Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) (Subclass 188) Visa

May 30, 2013

In its effort to foster continual investment and innovation, the Australian government has developed visa schemes to encourage migration of high net-worth contributors to Australia. The provisional Business Innovation and Investment Visa is part of the Australian Business Innovation and Investment Program, and it is aimed at attracting overseas individuals to invest in Australia, ultimately strengthening the Australian economy.

Generally speaking, this Visa is for people who already have a successful business or investment history, own adequate personal and business assets or were nominated by a state or territory government.

The Visa has three streams:

  • The Business Innovation Stream is for individuals who want to own and      manage a new or existing business in Australia.
  • The Investor Stream is for individuals who want to make an investment in an Australian state or territory and want to maintain business and investment activity in Australia after the original investment has matured.
  • The Significant Investor Stream is for individuals who are willing to invest at least $5 million into particular investments in Australia and maintain business and investment activity in Australia after the original investment has matured.

Applicants must lodge an Expression of Interest through the Department of Immigration and Citizenship’s ‘SkillSelect’ and be invited to apply for the Visa.

Eligibility

The specific eligibility criteria required to be met will depend on which stream an individual intends to apply for.

All individuals and any accompanying family members must also meet health and character requirements

Business Innovation Stream

Individuals who wish to apply for the Business Innovation Stream, must:

  • be younger than 55 years of age, although a state or territory can waive this      requirement in special circumstances;
  • score at least 65 on the Innovation Points test;
  • have a total annual turnover of at least A$500,000 (in one or more of their main businesses) in at least two of the four fiscal years immediately before the application is made;
  • own a certain percentage of that main business (or two main businesses);
  • have an overall successful business career having managed a business in which they spent less than half their time on professional, technical or trade services; and
  • have a genuine desire to own and maintain a management role in a business in Australia; and individually or with their partner have total assets of at least A$800,000 that can be readily transferred to Australia within two years of the visa being granted.

Investor stream

Individuals who wish to apply for the Investor Stream must:

  • be younger than 55 years of age, although a state or territory can waive this      requirement in special circumstances;
  • score at least 65 on the Innovation Points test;
  • have at least three years’ experience and a high level of management skills in relation to ‘eligible investments’ or ‘qualifying business activity’;
  • have a genuine and realistic commitment to continuing their business and      investment activity in Australia after the original investment has matured;
  • individually or with their partner have had total assets of at least A$2.25 million for the two fiscal years immediately before the application is made. These assets must be readily transferred to Australia within two years of the visa being granted; and
  • be prepared to make the government-approved designated investment of A$1.5 million which is money derived from their investments or business activity.

Significant Investor Stream

Individuals who wish to apply for the Significant Investor Stream must be prepared to invest at least A$5 million in at least one of the following ‘complying investments’:

  • Commonwealth, state or territory government bonds;
  • Certain managed funds that have a mandate for investing in one of the      following Australian assets:
    • infrastructure projects in Australia;
    • cash held by Australian deposit taking institutions;
    • bonds issued by the Commonwealth 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 estate in Australia;
    • Australian Agribusiness; or
    • other ASIC regulated managed funds that invest in the above list of investments;
  • A direct ownership interest in a private Australian company not listed on any      Australian stock exchange, which operates a business in Australia.

The individual must also have a genuine and realistic commitment to continue his or her business and investment activity in Australia and reside in the state or territory that provided nomination for the application.

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