The Business Innovation Stream and The Investor Stream: An In-depth View

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The Business Innovation Stream and The Investor Stream: An In-depth View

The Business Innovation Stream and The Investor Stream: An In-depth View

The Business Innovation Stream and The Investor Stream offer an avenue and pathway to permanent residency in Australia.

These visas are available to anyone with the relevant skills to operate a business or the funds to invest in an Australian state or territory.

Both visas allow you to stay in Australia for up to 4 years and 3 months and are granted with multiple entry, enabling holders to leave and re-enter Australia for the validity of the visa. These visas also allow you to bring eligible family members with you.

While these are provisional visas, visa holders may apply for a new visa if they wish to stay longer. Once you have one of these visas, you may apply for permanent residence through the Business Innovation and Investment visa, provided certain requirements are met.

What is the Business Innovation Stream (Sc188A)?

The Business Innovation Stream is a provisional visa for people with business skills. It lets visa holders operate a new or existing business in Australia. 

Eligibility

In order to be eligible for the Business Innovation Stream, you must own or operate a new or existing business in Australia, and you must be nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency. 

In order to be nominated, you must for 2 out of 4 fiscal years immediately prior to receiving an invitation to apply, have had an ownership stake in one or two businesses that had at least AUD500,000 turnover in each of those two years.

Regardless of the number of businesses you have, you must own at least:

  • 51% of the total value of the business if the business has a turnover of less than AUD400,000 per year
  • 30% of the total value of the business if the business has a turnover of AUD400,000 or more per year, or
  • 10% of the total value of the business if the business is operated by a publicly listed company

If your business provides professional, technical or trade services, you must have spent less than half your time providing those services, rather than general management of the business.

When you are invited to apply for this visa, you must have total net business and personal assets of at least AUD800,000 individually or combined with your partner. Your funds must be available to transfer to Australia within two years of having been granted the visa.

You must also score at least 65 points on the points test.

Points can be accumulated using your:

  • age
  • English language ability
  • qualifications
  • business experience
  • net personal and business assets
  • business turnnover
  • innovation
  • special endorsement

    You must also meet the following criteria:

  • be under 55
  • not have a history of involvement in unacceptable activities
  • have functional English
  • meet health requirements
  • meet character requirements
  • sign the Australian values statement
  • have no debt to the Australian government
  • not have had a visa cancelled or a prior application refused

What Obligations Apply to the Business Innovation Stream?

The visa holder and any family members that are part of the application must comply with all visa conditions, certain business obligations and Australian laws.
Prior to entering Australia for the first time, a visa holder must not marry or enter a de facto relationship.
For the duration of the visa, you must have a substantial ownership stake in a business in Australia and take part in its day-to-day management at a senior level.

In the business, you must do at least one of the following:

  • add to commercial activity and competitiveness within the Australian economy
  • develop business links with international markets
  • employ people in Australia
  • export Australian goods
  • introduce new or improved technology, or
  • produce goods or services that Australia would otherwise import

What is the Investor Stream (Sc188B)?

The Investor Stream is a provisional visa requiring visa holders to invest at least AUD1.5 million in an Australian state or territory and maintain business or investment activity in Australia.

Eligibility

In order to be eligible for the Investor Stream, you must be nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency in addition to investing AUD1.5 million in an Australian state or territory.

In order to be nominated, you must have managed a qualifying business or investments to the value of at least AUD1.5 million.

For at least 1 of the 5 fiscal years immediately prior to being invited to apply, you must have directly managed one of the following:

  • a qualifying business in which you, your partner or you and your partner combined had at least 10% ownership interest, or
  • an eligible investment of at least AUD1.5 million owned by you, your partner or you and your partner combined. 

For the two fiscal years immediately prior to being invited to apply, you must have business and personal assets with a net value of at least AUD2.25 million individually or combined with your partner. These assets must have been lawfully acquired and be available for transfer to Australia within two years of the visa being granted.  

After lodging the application, you must make a designated investment of at least AUD1.5 million in the state or territory in which the nominating state or territory government agency is located. This investment must be in your name or in your name and your partner’s name. The investment must be made from available funds generated from qualifying businesses or eligible investments.

You must also have the right experience, including:

  • have at least three years’ experience managing one or more qualifying businesses or eligible investments
  • have a successful record of eligible investment or qualifying business activity
  • have demonstrated a high level of management skill in relation to the eligible investment or qualifying business activity

You must also score at least 65 points on the points test.

Points can be accumulated using your:

  • age
  • English language ability
  • qualifications
  • business experience
  • net personal and business assets
  • business turnover
  • innovation
  • special endorsement 

You must also meet the following criteria:

  • intend to live in the state or territory in which you made the investment application for at least two years
  • be under 55
  • not have a history of involvement in unacceptable activities
  • have functional English
  • meet health requirements
  • meet character requirements
  • Sign the Australian values statement
  • have no debt to the Australian government
  • not have had a visa cancelled or a prior application refused

What Obligations Apply to the Investor Stream?

The visa holder and any family members that are part of the application must comply with all visa conditions, certain business obligations and Australian laws.

Prior to entering Australia for the first time, a visa holder must not marry or enter a de facto relationship.

The visa holder must live in the state or territory in which they made the designated investment for at least two years. They must continue to maintain business or investment activity in Australia after the designated investment matures. Income earned from this investment is subject to Australian taxation law.

How Much do the Business Innovation and Investor Visas Cost?

Each visa costs AUD4,985 for the main applicant.

Additional charges for family members included in your application are as follows:

  • additional applicant over 18 years old: AUD2,495
  • additional applicant under 18 years old: AUD1,245

A surcharge will also apply to any applicant that has less than functional English. The charges are:

  • main applicant: AUD9,795
  • family members: AUD4,890

There are no standard processing times available for these streams.

If you would like to learn more about the Business Innovation Stream or the Investor Stream, speak to one of the Visa Solutions Australia team today. It is a complex subject, so it is important to speak with someone in the know.

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