Business visas were overhauled along with skilled visas on 1st July 2012. The Business Skills Program was replaced by the Business Innovation & Investment Program. Changes include:
- Ceasing of existing business visas,
- Introduction of new business visas,
- Integrating Business visas with the new Skillselect system.
The objective of these changes is to simplify the system. Since 1st July, 11 old visas have been consolidated into 3 new visas. These being:
- Business Talent,
- Business Innovation and Investment (Temporary), and
- Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent).
The Business Talent visa has 2 streams; Significant Business History Stream and Venture Capital Entrepreneur Stream. The former is for people with successful business careers who have a genuine intention to conduct business in Australia. Some requirements include:
- Overall successful business career,
- Business ownership,
- Business turnover,
- Personal assets,
- Genuine need to reside in Australia for business to succeed.
In showing an 'overall successful business career', the applicant must show significant business management experience. Businesses managed by the applicant must show success during the applicants time in charge. Success is not only measured in profits. For example, a business may purchase significant land or equipment. This would increase expenses (reducing profits) but would also increase assets. Those assets can be used to generate future profits.
Financial requirements apply. For example. Personal and business assets must have a net value of at least AUD 1.5M. This must be for 2 of the past 4 fiscal years. The applicant may combine their assets with their partners to meet this figure. Assets must be transferrable within 2 years i.e. a long-term investment bond with 3 year maturity would not meet this requirement.
The Venture Capital Entrepreneur Stream are for migrants with high-potential business ideas. Assessment of business idea's are conducted by Venture Capital firms. These are firms who specialise in assessing business idea's, and fund those with 'high potential'.
Acquisition of adequate funding would generally lead to an invitation to apply, subject to other criteria being met.
Once invited, other requirements include
- Formal agreement with Venture Capital firm must meet certain requirments,
- Eligible Business,
- Entrepreneur must maintain adequate ownership interest.
The entrepreneur must maintain adequate ownership interest. This is described as being actively involved in the day to day management of the business. The entrepreneur cannot merely maintain a passive role.
BUSINESS INNOVATION & INVESTMENT (PROVISIONAL)
This visa includes 3 streams, which share similarities with the above visa. However there are differences. The streams are,
- Business Innovation stream,
- Investor Stream,
- Significant Investor stream.
The business innovation stream is similar to the 'Significant Business History Stream' above. It is for people who want to own or manage a business in Australia. There are some differences, including relaxed annual turnover and personal asset requirements. Additionally, applicants are subject to the Business Innovation Points Test.
The Business Innovation Points Test attributes points to various factors including,
- English language ability,
- Business experience qualifications,
- Financial asset qualifications.
For example. For business experience qualifications, if the business applicant has held a main business;
- For 4 of the past 5 years 10 points
- For 7 of the past 8 years 15 points
The investor stream is for people wishing to invest in certain Australian assets and want to continue business or investment after maturity of initial investment. Applicants are required to invest at least AUD 1.5M into specified Australian assets. Additional requirements include,
- Adequate business experience,
- Personal assets,
- Genuine intention to conduct business in Australia
The significant investor stream is similar to the above. It is for people wishing to invest in Australian assets and want to continue business or investment after maturity of initial investment. The main difference is the investment requirement. Applicants must invest at least AUD $5M into specified Australian assets.
There are no other financial requirements for this stream. Applicants are not required to show any personal or business assets. Also, there are no business experience requirements.