Provisional Business Visas to Australia

Business migrants may obtain temporary residence in Australia through several provisional Business Visas. These provisional visas may then lead to permanent residency in Australia, subject to the visa holder satisfying all criteria for this permanent residency.

The categories for provisional Business Visas to Australia are as follows:

  • Business Owner (Provisional) (subclass 160) is for people with a successful business career, including senior management or ownership, who have significant business assets and have a genuine and realistic commitment to participate as a principal in the management of a new or existing business.
  • State / Territory Sponsored Business Owner (Provisional) (subclass 163) is for people with a successful business career, including ownership, who have significant business assets and have a genuine and realistic commitment to participate as a principal in the management of a new or existing business. Applicants must also be sponsored by a State/Territory government, with lower level criteria applying in comparison to the subclass 160.
  • Senior Executive (Provisional) (subclass 161/164) is for senior executive employees of major overseas businesses who have been responsible for strategic policy development affecting a major component or a wide range of operations of that business, who have significant net assets and a genuine and realistic commitment to participate as a principal in the management of a new or existing business. This category may be sponsored by a State/Territory government, with lower level criteria applying.
  • Investor (Provisional) (subclass 162/165) is for investors/business people who have an overall successful record of business or investment activities, have significant net assets, are willing to invest funds in a designated investment in Australia for 4 years and have a genuine commitment to maintain business and investment activity in Australia. This category may be sponsored by a State/Territory government, with lower level criteria applying.

Permanent Residence

The Business Skills (Residence) category of visa is the second stage of Business Skills entry, and provides for permanent residence in Australia with a resident return facility valid for 5 years from the date of grant.

Business Owner (Residence) is for those who hold a Business Skills (Provisional) Visa and have had an ownership interest in a business in Australia for at least 2 years with significant personal and business assets and turnover, which has provided for a minimum number of employees in that time. Applicants must have been in Australia for at least 1 year in the 2 years immediately before applying. This category may be sponsored by a State/Territory Government, with lower level criteria applying.

There is also provision for Independent Executive Visa holders in Australia to apply for the State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner (Residence) Visa.

Investor (Residence) is for persons who have held a Investor (Provisional) Visa and a Designated Investment for the minimum 4 years and who have lived in Australia for at least 2 years in the 4 years immediately before the application is made. This category may be sponsored by a State/Territory Government.

Temporary Business (Long Stay) (457) Visa holders are still be able to apply for permanent residence in the:

  • Established Business in Australia (EBA) category; or
  • The Regional Establish Business in Australia (REBA) category if sponsored by an appropriate regional authority; or
  • The State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner (Residence) category if sponsored by a State/Territory government.

Obligations of Business Skills Visa Holders

Business Skills (Provisional) Visa holders are required to provide a contact address within 6 months of their initial arrival and are requested to provide details of their business activity 24 months after this arrival in Australia. This will provide useful feedback on the progress of the visa holder towards meeting permanent residence requirements.

Business Skills (Provisional) Visa holders are also required to obtain an ownership interest in a business in Australia or maintain their investment in Australia for 4 years. If this requirement is not met they may not be eligible to apply for a Business Skills (Residence) visa and may have to leave Australia.