Subclass 132: Business Talent Visa
Business Talent visa provides a direct and immediate avenue to permanent residency for individuals with the satisfactory business credentials. This visa has 2 streams:
- Significant Business History stream; and
- Venture Capital Entrepreneur stream.
Significant Business History stream
The significant business history stream is available to individuals with a proven record of business success who are looking to participate actively in a new or existing business in Australia. In addition, a significant amount of personal wealth is also required to consider this visa. As the basic eligibility criteria include, the primary applicant must:
- Be nominated by a State or Territory authority – there is no point-based test;
- Be under 55 years of age (with exemptions which may apply);
- Have a history of business success;
- Have no prior involvement in unacceptable business practices;
- Own and operate a business; and
- Meet the asset threshold.
Generally, applicants must not have turned 55 at the time of invitation in order to qualify for the business and innovation stream. Nevertheless, State and Territory authorities reserve the discretion to issue the waiver where the proposed Australian business is deemed to be of significant economic benefit to said State or Territory.
This discretion of the State and Territory authorities in determining the economic benefit is largely unfettered. Migration policy supports deference of such decision to recommendation of the State or Territory authorities, conferring enormous discretion in the exercise of this power. The State and Territory authorities provide minimal guidance on their consideration on significant economic benefits.
Successful Business Career
In assessing an overall record of successful business careers, the Department adopts a holistic approach to their assessment. It means the entire business careers are taken into consideration as well as external factors which may mitigate any perceived failures or losses stemming therefrom. Under the policy directives, business careers are generally deemed unsuccessful in the following circumstances:
- Bankruptcy in the last 5 years;
- Involvement in businesses which have been subject to insolvency, receivership or liquidation;
- Recent trading losses stemming from decisions of the applicant which are likely to render the business unsuccessful in future.
Unacceptable Business Practices
Business activities and practices must be within the scope of generally accepted Australian cultural and social norms. Those which would likely offend or give rise to controversy among large segments of the Australian population will be held unacceptable. Examples of unacceptable business practices include:
- Legal or regulatory non-compliance;
- Criminal convictions in relation to business practices;
- Fraudulent trade practices; and
- Perceived underpayment of staff.
Operating a business and Ownership Threshold
For at least 2 of the last 4 years, the applicant must have owned and operated a business or businesses whose total annual turnover exceeded $3,000,000. The requisite degrees of ownership are different and summarized as follows:
- 51% of the total value of the business, if the business is not operated by a publicly listed company and its annual turnover is less than $400,000.
- 30% of the total value of the business, if the business is not operated by a publicly listed company and its annual turnover is more than $400,000.
- 10% of the total value of the business, if the business is operated by a publicly listed company.
Net Value of Personal and Business Assets
The business and personal assets of the applicant and the applicant’s spouse or de facto partner together must exceed $1,500,000 in net value at any time in the last 2 fiscal years. This figure is calculated as net business and personal assets less any liabilities. Nevertheless, some States and Territories may have higher thresholds for nomination.
The nomination process requires the applicants to present business plans to the relevant State or Territory authority who assesses whether the proposed business is viable, genuine and of economic benefit to the nominating State or Territory. The degree of economic benefit is determined by reference to a range of factors, such as:
- Industry innovation;
- Job creation; and
- Probable growth potential.
A strong business plan, with detailed evidence of market research and consultations with the industry stakeholders, is highly necessary for the nomination to be approved. It is also necessary to seek extensive consultations with the authorities and revise the plan accordingly. The threshold is subjective, discretionary and contingent on dynamic conditions of the nominating State or Territory, whether economic or political. The below table is summary of unique features for nomination by the States of New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland as at 30 May 2020:
New South Wales
- Minimum Net Assets: $1,500,000
- (Metropolitan) Investment Amount: $3,000,000 – which consists of base $1.5 million in business investment amount plus additional $1.5 million to be transferred to NSW
- (Regional) Investment Amount: $2,000,000 – which consists of base $1 million in business investment amount plus additional $1 million to be transferred to NSW
- (Metropolitan) Creating 5 full time jobs
- (Regional) Creating 3 full time jobs
- Minimum Net Assets: $1,500,000
- Investment Amount: $2,000,000
- Victorian Government prohibits businesses in:
- Passive investment;
- General importing;
- Commodity export;
- Freight forwarding;
- Warehousing; and
- Small development.
- Minimum Net Assets: $1,500,000
- Investment Amount: $1,000,000
- Settlement Cost: $200,000
- Queensland Government prohibits businesses in:
- Small development; and
- General importing, unless imported products are highly innovative or technologically advanced.
Given the high number of applications related to property investment, majority of States and Territories impose onerous requirements in addition. Such applications are heavily scrutinized and frowned upon.
Venture Capital stream
The venture capital stream is available to individuals who have secured a legally enforceable funding agreement in a sum exceeding $1,000,000 with an Australian company which is a member of the Australian Investment Council (AIC) (formerly known as the Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association Limited). The AIC is a national association which represents the private equity and venture capital industries, and its members comprise mostly of the active private equity and venture capital firms in Australia. As the legislative intention is only to qualify ventures with exceptionally high growth potential, the applicants in this stream must demonstrate with experience the capability to manage the venture project.
No age threshold.
Subclass 132 visa is payable in 2 installments.
- Base application charge: $7,855
- Additional applicant charge for an applicant who is at least 18: $3,930
- Additional applicant charge for an applicant who is less than 18: $1,960
Second Installment – A second instalment is payable for applicants, who have turned 18, who either cannot or do not evidence functional English abilities:
- Primary applicant: $9,795
- Secondary applicant: $4,890