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In this edition we cover the new Business Skills visas.
In the next edition we will provide an update regarding the ongoing problems in state sponsorship saga and an EOI update of the results.
Reforms to the Business Skills Program
In addition to all the changes from 1 July 2012 we have discused in the past newsletters, DIAC has also introduced new Business Skills Program which is now called "Business Innovation and Investment Program". They integrated the new Business Innovation and Investment visas with SkillSelect in order to facilitate entry of entrepreneurs and investors to Australia. This program aims to directly create new business as visa holders become business owners.
New Visa Structure
There used to be 13 visa subclasses within the Business Skills Program. From 1 July 2012, the following 3 visas will replace them. Within each of these visas, there are several streams.
1. Business Talent (Permanent) (subclass 132)
- Significant business history stream
- Venture capital entrepreneur stream
2. Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) (subclass 188)
- Business innovation stream
- Investor stream
3. Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) (subclass 888)
- Business innovation stream
- Investor stream
In this newsletter, we will go through the requirements for Business Inovation and Investment visa. We will cover the other visas at a later date.
Provisional Business Innovation and Investment (subclass 188) visa
This is a state or territory nominated provisional visa with no minumum English requirement, which allows you to stay 4 years in Australia. You can even renew the visa for an additional 2 years.
Who can apply for this visa?
- be less than 55 years old, or the nominating state or territory must provide their support to waive the age requirement
- meet munimum business or investment requirements
- submit an EOI in Skillselect
- meet the innovation points test (pass mark of 65)
How does it work?
You need to first submit an expression of interest (EOI) in SkillSelect with a pass mark of 65 in the Innovation points test (see below). State and territory governments will look into the data provided on SkillSelect and send you an invitation to apply for a visa if you meet their requirements.
Points test requirements
The innovation points test is one of the big changes this new program introduced. They will assess your age, English language ability, qualifications, experience in business or investment, net personal and business assets, business turnover and innovation.
You need to be less than 55 years old at the time of the invitation to apply for the visa.However, if state or territory government agency is satisfied that your business is of exceptional economic benefit, they can waive the age requirement.
18-24 20 points
25-32 30 points
33-39 25 points
40-44 20 points
45-54 15 points
English language ability
Although there is no minimum English requirements for this visa, you can be awarded points depending of your English level.
- Proficient English or higher- IELTS test score of at least 7.0 for each band (10 points)
- Vocational English or higher - IELTS test score of at least 5.0 for each band (5 points)
- Bachelor degree in Business, Science or Technology by an Australian educational institution (or by a recognised overseas educational institution) (10 points)
- Trade certifiate, Diploma or Bachelor degree (any field of study) by an Australian educational institution OR Bachelor degree by a recognised overseas educational institution (5 points)
Business Experience (for Business Innovation stream only)
If you held one or more main businesses for:
- at least 7 years within the 8 years immediately before the time of invitaion (15 points)
- at least 4 years within the 5 years immediately before the time of invitation (10 points)
It doesn't matter whether your business(s) was successful. If you have business experience in a failed or declining business, this will be considered in asessing whether the applicant has an overall successful business career.
Investment Experience (for Investor stream only)
If you held eligible investment with a value of at least AUD 100,000 for:
- at least 7 years (15 points)
- at least 4 years (10 points)
Net Business and Personal Assets
Net business and personal assets are mandatory threshold criteria that you must meet. For Business innovation stream applicants, you need to have at least $800,000, whereas Investor stream applicants must have the net assets of 2.25 million.
For the points test, the net value of the business and personal assets of you or your spouse (or you and your spouse together) in each of the 2 fiscal years immediately before the time of invitation:
- AUD 2.25 million (35 points)
- AUS 1.8 million (25 points)
- AUS 1.3 million (15 points)
- AUS 800,000 (5 points)
Busines innovation stream applicants need to meet the business turnover requirement of $500,000 (no turnover requirement for Investor stream).
For the points test, annual turnover of ownership interest in one or more main businesses in at least 2 of the 4 fiscal years immediately before the time of invitation.
- AUD 2 million (35 points)
- AUD 1.5 million (25 points)
- AUD 1 million (15 points)
- AUD 500,000 (5 points)
If you have the following attributes, you can claim extra points:
- Registered patents or registered designs (15 points)
- Evidence of trademarks (10 points)
- Evidence of joint venture agreements (5 points)
- Evidence of export trade (15 points)
- Gazelle business (10 points)
- Evidence of receipt of grants or venture capital funding (10 points)
State or territory nomination
- Special endorsement (limite places) (10 points)
Permanent Business Innovation and Investment (subclass 888) visa
In order to apply for this visa, you must:
- hold a provisional Business Innovation and Inverstment visa
- have met the objevtives of the provisional visa
- meet the specific business metrics or investment
requirements of the stream for which they are applying
As you can see, points test is not required for this permanent visa application as you need to have your provisional visa granted before this permanent stage.
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Karl Konrad, Managing Director
Jee Eun HAN, Executive Manager
Australian Immigration Law Services
Publisher of IMMIGRATION NEWS
At Australian Immigration Law Services (AILS), we offer professional advice and practical solutions to all migration matters. Our team of licensed agents and consultants specialise in various areas of immigration law, such as skilled migration, business, family, and reviews.
Jee Eun Han