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Selecting the Right Business Immigration Option to Australia

Please note: Australia’s 188 visa program is currently closed. We expect an update on the situation sometime later in 2024, and we will update the information presented here as new details become available. 

Australia has long been a primary destination for entrepreneurs, investors and others seeking new business opportunities. Its dynamic economy, pro-business legal landscape, well-developed infrastructure and famously laid-back lifestyle place Australia among the world’s top destinations for ambitious business professionals.

Australia offers a number of business immigration visas, but there are three main avenues for securing the right to live, work and possibly start a business there. Two of them are conventional visa programs, the Business Innovation Stream visa (188A) and the Entrepreneur Stream visa (188E). The third option is a special designation that allows companies to sponsor international employees to come to Australia to work for them, the Standard Business Sponsor program.  

Our goal here is to provide information on all three options, including what each one offers, the requirements needed to qualify for them and the role of a strong business plan in each. 

What each business immigration path to Australia offers, and how to qualify

The above avenues are the three primary options for anyone seeking to immigrate to Australia to live and work. We will now discuss what each of them offers and their necessary requirements. Remember to consult an immigration professional to see which program best applies to your circumstances.  

Business Innovation Stream visa (188A)

This visa allows you to operate a new or existing business in Australia and bring eligible family members with you. The visa authorises you to stay and work in Australia for up to 5 years. 

To qualify, you must:

  • Receive an invitation to apply
  • Be nominated by an Australian State or Territory government agency
  • Score at least 65 on the points test 
  • Provide proof of your business success (annual turnover, ownership interest)
  • Have total net business and personal assets of at least AUD1.25 million 

You can find complete details about the Business Innovation Stream visa (188A) on the website of the Department of Home Affairs of the Australian government. 

Entrepreneur Stream visa (188E)

This visa allows you to carry out entrepreneurial activities in Australia and bring eligible members of your family with you. The visa authorises you to stay and work in Australia for up to five years.

To qualify, you must:

  • Receive an invitation to apply
  • Be nominated by an Australian State or Territory government agency
  • Undertake certain entrepreneurial activities in Australia
  • Provide a business plan detailing your proposed entrepreneurial activity

You can find complete details about the Entrepreneur Stream visa (188E) on the website of the Department of Home Affairs of the Australian government. 

Standard Business Sponsor program

The Standard Business Sponsor program grants certification to companies that can be used to sponsor employees to migrate to Australia to work for them. 

This certification allows companies to:

  • Sponsor employees on a Temporary Skill Shortage visa (subclass 482)
  • Sponsor employees on a Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 494)

To qualify, a company must:

  • Have a legally established and currently operating business in or outside Australia 
  • Commit to hiring local labour
  • Be in good standing in the business community with no “adverse information” in circulation
  • Provide a business plan detailing its proposed business activities if the company has been trading for less than one year or is not based in Australia yet at the time of application.

You can find complete details about the Standard Business Sponsor program on the website of the Department of Home Affairs of the Australian government. 

Remember that meeting the listed requirements does not guarantee that an applicant will be successful. The review process can include subjective judgment, and some applications can be considered stronger than others for many reasons. Always consult with an immigration professional for more detailed information regarding successful visa applications. 

The value of a strong business plan

As mentioned above, a business plan is among the required documents for some of the options listed. Even for visa programs that do not formally require one, a business plan can help to make a more compelling case for an immigration visa applicant. While there are no guarantees, a detailed, professional business plan can enhance a visa application by demonstrating the applicant’s commitment to success through thorough preparation. 

An effective business plan must do the following:

  • Focus on the benefit of the proposed business for Australia. The business plan should clearly demonstrate how approving the application will result in economic gains for Australia.
  • Emphasise the unique value proposition of the business. Show that the business concept is likely to be successful because of the market it serves.
  • Include detailed financial projections. A convincing business plan must include financial projections showing the profitability and growth prospects of the business. Projections should cover a period of at least five years and should feature revenue and expense projections.
  • Include industry and market research. Market analysis and the examination of data related to the relevant industry show a deeper understanding of the business and illustrate the applicant’s numbers-driven approach. 
  • Show the applicant’s qualifications and experience. The business plan should feature the applicant’s abilities, qualifications, certifications or other assets relevant to the running of the business. 

A business plan isn’t simply a required document for immigration visa processes; it’s an asset that guides entrepreneurs as their plans move forward. A business plan that covers the points above is a roadmap for conducting a business after it’s set up and running, helping to ensure its continued success. 

A persuasive business plan can make the difference in a successful visa application, but its true value lasts beyond the early stages and can support entrepreneurs as their businesses grow and become profitable. 

Entrepreneurs are finding success in Australia

Australia has a well-deserved reputation as a land of generous economic opportunities and rewards for ambitious, creative, and hard-working entrepreneurs. The Australian government provides several ways for aspiring entrepreneurs to access these opportunities and start a new life there. 

Whether required or not, including a business plan allows applicants to describe their business concept in detail and demonstrate why their applications merit approval. Business plans can play a crucial role in the process and should be a priority for every applicant. 

If you or your client is considering applying for a visa to start a business in Australia, Joorney can help by crafting a high-quality, custom business plan to support the application. A

Reach out to us today to learn more.

 

Disclaimer: Joorney Business Plans is not a law firm nor an immigration consulting firm, and no information provided in this document should be considered as legal advice or recommendation regarding any immigration application program. All information provided in this document should be verified by a licensed or certified immigration professional before the reader can act on this information. As such, it is understood that Joorney Business Plans Inc. shall not be liable for any loss or damage of whatever nature (direct, indirect, consequential, or other), whether arising in contract, tort, or otherwise, which may arise as a result of your use of (or inability to use) this document, or from your use of (or failure to use) the information on this document.

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