Entrepreneur visa

New entrepreneur visa & amend points test for skills program introduced from 10 September 2016

On 10 September 2016, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection introduced a new Entrepreneur visa stream and amend the points test for the skilled migration programme.

The Entrepreneur visa will be part of the Business Innovation and Investment visa programme. Entrepreneurs interested in applying for the Entrepreneur visa will need to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) in SkillSelect and be nominated by a State or Territory government.

Key proposed eligibility criteria include:

  • Applicants must be undertaking, or proposing to undertake, an entrepreneurial venture in Australia.
  • The entrepreneurial venture must not be related to residential real estate or labour hire or involve purchasing an existing business or franchise.
  • Applicants must also be under 55 years of age, have a competent level of English, and have at least 30 per cent interest in their entrepreneurial venture.
  • There must be one or more funding agreements in place for at least $200,000 between the entrepreneur or venture and a third party funding body or bodies.  

o    Sources of third party funding are limited to state and territory governments, Commonwealth agencies, Publicly Funded Research Organisations, and investors registered as a Venture Capital Limited Partnerships (VCLP) or Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnerships (ESVCLP). Agreements outlining funds from a combination of these sources are also acceptable.

  • Applicants must have a business plan outlining their plans for their venture in Australia.

An Entrepreneur visa holder can progress to permanent residency after four years if they can meet a measure of success, which includes factors such as business turnover, employment of Australians and ability to obtain significant financial backing.

Amended Points Skills for Skilled Migration Program

The amendment to the points test will enhance the pathway to permanent residence for students who have completed Doctoral or Masters by research-level qualifications in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) or specified information and communication technology (ICT) related fields in Australia.

The current points test will be amended to award additional points for Doctorate and Masters by research-level qualifications gained from Australian universities in STEM, specified ICT and other related fields.

The following fields of education qualifications are proposed to be accepted under this new measure and are defined by the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS):

Field of Education:  

  • Biological Sciences
  • Chemical Sciences
  • Earth Sciences
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Natural and Physical Sciences
  • Other Natural and Physical Sciences
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Computer Science
  • Information Systems
  • Information Technology
  • Other Information Technology
  • Aerospace Engineering and Technology
  • Civil Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Technology
  • Engineering and Related Technologies
  • Geomatic Engineering
  • Manufacturing Engineering and Technology
  • Maritime Engineering and Technology
  • Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and Technology
  • Other Engineering and Related Technologies
  • Process and Resources Engineering.

Graduates who want to determine whether their qualification is eligible are able to search the CRICOS website. If their qualification is at Doctorate or Masters by research-level and their field of education is listed in the above table then they will be eligible for five additional points towards their points test.

Source: DIPB Website

Contact us now to see if we can help you with your visa application. 


In May of this year Putt Legal reported that entrepreneurs could soon be able to apply for a new type of visa.  As of 10 September 2016 this visa has been open for application.

The ‘Entrepreneur visa’ is one of five streams in the Business Innovation and Investment visa programme targeting bright ideas and entrepreneurial skills that will lead to the success of a product or service in Australia and the development of a booming business.

This visa allows the holder to bring family with them, travel in and out of Australia, and potentially be eligible for a permanent visa. Australia will benefit from the innovation and new jobs that are generated from start-up businesses.

There are a few requirements for the entrepreneur before applying, including:

·         Under 55 years of age;

·         Competent level of English;

·         $200 000 AUD funding from an approved third party;[1] and

·         30% interest in the venture.

To begin the process of applying for this visa, entrepreneurs need to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect and await nomination by a state or territory government before being able to proceed.

So entrepreneurs – create an innovative business plan and express your interest!

Visit https://www.border.gov.au/Busi/Empl/skillselect to submit an EOI through SkillSelect or see http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/188- for more information as to the Business Innovation and Investment visa programme.


[1] Approved third parties for $200 000 funding include Commonwealth agencies, state and territory governments, publicly funded research organisations, investors registered as Venture Capital Limited Partnerships or Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnerships, or any combination of these.