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 to submit an EOI through SkillSelect or see 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.


New changes to the visa system will make it easier for bright minds to make their mark in Australia. The two changes to the Australian migration programme offer entrepreneurs and postgraduate research students new visa options.

These changes are part of the National Innovation and Science Agenda launched in late 2015 by the Australian government, recognising the importance of fostering talent and skill in this area.

Firstly, from November 2016 entrepreneurs with innovative ideas will be able to apply for a provisional Entrepreneur visa, giving entrepreneurs a chance to launch their new idea to the Australian market.

The government has sought consultation as to the precise eligibility criteria that is to be required, but have pitched this visa at innovators with a fresh idea and financial backing from an approved investor. This will allow an individual to develop their idea in Australia with the support of their capital investor and the government.

It is expected that once the idea becomes an established business the entrepreneur will also be eligible for permanent residency, benefiting both the Australian economy and the individual.

This visa will be a new stream within the Provisional (subclass 188) and Permanent (subclass 888) Business Innovation and Investment visa that currently exists. It is expected there will be no cap on the number of this visa that can be granted.

Secondly, from December 2016, high achieving foreign students from postgraduate research degrees will be able to stay in Australia after gaining a Doctorate-level or Masters-by-research level qualification from an Australian institution.

After graduating, many post-graduates do not meet the points required for a General Skilled Migration visa due to a lack of practical work experience.

Those who gain a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) or ICT (Information and Communications Technology) graduate qualification, will receive extra points to help meet the requirements of these skilled visas.

It is hoped these academic achievers will fill a skills gap that currently exists in the STEM and ICT sectors.