The Australian Government has recently announced a new focus on bringing wealth and talent to Australia through the National Innovation and Science Agenda. A significant part of this drive for prosperity includes importing new talent and ideas to Australia. For this reason, the new entrepreneur visa was introduced on September 10, 2016.
Who is eligible for the visa?
There are certain criteria which must be met in order to be eligible for the entrepreneur visa. These include:
- Being under the age of 55.
- Having sufficient English competency.
- Being nominated by a state or territory government for the visa.
- Having in place a pre-application agreement to be awarded at least $200,000 by a third party sponsor with the intention of growing and pursuing your entrepreneurial plans.
- Having at least a 30% interest in the entrepreneurial venture.
Multiple applicants for the same idea can apply together, as long as each applicant individually holds at least a 30% interest in the venture.
Your idea or venture must also be determined to be a ‘complying entrepreneur activity’ – meaning that it relates to an innovative idea which will either result in the development of a new business or enterprise within Australia or otherwise lead to commercialising a product or service in Australia.
According to these criteria, the entrepreneur visa is suitable for anybody from creative and innovative students through to already established professional entrepreneurs – the most important thing is that a new and exciting idea is brought to Australia and can be implemented!
What sort of ventures are unlikely to be eligible?
It is important to bear in mind that engaging in real estate or labour hire or buying an already established business is not sufficient to be awarded the visa. As the visa is implemented, further categories of enterprise may be excluded, so if you are getting ready to apply, stay in touch with your registered migration agent to make sure that you remain abreast of any changes which could potentially affect your application.
How the funding requirement works
Applicants for an entrepreneur visa (which forms a part of the business innovation and investment (provisional) visa subclass 188) must seek $200,000 or more in funding from an interested third party.
That money is intended to help the recipient come up with, develop and ultimately commercialise their innovative ideas. Potential financial donors include government (federal or state) agencies, publicly-funded research organisations, and investors who are officially registered as venture capital limited partnerships or early stage venture capital limited partnerships.
How to apply
In order to apply for the entrepreneur visa, you must issue an expression of interest via the Australian Government’s Skill Select program.
If your application for this type of business visa is successful, you will be eligible to remain in Australia for up to four years. If you do successfully establish the proposed venture, you may ultimately be eligible for permanent residency following your immigration to Australia.
The Australian Government is keen to welcome migrants with new and exciting ideas. If you feel that you have something valuable to contribute and believe that you otherwise meet the criteria for the entrepreneur visa, get in touch with a registered migration agent to find out more on kick-starting the process today!