I’m a business owner or investor. What’s the best way for me to migrate to Australia?

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If you are a business owner or an investor with a history of success, there may be several ways for you to migrate to Australia. Which suits you best will depend on the details of your situation, so expert advice is well worthwhile.

Two of the most frequently used pathways are the business investment and innovation visa (subclass 188) and the business talent visa (subclass 132). Other options exist, including visas for those who already own and manage a business in Australia, but the subclass 188 and 132 are among the most useful for those looking at initial migration.  

Keep in mind as you explore these options that both require substantial financial investment and a commitment to active management.

Business investment and innovation visa

A business investment and innovation visa allows eligible individuals to migrate to Australia and conduct business activity for four years and three months.

There are five streams under this visa. The three most generally useful are:

  • Business innovation stream – this is particularly appropriate for  substantial owners of Australian businesses who are involved in day-to day management in activities including the those who are involved in developing links with international markets, exporting Australian goods or introducing new technology, for example;
  • Investor stream – this is suitable for investors who make an investment of  AUD $1.3 million in an Australian business and individually or with a partner have assets of at least AUD $2.25 million; and
  • Significant investor stream – this requires assets of at least AUD $5 million and willingness to invest in complying investment funds. These investment funds must include venture capital funds or growth private equity funds that invest in startups and small private companies and eligible managed funds or Listed Investment Companies that invest in emerging companies.

The subclass 188 visa is provisional but may, after the initial period of four years and three months, lead to eligibility for a permanent business innovation and investment visa (subclass 888) and permanent residency. You may also be able to bring your family with you to Australia.

Business talent visa

The business talent visa is intended to allow individuals to establish a new or develop an existing business in Australia. There are two streams:

  • Significant business history stream –requires a  net value of at least AUD $1.5 million, an annual business turnover of at least AUD $3 million for at least 2 of the 4 fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply, and total net assets of at least AUD $400,000 as the ownership interest in one or more qualifying businesses for least 2 of the 4 fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply; and
  • Venture capital entrepreneur stream – this is for those who have sourced venture capital funding from a member of the Australian Investment Council and funding of at least AUD $1 million from an Australian venture capital firm.

Both varieties of business talent visa are permanent. The subclass 132 visa may permit individuals to enroll in Medicare, apply for Australian citizenship and sponsor eligible relatives for permanent residency.

If you are a business owner or investor interested in migrating to Australia, you have several choices to make. The attorneys at Owen Hodge Lawyers would like to help guide you through the process – to find the way that best suits your situation. Please call us at your earliest convenience at 1800 770 780 to schedule a consultation.

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