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What are the Eligibility Requirements for Australian Business Migration?

Australian business owner visa will be done for you, as well as answers to all of your questions about starting business in Australia.

Start by looking at your background:

If you were a business owner for at least the last 3-4 years, look at the Business Owner category.

If you were a senior executive of a large corporation for the last 3-4 years, then the senior executive categories must be considered.

If you have accumulated substantial funds and investments (your own money) over the last 4 – 5 years, then consider the Investor visa options.

If you were a business owner of a substantial business, then the Business talent visa may be the best option for you.

Australia’s business skills migration program encourages successful business people (Business Owners, Investors & Senior Executives) to settle permanently in Australia and develop new or existing businesses in Australia.

Skilled migration is limited to the under 50 years (yes, quite cruel) and spousal migration is limited to those who have fallen in love with an Australian (yes, even more cruel).

However business migration is limited to age 55 and under, and some states will look at sponsoring applicants up to age 59.

Therein poses the first question – ‘What is state sponsorship ?’ : –

This does not mean that you have to run the Sydney marathon sponsored by the state of your choice. State Sponsorship is the first stage of a few different business visa types.

These are: –

The Business Owner Visa
To be eligible, you need to show that: –

You must:

be under 55 years of age, although a state or territory can waive this requirement if your proposed business will be of exceptional economic benefit to the nominating state or territory.

score at least 65 on the points test for two out of the four fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply, have had an ownership interest in an established business or businesses that had at least AUD 500,000 turnover in each of those years own at least one of the following percentage of your nominated main business:

51 per cent, if the business has a turnover of less than AUD 400,000 per year
30 per cent, if the business has a turnover of AUD 400,000 or more per year
10 per cent, if the business is a publicly listed company
have an overall successful business career
have a genuine desire to continuously own and maintain a management role in a business in Australia.

If your nominated main business provides professional, technical or trade services, you must have spent no more than half your time providing those services, as opposed to general management of the business.

At the time of invitation, you, your partner, or you and your partner combined must have total net business and personal assets of at least AUD 800,000 that are lawfully acquired and available for legal transfer to Australia within two years of the visa being granted.

You and your partner must have had no involvement in unacceptable business or investment activities.

1. What does ‘ownership interest’ mean here ?

It is the portion of net assets (i.e, total assets minus total liabilities) that should be distributed to all the owners of the business if the business were to be dissolved. An individuals equity or interest is their individual portion of the total owners’ equity of the business. In a business, owner’s equity may be called shareholders’ equity.

2. What kinds of businesses are eligible ?

This is a key point – being self-employed will not allow you to claim the turnover as eligible. Generally, you need to employ staff, with the turnover being made up from sale of goods and services – not payment for services provided by you.

For example if you are a plumber in ‘your own business’, doing normal work and being paid for it, this will not qualify. If, however, you manage a team of several plumbers who do the work, and you manage the business, this can qualify. As long as you do not do the hands on tasks for 50% or more of the time.

3. What are personal assets comprised of ?

Any bank accounts, savings, bonds, property (including the home you live in), and your own personal assets. Liabilities (any debts owed) would be deducted from the total.

The Investor Visa
This visa is similar in some ways to the senior manager route above – the difference being that the key criteria slightly differs which you need to show that: –

You must:

be under 55 years of age, although a state or territory can waive this requirement if your proposed investment will be of exceptional economic benefit to the nominating state or territory
score at least 65 on the points test
have a high level of management skill in relation to the eligible investment or qualifying business activity
have at least three years’ experience of direct involvement in managing one or more qualifying businesses or eligible investments
have an overall successful record of eligible investment or qualifying business activity
have a genuine and realistic commitment to continuing your business and investment activity in Australia after the original investment has matured
have a genuine intention to live for at least two years in the state or territory in which you have made a designated investment.
You, your partner, or you and your partner combined must:

for at least one of the five fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply, have directly managed one of the following:
a qualifying business in which you, your partner or you and your partner combined had at least 10 per cent ownership interest, or
eligible investments owned by you, your partner or you and your partner combined of at least AUD 1.5 million.
during the two fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply, have legally acquired net business, investment and personal assets of at least AUD 2.25 million that are available for legal transfer to Australia within two years of the visa being granted
make a designated investment of at least AUD 1.5 million in a state or territory government security using unencumbered funds accumulated from qualifying businesses or eligible investments and be prepared to hold that investment for at least four years from date of issue in your nominating state or territory
have had no involvement in unacceptable activities.
Income that you earn from your designated investment in Australia is subject to tax under Australian taxation law.

1. So, that is the main eligibility criteria – What visa does that give, and How does an applicant move to residency ?

These visas have the same pathway to residency (both applications take around 8 – 12 months in total also): –
For any 12 month period, an applicant must then meet: –
Turnover of AUD300,000 (or set up the business and your residence in a regional area).
Personal and business total assets of AUD800,000 or business assets of AUD75,000.
Employ an Australian or two.

For any 12 month period. As soon as you have met this, then you gain full PR. You need to own at least 30% of a business, as long as you are running it.
A key point here is that at the time of meeting the criteria, you need to have been living in Aus for 24 months – this logically means that you can meet the criteria after the first year, as a further 12 months after that will mean 24 months (recreational and business trips outside Aus are allowed during this time, still allowing you to meet the criteria).

The Investor Visa
This is a way to achieve Full Permanent Residence without having strict regulations on yourself to work in Australia.

To be eligible for this visa, you need to have had AUD 750,000 in eligible assets for the last 5 years = all assets such as stocks, bonds, savings, 2nd / 3rd homes – but not the house that you have lived in.

You also need to have had AUD 1,125,000 (1.125 million) in total assets (which can include the house that you live in) for at least the last 2 years.

If you are eligible, then at the time of the decision you made a government approved Designated Investment for at least AUD 750,000 in a State or Territory of Australia. This amount must be available for transfer to Australia within a reasonable period when requested.

On these visas, should you wish to buy a house in the provisional phase, then you would need to go through the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) – this basically means that you can only buy a new house, or a plot of land.

So these are the main visa options in the business stream – So what about the actual application itself ?
The first stage is often State Sponsorship, as we mentioned above.

On a state sponsored visa, this means that you submit a business proposal plan to the State, showing Australian business research and knowledge. This means than an applicant needs to meet the criteria above, to move to residency. Without State Sponsorship, the criteria is much higher, and the visa application itself may become more difficult.

Please Note: ASA has specific services for the State Sponsorship, business proposal plan and all areas of the application.

Frequently Asked Questions
What can my spouse do on the visa ?

Work is not limited for spouses, and they can take up ‘normal’ employment.

I have two businesses – How can I meet the turnover requirements ?

An applicant’s two main businesses can combine their turnover to meet the criteria.

What about schooling ?

On a provisional PR visa, currently in SA and WA, this means that only local schooling fees are payable – in other states, foreigner rate fees are needed.

Do I have to carry on the same type of business in Australia as I do now ?

Not at all – you can do a different businesses – and to make it easier to meet the requirements, you can open up another business on the side (B&B / Cafe / Franchises), to ensure meeting the turnover – and then once you achieve full PR, you can do anything as you have no restrictions at all at the stage of full residency.
Business visas are known as the most complex, want to be sure that you meet the criteria for a business visa?

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