Entrepreneur visa Australia

Australia is actively chasing entrepreneurs not only to assist in the economic led recovery from COVID-19 but also because it provides a viable alternative to the United States of America.

The graph below from research conduct at QUT one of Australia’s leading universities outlines recent trends:

How do I get a visa on the basis of entrepreneurship to Australia?

Firstly, you must be nominated by an Australian State or Territory government.

You must undertake or propose to undertake a ‘complying entrepreneur activity’ in Australia, produce a business plan and have competent English language skills.

You must be under 55 years of age unless supported by a State or Territory if older due to your activity will be of exceptional value.

What is a complying entrepreneur activity?

A complying entrepreneur activity must relate to an innovative idea that will lead to:

  • the commercialisation of a product or service in Australia, or
  • the development of an enterprise or business in Australia

This activity must not relate to any of the following categories:

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

What is the process?

As stated above the first step is to be nominated by a State or Territory Government.

You can then apply for a provisional subclass 188 visa which will be granted for up to 5 years during which time you can apply for permanent residence if certain requirements are met.

You can include your family in this visa application.

We strongly recommend that you discuss your proposed activity with the relevant State or Territory organisation who will consider your sponsorship for the visa.

You will then be required to lodge and expression of interest through the SkillSelect website.

If you are accepted then you will be advised that you have received a nomination from that State or Territory.

You will then have 60 days to lodge your visa.

Your visa application is lodged with the Department of Home Affairs, the Commonwealth agency responsible for processing visas.

You will be required to prove:

  • You have been nominated
  • Prove you have competent English
  • Meet health requirements
  • Meet Character requirements
  • Sign the Australian values statement
  • Have no debts to the Australian Government
  • Not have had a visa cancelled or a previous application refused

There are no published processing times for this visa currently.

How do I become a permanent resident?

If you have demonstrated a successful record of undertaking entrepreneurial activities in Australia while holding the provisional visa and have a current nomination from an Australian State or Territory you can apply for a Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888).

How am I assessed to prove I have a successful record of entrepreneurial activities for the permanent visa?

When you apply for your permanent visa the Department of Home Affairs will assess the entrepreneurial activities you have undertaken and will look at 2 key success factors or 1 key success factor and 3 supporting facts.

What is a Key and Supporting Success factors?

Key success factors include:

  • employing 2 or more Australians, permanent residents or other eligible persons
  • generating an annual turnover of at least AUD $300,000.00
  • filing a provisional patent or acquiring a standard or innovation patent
  • receiving ongoing funding or investment in your entrepreneur activity
  • entering into a partnership with a university
  • selling an entrepreneurial venture for AUD $2,000,000.00

Supporting success factors include:

  • adapting your entrepreneurial activities into other business areas
  • receiving a statement of success from a state or territory government nominator
  • receiving sponsorship from the corporate sector
  • starting at least 1 other business or contributing to at least 2 other businesses
  • receiving formal awards or recognition
  • raising or contributing to social capital

As for the provisional visa when you apply for the permanent visa your entrepreneurial activities in Australia can’t be related to residential real estate, labour hire or buying an existing enterprise or a franchise in Australia.

How can FC Lawyers help?

Our expert team which includes accredited specialists in immigration law have helped entrepreneurs from around the world with their visas to Australia.

We understand the requirements and how to obtain sponsorship form the relevant State and Territory governments, having strong working relationships with them.

We can assist with your nomination right through to obtaining your visa.

Our business and corporate division has a range of experts that will also be able to assist in the legislative requirements for setting up your business in Australia.

Contact our team today to discuss your migration options.