Australia Migration, Immigration Australia, Migrating to Australia
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Business Visas

Australian Business Visas

Australian Immigration Program - Business Skills Visas

Australia's business skills migration program encourages successful business people (business owners, investors and senior executives) to settle permanently in Australia and develop new or existing businesses in Australia.

Under the new two-stage arrangements introduced on 1 March 2003:-

  • successful business migrants are first granted a Business Skills (Provisional) visa for four years, then
  • after establishing the requisite level of business or maintaining their eligible investment, are eligible to make an application for a Business Skills (Residence) visa (permanent residence) - applied for in Australia

A direct permanent residence category will still be available for certain business migrants sponsored by State/Territory governments. This is known as the Business Talent visa.

Who can apply for a business skills visa ?

  1. business owner: for owners or part-owners of a business;
  2. senior executive: for senior executive employees of major businesses;
  3. investment: for investors/business people willing to invest in Australia;
  4. business talent: for high-calibre business people who have sponsorship from a State/Territory government.

Persons who are in Australia on temporary visas (existing 457 independent executive visa holders - new applications for a 457ie was discontinued on 1 March 2003) may still apply for Permanent Residence under the following two categories:  (or under the new Business Owner (Residence) visa)

  1. established business in Australia (EBA): for people temporarily in Australia who are owners or part owners of a business; and
  2. regional established business in Australia (REBA): for people temporarily in Australia who are owners or part owners of a business in a designated area of Australia.

The Business Skills Visa categories

(i) Business Talent (Migrant)(subclass 132) is for high calibre business people who are owners or part owners of an overseas business and have an overall successful business career, significant business assets and have a genuine and realistic commitment to participate as a principal in the management of a new or existing business. This category must be sponsored by a State/Territory Government.

(ii) Business Skills (Provisional) visas

  • Business Owner (Provisional) (subclass 160/163) is for people with a successful business career, including senior management or ownership, who have significant business assets and have a genuine and realistic commitment to participate as a principal in the management of a new or existing business. This category may be sponsored by a State/Territory Government, with lower level criteria applying.
  • Senior Executive (Provisional) (subclass 161/164) is for senior executive employees of major overseas businesses who have been responsible for strategic policy development affecting a major component or a wide range of operations of that business, who have significant net assets and a genuine and realistic commitment to participate as a principal in the management of a new or existing business. This category may be sponsored by a State/Territory Government, with lower level criteria applying.
  • Investor (Provisional) (subclass 162/165) is for investors/business people who have an overall successful record of business or investment activities, have significant net assets, are willing to invest funds in a designated investment in Australia for four years and have a genuine commitment to maintain business and investment activity in Australia. This category may be sponsored by a State/Territory Government, with lower level criteria applying.

(iii) Business Skills (Residence) Visas
The Business Skills (Residence) category of visa is the second stage of Business Skills entry providing for permanent stay in Australia with a resident return facility valid for five years from the date of grant.

  • Business Owner (Residence) (subclass 890/892) is for persons who hold a Business Skills (Provisional) visa and have had an ownership interest in a business in Australia for at least 2 years with significant personal and business assets, turnover as well as a minimum number of employees. Applicants must have been in Australia for at least one year in the two years immediately before applying. This category may be sponsored by a State/Territory Government, with lower level criteria applying. There is also provision for 457 Independent Executive visa holders in Australia to apply for the State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner (Residence) visa.
  • Investor (Residence) (subclass 891/893) is for persons who have held a Investor (Provisional) visa and a Designated Investment for the minimum 4 years and who have lived in Australia for at least 2 years in the four years immediately before the application is made. This category may be sponsored by a State/Territory Government.

Temporary Business (Long Stay) (Independent Executive) (457) visa holders are still be able to apply for permanent residence in the:

  • Established Business in Australia (EBA) category, or
  • the Regional Establish Business in Australia (REBA) category if sponsored by an appropriate regional authority, or
  • the State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner (Residence) category if sponsored by a state/territory government.

Onshore - obligations of Business Skills visa holders

Business Talent visa holders must provide DIAC in Australia with a contact address within 6 months of their initial arrival.

Their progress is monitored after arrival and they will be sent a letter requesting details of their business activity 24 months after their initial arrival in Australia.

Where a Business Talent visa holder has not made a genuine effort to obtain a substantial ownership interest in an eligible business, within three years of arrival, they may be liable for visa cancellation under the Migration Act.

Business Skills (Provisional) visa holders are also be required to provided a contact address within 6 months of initial arrival and are requested to provide details of their business activity 24 months after initial arrival in Australia. This will provide useful feedback on a visa holder's progress towards meeting permanent residence requirements.

Business Skills (Provisional) visa holders are required to obtain an ownership interest in a business in Australia or maintain their investment in Australia for four years. If this requirement is not met they may not be eligible to apply for a Business Skills (Residence) visa and may have to leave Australia.

Do you qualify for a business visa ? Register now for detailed professional advice.

Register for detailed advice on your business visa prospects

Also visit our section on Doing business in Australia and obtaining Business Finance in Australia.

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