Business Visa Australia: Important Terms

Below are several important terms you should understand prior to reviewing Business Visa requirements for business migration to Australia.


The applicant is the person applying for the visa to remain in Australia temporarily or permanently.

Appropriate regional authority

'Appropriate regional authority' means a Department or authority of a State/Territory that is specified by Gazette Notice in relation to the grant of a Business Skills Visa.


'A$' or 'AUD' means the Australian Dollar equivalent value in the basis of the buying rate:

  • In the local currency for Australian Dollars on the last day of the fiscal year in which the business reported;
  • Published by any bank holding an Australian banking License; and
  • Published on an approved currency conversion website.
Designated investment

'Designated Investment' means investment in a security issued by an Australian State/Territory government authority as specified by the Minister by Gazette Notice for the purposes of Investor and State/Territory sponsored Investor Visa subclasses.

Eligible investment

'Eligible investment' in relation to a person means:

  • Ownership interest in a business;
  • A loan to a business;
  • Cash on deposit;
  • Stocks and bonds;
  • Real estate; or
  • Gold or silver bullion

that is owned by the person for the purpose of producing a return by way of income or capital gain and is not held for personal use.

Fiscal year

'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 accepted as applying to that business for taxation or reporting purposes by the authorities in the country in which the business operates and reports.
Main business

Owned by the person for the purposes of producing by way of income or capital gain and is NOT held for personal use.

The applicant must maintain, or has maintained a direct and continuous involvement in the management of the business from day to day and in making decisions affecting the overall direction and performance of the business;

The applicant must also have, or have had, an ownership interest in the business and the value of the applicant's ownership interest, or the total value of the ownership interests of the applicant and the applicant's spouse must be either:

  • 51 per cent where the business turnover is less than AU$400,000; OR
  • 30 per cent where the business turnover is AU$400,00 or more; OR
  • 10 per cent where the business is a publicly listed company.

The business must be a qualifying business.

Major business (Senior executives only)

Means a business, other than a government business, with an annual turnover of not less than A$50 million in each of any 2 of the 4 fiscal years immediately preceding the making of the application. If you are sponsored by an Australian State, the turnover requirement is reduced to A$10 million.

Net assets

The 'net assets' of a business is the amount attributable to the owners or shareholders of the business after deducting financial claims upon the business by third parties from total assets (Net assets = Total assets - Liabilities).

Ownership interest

In relation to a business means:

  • A shareholder in a company that carries on a business;
  • A partner in a partnership that carries on the business; or
  • The sole proprietor of the business, including such an interest held directly through one or more interposed companies, partnerships or trusts (if a trust, there are strict requirements).

A provisional visa under the Business Skills category means a temporary 4 year visa.

Qualifying business

The enterprise:

  • Is operated for the purpose of making a profit through the provision of goods, services, or goods and services (other than the provision of rental property) to the public; and
  • Is not operated primarily or substantially for the purpose of speculative or passive investment.
Vocational english

Vocational English in relation to an applicants means:

  • The applicant can read and understand a variety of tests in English with reasonably good comprehension;
  • The applicant can write English well enough to communicate effectively for most purposes;
  • The applicant can understand spoken English quite competently in a range of situations; and
  • The applicant can speak English fairly fluently and accurately in a range of contexts.