Category: Entrepreneur visas

Australian Entrepreneur visa

Creating an Australian Innovation Hub: Spotlight on the Australian Entrepreneur Visa

Australian Innovation Investment

Australia abounds with initiatives to grow and develop its innovation and technological expansion agenda, including funding programs and changes to the visa system with the introduction of the Australian Entrepreneur visa.

As part of the National Innovation & Science Agenda, strategies by the Australian Federal Government to fund and build innovation and startups in Australia include the following:

  • $23 million invested for the “Incubator Support” initiative which provides funding to support new and existing Incubators (including developing new incubators in regions or sectors with high potential for success in international trade) as well as an Expert-In-Residence program to provide access to research, managerial and technical talent .
  • $30 million invested to create opportunities for businesses in the rapidly growing cyber security sector, including establishing a new industry-led Cyber Security Growth Centre in Australia.
  • $36 million invested in a Global Innovation Strategy to improve Australia’s international science, research and innovation collaboration through Landing Pads which provide market-ready startups with a short-term (90 day) operational base where they can access entrepreneurial talent, mentors, investors and a wider connected network of innovation hubs located in Berlin, San Francisco, Shanghai, Singapore and Tel Aviv.
  • $500 million invested to establish the Biomedical Translation- $250 million of Commonwealth funding that has been matched by private sector investors to invest in commercialising promising biomedical discoveries.

As explained through the Australian Government website: www.innovation.gov.au.

Australian Entrepreneur Visa

The Australian Government introduced changes to the visa system last year to assist in attracting and retaining entrepreneurial talent ‘to drive ideas from research to commercial reality’ in Australia. The Entrepreneur visa continues to be an attractive means for overseas directors of Australian startups to remain in Australia and grow their business.

The Entrepreneur visa is a four year visa with a pathway to permanent residency through the Business Innovation & Investment (Residence) subclass 888 visa.

The Entrepreneur visa is a two-stage process which requires:

  1. Nomination by an Australian State or Territory Government; and
  2. Lodging a visa application with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).

Requirements include:

  • The visa applicant must be under the age of 55 years unless providing an “exceptional economic benefit” to the State or Territory;
  • Have a funding agreement in place for a minimum of $200,000 to establish a venture in Australia;
  • Have an ownership interest of at least 30%; and
  • Have at least competent English.

The proposed business venture would need to include either the development of an enterprise or business in Australia or involve the commercialisation of a product or service in Australia.

For overseas entrepreneurs building their business in Australia, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@hartmanlawyers.com.au for a confidential discussion regarding your eligibility for the Entrepreneur visa.

Disclaimer:

The information on this website is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on relevant matters. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. You are advised to seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content contained in this website.

Entrepreneur visa

Introducing the New Entrepreneur Visa

Last December the Australian Federal Government announced their intention to introduce an Entrepreneur visa.

The Entrepreneur visa supports the ‘National Innovation and Science Agenda,’ which is intended to “… embrace new ideas in innovation and science, and harness new sources of growth to deliver the next age of economic prosperity in Australia.”  The Australian Federal Government hopes the new visa will attract appropriate skilled and talented entrepreneurs to Australia which will facilitate the commercialisation and development of innovative ideas.

The Australian Federal Government is now proceeding with the introduction of the keenly awaited Entrepreneur visa.

When will the Entrepreneur visa be introduced?

This visa will come into effect on 10 September 2016, which is two months earlier than initially proposed.

What will the application process involve?

The Entrepreneur visa will form part of the Business Innovation and Investment visa program for Australia.  The visa will form a separate ‘Entrepreneur stream’ as part of the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) (subclass 188) visa for temporary visa applications and Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent)(subclass 888) visa for applicants who have qualified for permanent residency.

The visa application will involve a three stage process:

  1. Firstly a visa applicant will submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect;
  2. The visa applicant must be nominated by a State or Territory Government; and
  3. The visa applicant, once invited by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), will lodge a visa application.

What are the main visa requirements?

The DIBP has published the main criteria for the Entrepreneur visa which are stipulated to be as follows:

  • Visa applicants must be undertaking, or proposing to undertake, an entrepreneurial venture in Australia.
  • The entrepreneurial venture must not be related to residential real estate or labour hire or involve purchasing an existing business or franchise.
  • Visa applicants must also be under 55 years of age, have a competent level of English, and have at least 30 per cent interest in their entrepreneurial venture.
  • There must be one or more funding agreements in place for at least $200,000 between the entrepreneur or venture and a third party funding body or bodies.  Sources of third party funding are limited to state and territory governments, Commonwealth agencies, Publicly Funded Research Organisations, and investors registered as a Venture Capital Limited Partnerships (VCLP) or Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnerships (ESVCLP).  Agreements outlining funds from a combination of these sources are also acceptable.
  • Visa applicants must have a business plan outlining their plans for their venture in Australia.
  • Visa applicants must meet the points test for a subclass 188 visa, with a minimum score of 65.  Points are allocated based on age, English language ability, qualifications, experience in business or investment, net personal and business assets, business turnover and innovation. It is noted that from 10 September 2016, five additional points will be available for students from Australian institutions with doctorate-level and masters by research qualifications in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and information and communication technology fields.

What is the duration of the Entrepreneur visa?

The Entrepreneur visa, as part of the Business Innovation and Investment programme, will be granted for a four year period, with the possibility for an extension.

An Entrepreneur visa holder may be eligible for Australian permanent residency after four years if they can demonstrate the success of their enterprise, which will include factors such as business turnover, employment of Australians and ability to obtain significant financial backing.

From the introduction of the Entrepreneur visa on 10 September 2016, we will be assisting eligible candidates to prepare their Entrepreneur visa applications.

For more information, please feel free to contact the author by email at rebecca@hartmanlawyers.com.au or by telephone on +61 3 9021 0986 or +61 (0)423 701 747.

Disclaimer:

The information on this website is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on relevant matters. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. You are advised to seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content contained in this website.

corporate immigration

Australian Corporate Immigration Implications Following the Re-election of Prime Minister Turnbull

With a mandate to begin forming the new Federal Government of Australia, re-elected Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, will be able to resume his implementation of the ‘Ideas Boom’  – ie the ‘National Innovation and Science Agenda’ which supports changes to the visa system to attract overseas talent and investment to Australia.

However corporate immigration policies were seemingly absent from the 2016 election campaign focus of both major Australian parties.  We are therefore yet to see how the newly formed Government will impact on corporate immigration, potentially affecting Australian businesses sponsoring overseas employees as well as international companies required to send employees to Australia.

The main visas to monitor at this stage are:

  • Temporary Work (Skilled) (subclass 457) visas;
  • The Short-Term Mobility visas; and
  • The Entrepreneur visas.

Subclass 457 Visas

The subclass 457 visa remains the most common means of Australian employers sponsoring overseas workers.  It is by no means a simple process and involves employers and visa applicants meeting rigorous requirements, from training expenditure to salary thresholds, English language requirements and labour market testing.

Australia’s premier foreign policy think tank, the Lowy Institute, conducts an annual opinion poll of Australian attitudes to key issues.  In relation to the economy, the report from June this year states that opinions are as follows:

“Optimism about the Australian economy has lifted, with 70% of Australians now ‘very optimistic’ or ‘optimistic’ about ‘Australia’s economic performance in the world over the next five years’, up seven points since 2015.”

Positive public opinion regarding the economy generally assists in paving the way for a more generous corporate immigration policy to enable Australian businesses (especially in the technology and innovation industries) to retain and attract overseas employees where they are unable to find local labour.  Therefore, the Turnbull Government is unlikely to introduce drastic restrictive reforms to the subclass 457 visa.

Short-Term Mobility Visas

The proposal for a new Short-Term Work visa enabling businesses to bring in specialist workers for up to a year seems to have been abandoned by the Turnbull Government.

This visa would have filled a gap in the immigration program where a business requires specialist services for greater than the three month period usually provided by the Temporary Work (Short Stay Activity) (subclass 400) visa, and wishing to bypass the red tape involved in applying for a subclass 457 visa, which can be granted for up to four years.

Therefore, businesses requiring services from overseas employees will generally need to continue to apply for the subclass 400 or subclass 457 visa, depending on the nature of the position and relocation requirements.

Entrepreneur Visas

We are yet to see whether the newly formed Government will implement the new Entrepreneur visa, which was announced in December last year.

Discussion regarding access to Australian visas by entrepreneurs was intended by the Turnbull Government to encourage highly skilled workers to travel to Australia.  Also proposed was strengthening the permanent residence pathways for certain postgraduate research students.

The new Entrepreneur visa was intended to be introduced in November 2016 and the permanent residence pathways for postgraduate research students was to come into effect in December 2016.  It is now a case of ‘wait and see’ whether these reforms will be implemented by the new Turnbull government.

Future Corporate Immigration Policies

If the re-elected Prime Minister succeeds in implementing the ‘Ideas Boom’, it will be crucial for Australian businesses to be able to attract and retain the necessary talent and skills  from overseas.

It would not further the objectives  of the National Innovation and Science Agenda to restrict the subclass 457 visa program, especially in light of the implications for business now that the Short-Term Mobility visa has been abandoned.

If the Turnbull Government continues with its plan to introduce an Entrepreneur visa towards the end of this year, this may assist business in attracting overseas talent through a new Australian visa pathway.

For advice regarding Australian visas, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@hartmanlawyers.com.au for Australian immigration assistance.

Disclaimer:

The information on this website is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on relevant matters. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. You are advised to seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content contained in this website.

Australian Government Announces New Entrepreneur Visa

The National Innovation and Science Agenda

The Australian Government has introduced the National Innovation and Science Agenda. The aim of the Agenda is to:

“… embrace new ideas in innovation and science, and harness new sources of growth to deliver the next age of economic prosperity in Australia.”

The Government has recognised that innovation and science are crucial for the development of the Australian economy, and will introduce reforms to enable expansion in these areas.

Introduction of an Entrepreneur Visa

As part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda, the Australian Government has announced that, as part of the reforms, a new Entrepreneur visa will be introduced.

The Government will create:

  • A new provisional Entrepreneur Visa for entrepreneurs with innovative ideas and financial backing, and a pathway to permanent residence; and
  • Pathways to permanent residence for postgraduate research graduates with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) qualification will be enhanced.

The Government has announced that the new Entrepreneur visa will be introduced in November 2016 and the permanent residence pathways for postgraduate research graduates will come into effect in December 2016.

The exact provisions of the Entrepreneur visa and postgraduate pathways are yet to be announced.

We will keep our clients and contacts updated regarding the new Entrepreneur visa and visa pathways. For more information, please feel free to contact the author to discuss the most appropriate visa options by email at rebecca@hartmanlawyers.com.au or by telephone on +61 3 9021 0986 or +61 (0)423 701 747.

Disclaimer:

The information on this website is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on relevant matters. It is not intended to be comprehensive nor does it constitute legal advice. You are advised to seek legal or other professional advice before acting or relying on any of the content contained in this website.