19 April 2010

Changes under the Australian business skilled migration program

Business people wanting to migrate to Australia under the Australian business skills migration program will need to meet increased Australian visa thresholds effective from today.

Australian Business Visa

Changes have been made to various Australian business visa categories effective from today.

A spokesman for Australian immigration said the changes were made with the aims of increasing the contribution of business migrants to Australia’s economy, creating more jobs and improving Australian visa integrity.

Business owners and senior executives are now required to own a greater amount of net assets in order to qualify for business migration to Australia, a change that reflects an increase in the cost of living and in business establishment costs in Australia.

The changes relate to the offshore provisional Australia Visa subclasses 160, 161, 163 and 164.

Business owners will now be required to demonstrate that they own a substantial or controlling interest in a business, and will require a greater investment in business activity from business owners to be eligible for an Australian Business Visa.

The change will not apply to applicants for a permanent onshore business owner visa and who have purchased a business in Australia prior to today.

Applicants who are employed as senior managers of a business can no longer apply for a State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner (Provisional) (Subclass 163) visa. Only business owners are now eligible for this visa subclass.

Other Australian visa options may be available to skilled senior managers of overseas businesses. Senior executives of a major business may be eligible for a provisional senior executive visa (subclasses 161 and 164). Skilled managers who gain sponsorship from an Australian employer may be eligible for an employer sponsored visa depending on factors such as age, qualifications, experience and English language skill.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people lodge their Australia Visa applications with the Australian Embassy.   

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