Business Migration Reforms AnnouncedBy Mark Webster
28 May 2012 Significant changes to the business migration program have been announced last week, and will apply from 1 July 2012. The Business Skills stream will be renamed the Business Innovation and Investment Program. New visa subclasses will be introduced which have higher asset and business turnover requirements than the current system. The new subclasses require all applicants to apply via the SkillSelect system, and to be sponsored by State or Territory governments.
Overview of Business MigrationThe business migration program is for business owners and investors, and is in general a 2-stage process. The first stage is to obtain a 4-year provisional business visa. Once business operations have been established in Australia, provisional visa holders can obtain a permanent visa providing they meet residence and business criteria. The only exception to the 2-stage process is for very high net worth individuals who apply for a business talent subclass 132 visa - this type of visa generally requires the visa applicant to make a significant investment in an Australian business.
SkillSelect from 1 July 2012From 1 July 2012, the business migration program will be part of the SkillSelect system. SkillSelect requires applicants to first lodge an "Expression of Interest" or EOI. The Department of Immigration will then assess the EOIs which have been submitted and invite the best applicants to make a visa application. As a result, from 1 July 2012 people will not be able to apply directly for business migration, they must first make an EOI and receive an invitation from the Department of Immigration.
State NominationState nomination will be required for all of the new business migration subclasses. We understand that state and territory governments will have a limit on the number of business migrants they can nominate under this program as part of their State Migration Plans.
- Business Talent (Subclass 132) - a direct pathway to permanent residence for high level business people
- Provisional Business Innovation and Investment (Subclass 188) - a 4-year provisional visa
- Permanent Business Innovation and Investment (Subclass 888) - the permanent stage of the provisional subclass 188 visa
- English Language Ability
- Experience in Business or Investment
- Net Personal Assets
- Business Turnover
- Special Endorsement by State/Territory Government