business visa changes

The business and investment visa program (Subclass 188/888) will be undergoing some changes. The business visa changes will start from 01 July 2021. 

Previously in December 2020, the Minister announced that the Government would be reforming the business and investment visa program to maximise the economic benefits for Australia. These business visa changes were set to commence from 01 July 2021. Since these announcements each State or Territory have been starting to close their nomination applications to ensure they can finalise processing of these applications before the changes commence on 01 July 2021.

The key changes involve:

  1. Simplifying the visa framework by reducing the streams from 9 streams to 4 streams. The remaining 4 streams are:
    1. Business Innovation Scheme
    2. Investor Stream
    3. Significant Investor Stream
    4. Entrepreneur Stream
  2. All streams for the provisional visa (Subclass 188) will be valid for 5 years and they will eligible for the permanent visa (Subclass 888) after 3 years and meeting their certain requirements.
  3. If you do not meet the requirements within the first 5 years of the provisional 188 visa then you may extend this visa.
  4. Business Innovation Scheme
    1. Increase business and personal net assets to $1.25 million (increased from $800,000)
    2. Increase annual turnover of the business to $750,000 (increased from $500,000)
  5. Investor Stream
    1. Increase the investment amount to $2.5 million (increased from $1.5 million)
    2. Same Complying Investment Framework as the Significant Investor Stream (see below)
  6. Significant Investor Stream
    1. The ratio of the complying investment will now be:
      1. 20% – venture capital and private growth equity funds (VCPE)
      2. 30% – emerging companies
      3. 50% – balancing investments
  7. Entrepreneur Stream
    1. Removal of previous requirement of $200,000 funding threshold
    2. Introduction of endorsement from State or Territory government

Detailed business visa changes will be introduced after July 2021. It is expected that each State or Territory Government will remain closed to new applications until the new laws are announced and take effect and it is said that it would provide sufficient time for business and investors to adjust within the first half of the new financial year.

If you wish to apply for the business visa, we would recommend applying now before the changes which increases most thresholds and also to prevent any delay that may be caused whilst the State or Territory government awaits changes to be announced by the Federal Government.

You may consult with us to find out more.

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