With the exception of the subclass 132 visa – which provides for permanent residency straightaway the permanent residency visa pathways on offer to business owners in Australia are:
- The Business Innovation stream of subclass 888
- The Employer Nomination Scheme, subclass 186
- The Business Owner (Residence) visa, subclass 890
- The State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner (Residence) visa, subclass 892
This pathway is available to a person who has been living in Australia as the holder of a subclass 188 visa for at least 12 months in the 2 years immediately before the visa application is lodged.
In addition, the following business requirements must be satisfied by the main visa applicant individually, or with the visa applicant’s partner:
- Have an ownership interest (and continue to have an ownership interest), and a direct and continuous management role, in an actively operating main business (or main businesses) in Australia for the two years immediately before the visa application is lodged.
- Have had an annual turnover of at least A$300,000 from the main business (or businesses) in the 12 months before the visa application is lodged. A nominating state or territory can agree to waive the requirement to show an annual turnover of A$300,000 if the business is operated in a specified regional area of Australia.
- Have owned at least one of the following percentages of the main business (or main businesses) in Australia in the 12 months immediately before the application is lodged:
- – 51 per cent of a business with a turnover of less than A$400,000 per year
- – 30 per cent of a business with a turnover of A$400,000 or more per year
- – 10 per cent of a publicly listed company
- Have obtained an Australian Business Number (ABN) for each of the main businesses
- Have submitted Business Activity Statements to the Australian Taxation Office for the two years immediately before the application is lodged.
- Did not acquire the ownership in your main business (or two main businesses) from a person who was an applicant for, or a holder of, a permanent Business Innovation and Investment visa (subclass 888) or a permanent business skills visa in subclasses 890, 891, 892, or 893, unless the visa applicant and that person had a joint interest in the main business for at least one year before the application is lodged for this visa.
2 of the following 3 requirements must also be satisfied by the main visa applicant individually, or with the visa applicant’s partner:
- A net value of business assets of at least A$200,000 in the nominated main business (or two main businesses) in Australia throughout the year immediately before the application is lodged
- A net value of personal and business assets of at least A$600,000 in Australia throughout the year immediately before the application is lodged
- Employed at least the equivalent of two full-time employees in the main business (or main businesses), throughout the year immediately before the application is lodged who are:
- – Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents, or holders of valid New Zealand passports
- – Not family members.
The usual pathway to permanent residency for those with a subclass 457 visa is the Temporary Residence Transition (TRT) stream of subclass 186.
The process of a subclass 457 visa holder seeking a subclass 186 visa involves 2 steps:
- The employer nominates the skilled occupation that is being filled
- The 457 visa holder lodges an application for the granting of a subclass 186 visa
For the nomination to be approved:
- The employer must actively and lawfully operate a business in Australia
- There must be a genuine need for a paid employee to fill a skilled position
- The employer must offer a skilled position in the applicant’s field that is full time and ongoing for at least two years
- A market rate salary must be paid
- The employee must have worked in the nominated position in the business as a subclass 457 visa holder – as the a primary visa holder – for at least two years before the nomination is made
- The nomination must identify an occupation that is listed on the Consolidated Sponsored Occupations List
- The nominated position must be full time, ongoing and available for at least two years and (usually) be consistent with the position in which the applicant has already worked in the business, unless the person nominated was previously nominated for their subclass 457 visa on the basis of performing an occupation mentioned by the Minister for Immigration in an instrument in writing
- The employer must have met the subclass 457 visa training requirements in each year it has been a standard business sponsor
- The employer must not be an approved overseas standard business sponsor under the subclass 457 visa program
Visa applicants must be aged under 50, although there are exceptions.
The main age exception for those who self sponsored 457 visa holders is that the applicant for the 186 visa has been working for the nominating employer as the holder of a Subclass 457 visa for at least four years immediately before applying, and that employer has paid a salary at least as much as the Fair Work High Income Threshold in each of the four years – this is presently (2015/16) A$136,700.
GM Business – a division of Go Matilda Visas – is your ideal partner for guidance and advice on a business visa strategy.
We are Australian visa advisors, and our Managing Director is a qualified Chartered Accountant in Australia.
We have associates who are qualified accountants in Australia, who can provide ongoing support to you in an accounting and tax capacity as you establish and develop yourself in Australia.
We work with our clients on the basis of fixed fees, and a wish to have a long term relationship based on our expertise, trust and a quality service.
We look forward to hearing from you.