investments.
Direct Involvement For at least one of the 5 fiscal years immediately before the time of invitation:EITHER

The applicant maintained direct involvement in managing a qualifying business; and the applicant (or spouse or applicant and spouse together)

had an ownership interest of at least 10% of the total value of the business;

 

OR

 

The applicant maintained direct involvement in managing eligible investments of the applicant (or spouse or applicant and spouse together), of which the total net value of the eligible investments was at least A$1.5M.AssetsFor the 2 fiscal years immediately before the invitation the business and personal assets of the applicant (or spouse or applicant and spouse together) had a net value of at least A$2.25M.Those assets must be lawfully acquired and available for transfer to Australia within 2 years of the grant of the visaDesignated InvestmentThe applicant has made a designated investment of at least A$1.5M in the nominating State or TerritoryCommitmentThe applicant genuinely has a realistic commitment to continue to maintain business or investment activity in Australia after the designated investment is made and intends to reside for at least 2 years in the nominating State or Territory

Significant Investor
Investment The applicant has made a complying investment of at least AUD5,000,000 (which can be based on one or more investments) which may include:

(a) Commonwealth, state or territory government bonds

(b) 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
  1. direct investment into private Australian companies – in which you have an ownership interest. The company must operate a qualifying business.

 

Those assets must be lawfully acquired, unencumbered and available for transfer to Australia. There must be no involvement in unacceptable business activities.IntentionThe applicant has a genuine intention to hold the complying investment for at least 4 years.AcknowledgmentThe Applicant:(a) acknowledge that they are responsible for their financial and legal affairs; and

(b) undertake not to bring an action against the Commonwealth in relation to any loss relating to the complying investment; and

(c) release the Commonwealth from any liabilities in relation to any loss relating to the complying investment.CommitmentThe applicant has a genuine intention to reside in the nominating state or territory for a period of 160 days over the four year period of the provisional visa

Tel: +61 2 9220 6100

Fax: +61 2 8569 0571

paul@paulcutler.com.au