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Australia Launches New Entrepreneur Visa

Australia has already begun accepting applications for a new entrepreneur visa.

The new stream comes under the country’s Business Innovation and Investment Program.

To qualify, the immigrant must secure 200,000 Australian dollars in funding from an agency specified by the Australian government (see below for a full list) in order to start their business in the country.

Securing the visa comes with a direct pathway to permanent residency.


Australia’s Entrepreneur Visa: Eligibility

Australia Launches New Entrepreneur VisaApplicants must:

  • Be under 55-years-old.
  • Have a competent level of English.
  • Have an agreement in place for at least $200,000 to grow an entrepreneurial venture in Australia.
  • Hold at least 30 per cent interest in that entrepreneurial venture.
  • Be nominated by a state or territory government.

Funding sources

  • Commonwealth agencies.
  • State and territorial governments.
  • Publicly funded research organisations
  • Investors registered as a venture capital limited partnerships or early stage venture capital limited partnerships or any combination of these.

Australia’s existing investment immigration program has been largely unsuccessful.

Since it changed the rules on its Significant Investor Visa in July 2015, just 98 applications have been received and 10 visas issued against a target intake of 2,100.

The repurposed program requires a total investment of five million Australian dollars over four years, $2 million of which must be invested in small businesses.

Goldman Sachs suggested the program could generate 10 billion Australian dollars, but the result has been a dramatic failure. The 98 applications and 10 issued visas contrasts with 1,544 applications and 590 visas during the final year of the previous program.

Andrew Martin, head of asset management at Moelis & Co in Sydney, says the investment risk is too high to attract what are often first-time investors to the Australian program.

Under the previous program, investors had the option of putting all of the cash into government bonds or real estate, both viewed as safer channels.

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