Entrepreneur Visa to be Introduced

The Australian Government has introduced an “Entrepreneur Visa” to attract talented, innovative people to establish entrepreneurial ventures in Australia.

The new Entrepreneur visa will be available from 10 September 2016 and will be a part of theBusiness Innovation and Investment Programme subclass 188 visa.

Entrepreneurs will require $200,000 in funding from a nominated third party to develop and commercialise innovative ideas in Australia.

Applicants must first be nominated by an Australian State or Territory Government and be invited through the SkillSelect Expression of Interest System for the visa

The Entrepreneur Visa will be 4 years in duration. Providing the visa holder successfully establishes an entrepreneurial venture in Australia there will be permanent residency pathway available onto a subclass 888 visa.

Main Criteria

The main requirements will be as follows:

  • Under 55 years old, unless “exceptional economic benefit” is demonstrated
  • Competent English Language Ability (ie 6 in each band of IELTS or equivalent)
  • Agreement in place for at least $200,000 to grow a venture in Australia
  • Hold at least 30% interest in that venture
  • Be sponsored by a state or territory government

Acceptable Business Activities

The proposed venture would need to be either:

  • Commercialisation of a product or service in Australia; or
  • Development of an enterprise or business in Australia

Certain activities which are not considered sufficiently innovative will be excluded. This will be defined by legislative instrument and might include:

  • Purchase of an existing business or franchise
  • Real estate activities
  • Labour hire activities

Eligible funding

To apply for the Entrepreneur Visa, you will need to have an agreement for at least $200,000 in funding from one or more of the following sources:

  • Commonwealth agencies
  • State and territory governments
  • Publicly funded research organisations
  • Investors registered as Venture Capital Limited Partnerships or Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnerships

The funding agreement must involve the transfer of at least 10% of the funds within 12 months of commencing the activity in Australia.

The new Entrepreneur Visa will be a great pathway for applicants seeking to start innovative ventures in Australia. Unlike the other Subclass 188 streams, there is no requirement to show a minimum amount of personal net assets or significant business background.

Additional Points for PhD and Masters by Research Students

5 additional points for completion of a PhD or Masters by Research in Australia will be available from 10 September.

Item 6D7A1 provides an extra 5 points for applicant’s who have met the requirement of a specialist educational award.

  • The following fields of education qualifications are proposed to be accepted under this new measure and are defined by the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS):
    • Biological Sciences
    • Chemical Sciences
    • Earth Sciences
    • Mathematical Sciences
    • Natural and Physical Sciences
    • Other Natural and Physical Sciences
    • Physics and Astronomy
    • Computer Science
    • Information Systems
    • Information Technology
    • Other Information Technology
    • Aerospace Engineering and Technology
    • Civil Engineering
    • Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Technology

     

    This Instrument commences on 10 September 2016.