NSW Sponsorship – Venture Capital Entrepreneur Visa – Subclass 132B

In our earlier post we discussed the Department of Immigration’s requirements for the granting of a permanent residency visa under subclass 132B.

To recap, this is a visa pathway for those who have obtained at least A$1 million in funding from an AVCAL approved Australian Venture Capital firm.

Sponsorship (also known as a nomination) is required by a State Government to obtain a visa under this subclass.

If the applicant intends to establish a business in NSW an application for sponsorship is made to the NSW Government.

In addition to the Department of Immigration requirements, the NSW Government requires that applicants have a business plan for a complying entrepreneur activity that demonstrates that the activity that is to be undertaken in NSW:

  • Proves a commitment to maintaining an ongoing relationship with NSW, and
  • Is proposed to lead to the development of an enterprise or business in NSW, or the commercialisation of a product or service in NSW.

The NSW Government advises a priority processing time of five (5) business days for Business Talent visa nomination applications, so long as the application documentation is complete.

Visa subclass 132B – Australia’s Venture Capital Entrepreneur stream

The Venture Capital entrepreneur stream (subclass 132B) of the Business Talent visa provides direct permanent entry to Australia for migrant entrepreneurs who have successfully sourced venture capital funding through a Venture Capital member of the Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association Limited (AVCAL).

This is a permanent residency visa, allowing the main visa applicant together with a spouse or partner and children to live and work or study in Australia.

Visa holders can enrol in Medicare, and are able to buy property in Australia without the need for approval from the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB).

Applicants do not have to be aged under 55 years, and there is no English language requirement to  be satisfied to be granted this visa.

There is no requirement to live in Australia before this visa is granted.

To be eligible for this visa:

  • Applicants must have received at least AUD1 million in funding from an Australian venture capital firm.
  • The funding must be for the start-up, product commercialisation or business development of a promising high-value business idea.
  • The venture capital firm must be a member of AVCAL.
  • The visa applicant must have entered into a formal agreement with the venture capital firm for the funding.

Importantly, this is a permanent residency visa.

This means that the holder of such a visa is able to remain in Australia indefinitely, and to travel to and from Australia for 5 years following the granting of the visa.

After those 5 years a subclass 132B visa holder will apply for a Resident Return visa if s/he wants to have a facility to travel to Australia from overseas.

Visa applicants must have entered into a legally enforceable agreement with an Australian company to receive venture capital funding of at least AUD1 million for one of the following purposes:

  • Early phase start up of a business
  • Commercialisation of a product
  • The development of a business
  • The expansion of a business

Ideally, visa applicants should have appropriate background in the area in which VC funding is sought – this can be evidenced through tertiary qualifications, business ownership, and/or patents for an invention held in other countries.

Visa applicants must also satisfy the Department of Immigration that they genuinely have a realistic commitment to either:

  • Establish an eligible business in Australia or
  • Participate in an existing eligible business in Australia

and:

  • Maintain a substantial ownership interest in that eligible business, and
  • Maintain direct and continuous involvement in that business.

Importantly from a visa risk management perspective, Venture Capital Entrepreneur visa holders are not subject to Business Skills post-arrival monitoring.

Sponsorship from a State Government is required when applying for this visa.

In other words the process when applying for a subclass 132B visa is:

  • Enter into an agreement with a Venture Capital firm for funding of at least AUD1 million.
  • Submit an Expression of Interest for a subclass 132 visa with the Department of Immigration.
  • Obtain sponsorship from a State Government in Australia.
  • Accept the resulting invitation issued by the Department of Immigration.
  • Submit the required documentation to the Department of Immigration.
  • Visa granted.

Go Matilda Business Visas is working with approved Venture Capital firms in Australia that can provide funding, and the required Agreement for the purpose of the visa application.

We can also assist with all other stages in the visa application process discussed above.

Please complete the enquiry form on this web page or telephone us if you would like to discuss your situation and require further information.

Visa Subclass 188A – Business Innovation Stream Applicants – Extending Your Stay in Australia

The subclass 188 Business Innovation Extension stream is an option for subclass 188 Business Innovation stream visa holders who have an ownership interest in a business in Australia, and who have not yet managed to reach the required financial thresholds for the granting of a subclass 888 permanent residency visa.

To be eligible for an extension of the subclass 188 visa an interest in a business in Australia must have been in place for at least 2 years, and the visa holder must be the holder of a subclass 188 visa that was granted under the Business Innovation stream.

Documents to be submitted to the Department of Immigration are similar to those required for a permanent residency visa application under the Business Innovation stream of subclass 888, and include:

  • Confirmation of the ownership interest in an Australian business for at least 2 years
  • Evidence of participation in the day to day management of the business for at least the two years immediately before the visa application is submitted to the Department of Immigration.

Only one extension of the 188 visa is permitted for those seeking permanent residency under the Business Innovation stream of subclass 888, and if granted the total period the visa holder is permitted to stay in Australia will be extended to 6 years from the date the initial subclass 188 visa is granted.

Please feel able to contact Go Matilda Business Visas if you have a subclass 188 visa and would like to discuss your visa strategy from where you are now.

Business Owners – Permanent Visas for Australia – Subclass 892

A subclass 892 visa application is the most popular pathway for those who have been living in Australia as the holders of a provisional business visa under sub classes 160, 161, 163, and 164, and who are owning and managing a business in Australia.

Requirements for the granting of a permanent residency visa under subclass 892 are that the visa applicant:

  • Is the holder of one of the above provisional business visas, or a subclass 162 or 165 visa
  • Has been resident in Australia as the holder of one of these visas for at least 1 out of the 2 years immediately before the visa application is lodged
  • Has a genuine commitment to continue to maintain business or investment activities in Australia
  • Has never been involved in unacceptable business activities
  • Is sponsored by a State or Territory Government
  • Has had direct and continuous involvement in the day to day management of up to two businesses operating in Australia for the past two years
  • Owns at least one of the following:
    • – 51 per cent of a business where the annual turnover is less than A$400,000
    • – 30 per cent of a business where the annual turnover is A$400,000 or more
    • – 10 per cent of a business that is a publicly listed company
  • For the 12 months immediately before the visa application is submitted to the Department of Immigration the main business (or two main businesses together) had a turnover of at least A$200,000

In addition, for the 12 months immediately preceding the lodgment of the visa application with the Department of Immigration 2 out of 3 of the following requirements must be satisfied:

  • The net value of the visa applicant’s (or the applicant’s partner’s, or the applicant and his/her partner’s combined) assets in the main business (or two main businesses) in Australia was at least A$75,000
  • The net value of the visa applicant’s (or the applicant’s partner’s, or the applicant and his/her partner’s combined) personal and business assets in Australia was at least A$250,000.
  • The business/es employed at least the equivalent of one full-time employee who is:
    • – An Australian citizen
    • – An Australian permanent resident
    • – A New Zealand passport holder
    • – Not a member of the applicant’s family.

The subclass 892 visa application must be lodged before the expiry of the presently held provisional business visa, and when the visa application is lodged with the Department of Immigration an ownership interest in the Australian business/es must have been in place for at least 2 years.

Clearly there is a need to plan ahead to ensure a business in Australia is not acquired or set up too late to meet the requirement for a 2 year ownership interest, and to ensure business accounts are available and State or Territory sponsorship has been secured.

All of these requirements are to be satisfied at the time the visa application is lodged with the Department of Immigration’s Business Skills Processing Centre.

What is a “fiscal year”?

The term “fiscal year” appears generally in the requirements relating to the pathways under visa subclass 188.

For example, in the Business Innovation stream of visa subclass 188 applicants are required to deliver: “… financial statements to cover 2 fiscal years before the applicant is invited to apply for the visa. Fiscal years must cover a full 12 month period.”

Under the Investor stream of visa subclass 188 applicants applicants must: “… have owned net assets of AUD 2,250,000 throughout the 2 fiscal years immediately before the applicant is invited to apply for the visa.”

In addition, under the Investor stream: “… if the application is made 3 months or more after the end of the most recent fiscal year, they must complete another Statement of Assets and Liabilities Position for their financial situation as of the date they apply for the visa.”

Migration legisation provides that the term “fiscal year” in relation to a business or investment, means:

  • If there is applicable to the business or investment by law an accounting period of 12 months — that period; or
  • in any other case — a period of 12 months approved by the Minister in writing for that business or investment.

According to the Department of Immigration: “Fiscal years vary in different countries, some countries keep to a calendar year but other countries prefer the tax period to be different to the busy end of calendar year period.

Officers may approve a period as a fiscal year provided it is a 12 month period, and has been accepted as applying to that business/investment for taxation or reporting purposes by authorities in the country in which the business/investment operates and reports.”

In the UK limited companies and unincorporated businesses such as sole proprietors or partnerships can adopt any balance sheet date, even though the tax year ends on the 5th of April (31st of March for companies).

As such we have found that the Department of Immigration will work with the business balance sheet as being the end of the fiscal year when an application is submitted under the Business Innovation stream.

The Managing Director of Go Matilda Visas – Alan Collett – is a qualified Chartered Accountant (Australia, and England & Wales) and is a Registered Migration Agent (MARN 0102534), with many years of experience. Fees for visa assistance are fixed in amount, and his knowledge in the areas of accounting, tax (UK and Australia), and visas are highly regarded. If you are a business owner or an investor who wants to move to Australia we look forward to having a free initial discussion.