132 Visa

The Business Talent permanent visa, subclass 132 visa, provides a direct and immediate avenue to permanent residency for individuals with the satisfactory business credentials and significant business history. This visa has 2 streams:
  • Significant Business History stream; and
  • Venture Capital Entrepreneur stream.

The above streams of the subclass 132 significant business talent permanent visa differ substantially in their visa requirements. Nevertheless, both are intended for individuals with significant business talent, intending to establish a business in Australia. It is therefore important to obtain information from an accredited migration solicitor before lodging a visa application in either the significant business history or Australian venture capital stream.

If you are not looking to establish a business in Australia upon arrival, the subclass 132 business talent visa is likely inappropriate for your circumstances.

Common Criteria

The following requirements must be met by all applicants for the business talent permanent visa, irrespective of stream. This “common” criteria has been outlined below:

  • The talent visa applicant, and the applicant’s spouse or de facto partner, do not have a history of involvement in business activities that are of a nature that is not generally acceptable in Australia.
  • The nominating State or Territory government agency has not withdrawn the nomination.
  • The applicant satisfies the applicable public interest criteria.
  • The applicant satisfies the applicable special return criteria.

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.

If you have similar issues, it is at best that you discuss with immigration solicitors before starting on business talent visa application.

Nomination

Much like the Subclass 188 provisional business visa, applicants for this talent permanent visa subclass must secure a nomination from a state or territory authority before receiving an invitation to apply for the subclass 132 visa. 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. In practice, this step is of the paramount importance to those applying under the significant business history stream. 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

  • New South Wales requires applicants demonstrate a minimum net asset value of $1,500,000
  • If investing in a metropolitan area, a minimum investment amount of $3,000,000 is proscribed. This consists of a base $1.5 million in business investment amount plus additional $1.5 million to be transferred to the state for other purposes.
  • If investing in a regional area, a minimum investment amount of $2,000,000 is proscribed. This consists of a base $1 million in business investment, plus an additional $1 million to be transferred to the state for other purposes.
  • If investing in a metropolitan area, your business venture proposal must stand to create 5 full time jobs at minimum.
  • If investing in a regional area, your business venture proposal must stand to create 3 full time jobs at minimum.

Victoria

  • Victoria requires applicants demonstrate a minimum net asset value of $1,500,000
  • A minimum investment amount of $2,000,000 is proscribed.

Unlike New South Wales, the Victorian Government prohibits 132 visa business proposals which deal in the following areas or industries:

  • Passive investment;
  • General importing;
  • Commodity export;
  • Freight forwarding;
  • Warehousing; and
  • Small development.

Queensland

  • Queensland requires applicants demonstrate a minimum net asset value of$1,500,000
  • A minimum investment amount of $1,000,000 is proscribed.
  • Applicants must demonstrate access to an additional $200,000 for moving and settlement costs.

The Queensland Government prohibits 132 visa business proposals which deal in the following areas or industries:

  • 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 as, with notable exceptions, such businesses are often merely speculative and not demonstrative of any particular business talent.

For those applying under the venture capital stream, nomination remains required for the 132 visa. In practice, however, due to the difficulty in obtaining venture capital funding to establish a business in Australia, obtaining nomination for the visa subclass 132 is generally less onerous by comparison.

Public Interest Criteria

The following public interest criteria are applicable to the permanent visa subclass 132:

  • All primary 132 visa applicants must satisfy the following: 4001, 4002, 4003, 4004, 4005, 4010, 4019, 4020 and 4021.
  • All members of the primary applicant’s family, unit who are secondary 132 visa applicants, must satisfy the following: 4001, 4002, 4003, 4004, 4005, 4010 and 4020. They must also satisfy 4019 if aged 18 years or older, or, if under age, criteria 4015 and 4016.
  • All members of the primary applicant’s family, unit who are not secondary 132 visa applicants, must satisfy the following: 4001, 4002, 4003, 4004, and, unless unreasonable, 4005.

For more information on applicable public interest criteria, consult with an accredited migration solicitor.

Special Return Criteria

As with most visas for Australia, all business talent visa, permanent visa subclass 132, applicants must satisfy the following special return criteria: 5001, 5002 and 5010.

For more information on applicable special return criteria, consult with an accredited migration solicitor.

Significant Business History stream

The business history stream of the subclass 132 visa 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.

Age

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. The precise nature of business required to obtain an exemption varies between states and territories.

This discretion of the State and Territory authorities in determining the economic benefit is largely unfettered. Under migration policy, the Department of Home Affairs will usually gives deference to the 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.

In practice, the threshold for an age exemption under the Business Talent permanent visa, subclass 132, is very stringent. Not only must applicants over the age of 55 show their business plan to be viable, they must also demonstrate a much higher degree of economic benefit to the state or territory generally.

Successful Business Career

In assessing an overall record of successful business career or a 132 visa applicant, the Department adopts a holistic approach to their determination. This means that the entire business career of an applicant is 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.

This determination is central to the primary policy rationale of the business talent permanent visa, subclass 132, which predominately aims to attract persons with significant business talent. Significant measures must be taken in the preparation of one’s business talent visa application to ensure adequate information is provided regarding one’s prior business success.

If you have no prior business history, a business talent permanent visa, subclass 132, application will not be the right option in your circumstances. Any investment, business skills or business talent permanent visa subclass will be predicated on evidence of commercial acumen and business success.

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 with a total annual turnover exceeding $3,000,000. The requisite degrees of ownership are different depending on the business turnover and as such, the higher the business turnover, the smaller the stake a 132 visa applicant may have in said business. These ownership proportions have been 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.

Venture Capital stream

The venture capital stream, known also as the subclass 132b visa, 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 behind the venture capital stream 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. As such, even under the venture capital stream, business talent visa applicants must evidence business skills.

These legally enforceable venture capital agreements may relate to funding for any of the following:

  • the early-phase start-up in Australia of a business; or
  • the commercialisation of a product in Australia; or
  • the development of a business in Australia; or
  • the expansion of a business in Australia.

Note that no age threshold is applicable to the Australian venture capital stream. Provided the 132 applicant obtains an Australian venture capital funding agreement, age is immaterial to the business talent permanent visa application.

Secondary Applicants - Family Migration

As with most permanent Australian visa applications, the visa, 132 subclass, allows members of your family unit to be added to your visa application. No particular requirement needs be met by said applicant other than that they be a member of your family unit and satisfy all applicable public interest and special return criteria. Note that under regulation, a dependent applicant who fails to meet the minimum requirements may also jeopardise your application in a “one-fail-all-fail” fashion.

Note that your family unit will generally consist of your spouse or de facto partner, your dependents and the dependents of your spouse or de facto partner. Children are generally limited to those under the age of 18, however, those who are substantially dependent on you for their upkeep may be added to a visa application up until the age of 24. Children aged 24 and older will need to secure their own visa pathway, unless they are dependent on you or your partner by reason of physical or mental incapacitation.

It is generally not possible to add your own parents, siblings or extended family to applications of this kind. To discuss visa options for other relatives looking to migrate to Australia, be sure to consult with one of our migration solicitors for an assessment.
A second instalment is payable for applicants, who have turned 18, who either cannot or do not evidence functional English abilities:

Application Charges

Subclass 132 visa is payable in 2 installments. Information regarding the associated visa application charges can be found below.

First Installment

  • 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 installment 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