Australian Migration Program 2020-2021

Australian Migration Program 2020-2021

The Migration Program for 2020-2021 was finally “announced” on the night of the Federal Budget on 6 October 2020.

Traditionally, the program for the next fiscal year is usually announced in the April of the preceding fiscal year. But with the mayhem of the Covid-19 pandemic the Migration Program for 2020-21 was announced on Federal Budget night on 6 October 2020.

Even then the full migration program was not revealed until 2 days after the Budget night announcement.

This article proposes to do the following:
A. Provide the 2020-21 Migration Program;
B. Give a commentary on the proposed migration program; and
C. Discuss the programs that will be given priority.

A. Migration Program 2020-21

The Migration Program normally comprises two main programs: Family and the Skilled Programs. Traditionally the ratio has been one third Family and two thirds Skilled.

On Budget night this ratio was abandoned and the total Migration Planning Program for 2020-21 is similar to the Planning Program for the year before, 2019-20: 160,000 visas:

Family Program                                                                                                                                                77,300

  • Partner                                                 72,300
  • Parent                                                                   4,500
  • Other Family       500
  • Child (* Estimated – Not subject to ceiling)   3,000 *

Skilled Program                                                                                                                                               79,600

  • Employer Sponsored                                                                 22,000
  • General Skilled Migration                                                 28,900
  • Skill Independent                   6,500
  • State/Terr Nominated 11,200
  • Regional 11,200
  • Global Talent Independent                                                15,000
  • Business Innovation & Investment Visas 13,500
  • Distinguished Talent       200

Special Eligibility                                                                                                                                                    100

Total Migration Planning Program                                                                                                           160,000

Humanitarian Program (separate to the Migration Program)                                                          13,750

B. Commentary On Proposed Program

We will only comment on the Migration Planning Program.

Over the past few months the government has been indicating that migration numbers for 2021 will fall significantly.  Indeed on 1 May 2020 the Prime Minister said that Australia’s overseas migration intake will shrink by more than 85 per cent from the 2018-19 levels as a result of the coronavirus.

Was this mere political hype?  Perhaps he meant this more holistically when including other programs like Visitor, Student and Temporary Residence programs because the program as announced does not reflect those sentiments.

As mentioned already the overall migration planning level for 2019-20 is exactly the same as that proposed for 2020-21 even though the actual visas issued in 2019-20 was 140,366 and the program composition is different.  Hence, the suggestion that the “overseas migration intake” will shrink by more than 85% was probably an exaggeration.

But then the Treasurer Josh Frydenberg in his post-Budget address to the National Press Club on  7 October 2020 flagged that the Budget was premised on the assumption that Australia’s international borders would probably remain closed throughout 2021 when it was also assumed that a vaccine for Covid-19 would be available by that time.

How do we then reconcile that Australia would be able to achieve a migration program of 160,000?

The answer to this can be given in three parts:  firstly, this is only a planning level and as occurred in 2019-20 the actual program delivered could be considerably less than 160,000.  Secondly, many applicants for permanent residency are already in Australia on Student or other Temporary Residence visas; and thirdly, the Government can always provide exemptions and permit approved visa holders to enter Australia as exempt people, such as the recent relaxation for holders of provisional Business Innovation & Investment Visas.

For all the talk about a decimation of the migration program, the reality is Australia is a migration accepting country and there will always be cogent and strong reasons why Australia will need migration for some years yet to supplement the Australian population.  There are many factors for this reliance but the three key reasons are:

  • The low birth rate: In 2018, Australia’s birth rate fell to an all-time low of 1.740 babies per female of childbearing age.  This low fertility rate means Australia is not replacing its population.  According to the UN Population Division, a total fertility rate (TFR) of about 2.1 children per woman is considered the replacement-level fertility.
  • Ageing population: The Australian population is ageing.  In 2017 it was estimated that 15% of Australians (3.8 million) were aged 65 and over and the projection was that this proportion will grow steadily over the coming decades.  This can be attributed in part to a low fertility rate, but also that older Australians are increasing their life expectancy.  If the problem of an ageing population is not addressed, such as through an increased population, the consequences of the nation’s lower productivity will mean the burden of increased health and social security costs will fall on the younger population; and
  • Economic growth: Importantly, despite a recession, the consensus view among Economists is that migration does impact positively on economic growth.   Australia needs migration to grow its economy.

For all these and other reasons, Australia will have a migration program for some years yet!  Australia’s demography, fertility and economics will see to that.  The issue is the extent and composition of that migration program.

The total for this year’s Planning Program is no different from that of last year:  160,000, except that the program focus and priorities have changed quite significantly as the useful table below, sourced from Immigration Law News website, will show.

The traditional one-third Family and two-third Skilled Migration formula has disappeared, and the main program casualties are the General Skilled Migration (GSM) (subclass 189, 190 and 491) program and the suite of different Parent visas.

What is surprising was the significant increase in the Partner visa allocation which has grown by nearly 82% from the previous year, with the sting that applicants from July 2021 will need to demonstrate that they and their sponsors have functional English language skills.  The test applies equally to the Sponsor unless they are Australian citizens.

This increased Partner allocation can be due to Australian sponsors complaining about the long processing times for both onshore and offshore applications of up to 27 months!  Given the Partner Visa Application Charge is $7,715 (more if there are accompanying dependent family members), this is not an unreasonable complaint for the exorbitant fees paid.

Migration Planning Levels 2020-21 Analysis

Source: https://immigrationlawnews.com.au/migration-planning-levels-detailed-comparison-shows-major-cuts-in-many-migration-categories/

What is the impact of the drop in the Parent and GSM allocations?

For Parent visas, undoubtedly the queue for finalising these applications will get longer.  The Department has stopped providing processing times for Parent visas, but anecdotally the processing time for Parent visas can now extend to more than 4 years.

The applicants and sponsors are understandably angry about this, especially when the exorbitant second Visa Application Charge of $43,600 per parent is applicable to Contributory Parent visas.  They are by far the largest group of applicants in the suite of Parent visas.

The above table will show the GSM allocation shrinking by more than 55% from 2019-20.  Inevitably this will mean that getting invitations will be even more competitive.  To receive an invitation for the Skill Independent visa in 2019-20 a minimum score of 95 points or higher was expected.  This could now be higher as the overall GSM allocations have shrunk considerably.

It is my prediction that the Medium and Short Term Lists of occupations will be reviewed, and the occupations there will shrink in view of the smaller GSM allocation.  The points test for GSM applicants will remain very competitive.  The role of nominating States and Territories will likely be reviewed too with a view to ensuring that their nominations are more targeted to the needs of their respective jurisdictions.

Given the high unemployment levels that have resulted from Covid-19, it is not surprising that Employer Sponsored Visas have also been reduced by nearly 27% from the Planning Level in 2019-20.  With this reduction, it can be expected that Immigration Case Officers will be assessing these Employer Sponsored cases critically to ensure that the market testing and the employer’s need for staff are rigorously assessed.

Clearly from the table, apart from the Partner Program, the other big winners are the Global Talent Independent (GTI) Program which has tripled in size (15,000), and the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) which has nearly doubled in size (13,500).  We will discuss this next.

C. Migration programs that will be given priority

The Covid pandemic has wrought much damage to the national economy.  It is therefore not surprising that the government has turned to the Global Talent Independent (GTI), and Business Innovation and Investment Programs (BIIB) to revitalise and spur the economy.

The purpose of the GTI is to seek highly-skilled migrants with exceptional, transferrable skills from around the world to work in a spectrum of future focused technological fields which can contribute to the development of an Australian technological future oriented economy.

This program was only announced by the government in August 2019 and by the end of June 2020 4,109 visas were granted.  The vision and success of this program has seen the government tripling the planning level for GTI in 2020-21 at the expense of the GSM allocation which has fallen by more than half because of Covid and the rising high unemployment.

If you are not familiar with the GTI, you might want to read two articles that we have written in our website – here are the links for them:

The eligibility criteria for GTI is simple but difficult to achieve.  For starters the applicant has to come from one of the following seven tech oriented sectors:

  • AgTech
  • Space and Advanced Manufacturing
  • FinTech
  • Energy and Mining Technology
  • MedTech
  • Cyber Security
  • Quantum Information, Advanced Digital, Data Science and IT

Then the applicant must show they have the talent, namely, they are:

  • internationally recognised with exceptional and outstanding achievements
  • still prominent in their field
  • an asset to Australia in their area of expertise
  • having no difficulty in obtaining employment or be established in their field in Australia
  • able to have a relevant organisation or individual in Australia who can endorse their attributes; and
  • having the potential or the ability to attract an annual Fair Work High Income Threshold (FWHIT) salary of AUD153,600.

Interestingly for relevant and exceptional Masters or PhD students in Australia who can demonstrate this talent and international recognition, the government has announced that there are places for such students in the program.

Our law firm has experience in assisting applicants for this program:  not only has our client received the invitation within a short time but her application was granted 11 days after its lodgement.

Even though the program has grown three fold, we expect that competition for these places will be more intense and assessments will be more difficult.  So candidates considering this should seek professional support in their bid for a GTI.

The other winner in the migration program is the Business Innovation and Investment Visa (BIIV) Program (13,500) which has nearly doubled in size from 2019-20.  This stance has been our assessment for some time and it is not surprising that our predictions have proven true.  It is a no- brainer for this initiative given the havoc that Covid has done to the economy.  The BIIV Program will not only bring new business and create much needed new employment, but it will also inject much needed new investment into the economy.

The government has considered this subject so important that it will establish a new whole-of-government Global Business and Talent Attraction Taskforce that will be established to attract international businesses and exceptional talent to Australia to support the post-COVID recovery and to create employment.

The backdrop to this is that the department had already undertaken a review of the BIIV in conjunction with Austrade in 2017.  As a continuation of that review the department has more recently initiated a public consultation on the BIIV process, and had requested input before 14 February 2020 on whether:

  • there are opportunities to streamline the Business Innovation and Investment program (BIIP) to maximise the value the program generates; and
  • increased investment thresholds and different investment types could provide better economic benefits to Australia compared to the current settings used for the Investor visa (IV) and Significant Investor visa (SIV).

This is code for announcing that there will be changes to the BIIV Program.  It was expected that these announcements will have been made when the 2020-21 Program was announced on 6 October 2020, but it was not.

But it can be safely assumed that the Government will soon introduce changes to BIIV along the lines of its public consultations brief in ensuring a more targeted approach to business proposals and a new focus on investments will be initiated to improve the economic outcomes of the BIIV Program (BIIP).

The Minister had said as much in his 6 October 2020 Press Release:

The BIIP will also be streamlined and reformed to ensure that investments are targeted at Australian venture capitals and emerging small and medium size businesses to support the economic recovery. 

We also know from the Budget that Visa application charges for BIIV will increase by an additional 11.3% (above regular CPI indexation) from 1 July 2021.

Given how Covid has played out in Australia vis-à-vis other parts of the world, Australia can pride itself as a good destination to migrate to and start a new life.

Our law firm has been assisting clients in their business migration application for more than six years with great results, and with expected changes to occur in the near future, we intend to continue this assistance and help applicants get their visas granted and to start new lives in Australia.

Contact the Migration Team

Our team of experienced migration lawyers at Rostron Carlyle Rojas Lawyers can assess your eligibility for these and other migration programs.

We will listen to you and we will provide comprehensive advice regarding your eligibility, address the important threshold issues, and guide and assist you in obtaining the necessary nomination and  invitation, and in preparing a decision-ready application.

Please contact any one of us in the Migration Team for assistance, or call (07) 3009 8444:

Global Talent Program and Distinguished Talent Visa

Global Talent & Distinguished Talent

The Migration Program for a new financial year is normally considered early in the new calendar year, and the program is formally announced by the Minister after his public consultations and after the Federal Cabinet has decided on it – this announcement is normally made before the commencement of the new financial year on 1 July.

This year the process has been disrupted because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the migration program, or its planning levels, is now expected to be released about the time of the Budget in early October 2020.

The Prime Minister has already foreshadowed that the program will be reduced significantly because of the growing unemployment in Australia. However, it is expected that certain programs may not be reduced because of the significant economic and employment benefits that they will bring Australia. Two such programs are the Business Innovation & Investment Visa Program, and the Global Talent Program.

We will discuss the Global Talent Program & the Distinguished Talent Program in this article.

Purpose of this Article

When we talk about the Australian Global Talent Program, we are in fact talking about the following three loose but separate or overlapping programs:
• Global Talent Employer Sponsored Program:
• Global Talent Independent Program; and
• Distinguished Talent Program.

In this article we will demystify the Global Talent Program, and in the process also look specifically at the Distinguished Talent Visa.

The Global Talent Program

This is in fact our third article on the subject of Global Talent, and what it means:

• Global Talent Employer Sponsored:

On 7 May 2020 we reprinted an article that we had published in 2019 on the Global Talent Employer Sponsored Program (GTES) which you can view here: https://rcrlaw.com.au/global-talent-visa/

In this article we explained how Australian businesses can negotiate specific labour agreements directly with the Department of Home Affairs to bring highly skilled occupations that may not be on the published skilled occupation lists to Australia.

Australian businesses must demonstrate that they cannot fill vacant positions under existing skilled visa programs before applying for a GTES agreement, and the criteria for this is dependent on the visa stream that is being considered:

•the Established Business Stream is where the applicant is for a highly skilled occupation where its minimum annual earning capacity is equivalent to the Fair Work High Income Threshold (currently AUD$153,600).

•the Start-up Stream: In contrast this stream is aimed at newly-established companies in STEM-related fields (science, technology, engineering, and math) that can demonstrate that they have received at least AUD$50,000 in funding from an investment fund registered as an Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership, or that they have received an Accelerating Commercialisation Grant. In addition, the Businesses must be endorsed by the Start-up Advisory Panel.

These visas will be allocated from either the Employer Sponsored Visa Programs, or the Global Talent Program.

• Global Talent Independent:

Our second article on Global Talent was published on 14 May 2020 when we wrote about the Global Talent Independent (GTI) Visa: https://rcrlaw.com.au/global-talent-independent-visas/

This visa program is for highly-skilled candidates from seven specified innovative “future focused fields” of interest to the Australian government, specifically in the AgTech, Space and Advanced Manufacturing, FinTech, Energy and Mining Technology, MedTech, Cyber Security, and Quantum Information, Advanced Digital, Data Science and IT sectors.

Apart from proving that applicants have an internationally recognised record of exceptional and outstanding achievement, they also need to show that they attract, or potentially attract, a salary commensurate with the Fair Work High Income Threshold (FWHIT).

The Global Talent Independent Visa is a permanent resident visa and is given priority processing by the department.

In this article, we will also give focus to the Distinguished Talent Visa and the confusion it may sometimes have with the GTI as both overlap, and have different visa program allocations.

We have already explained above, and in the links provided, what Global Talent is, and specifically the Global Talent Independent “Visa”. The Minister for Immigration in announcing the GTI program on 4 November 2019 said: “Over time, the Global Talent program has the potential to have a transformative impact on the Australian economy.”

Because of its importance, the Minister has said that the process for these applications will be fast-tracked to permanent residency in Australia.

But when we discuss Global Talent visas, we merely discuss them as notional GTES or GTI “visas”. In reality GTES and GTI are only notional concepts as they do not have a 3-digit subclass identifier number like other substantive visas, such as Skilled Visas (eg 189, 190 or 491), or Distinguished Talent Visa (offshore subclass 124 or onshore 858 visas).

However, a migration program is allocated to them directly: for GTES its program if not derived from the Employer Sponsored Program, would like GTI, be sourced directly from the Global Talent Program.

In processing GTI applications, they are managed and assessed in a similar way to Distinguished Talent Visas. Just this month (July 2020) we assisted a client apply for the GTI Program – and the GTI/ Distinguished Talent Visa was granted in just 11 days! When this visa is granted, however, the visa is allocated from the larger Global Talent Program instead of the much smaller Distinguished Talent Program.

In the 2019-2020 Program year, 5,000 visa allocation was set aside for Global Talent and only 200 visas for Distinguished Talent. This fact can be found on the department’s website: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/what-we-do/migration-program-planning-levels

What is Distinguished Talent Visa?

It is important to explain the difference between the GTI and the Distinguished Talent (DT) visa. They overlap theoretically but they are not the same.

As explained above, the GTI is a program for highly-skilled candidates from seven specified innovative “future focused fields” identified by the Australian government. Applicants for it must have an internationally recognised record of exceptional and outstanding achievement.

In contrast, the DT is notionally much broader in scope, even though its program numbers are significantly smaller.

To be eligible for DT, like GTI, applicants must also have an internationally recognised record of exceptional and outstanding achievement, but the applicant can come from one of the following four broad areas of talent:
• a profession;
• a sport;
• the arts;
• academia and research.

In addition, the applicant must still be prominent in the area; will be an asset to the Australian community; and will have no difficulty in obtaining employment, or in becoming established independently in Australia in their area of reputation.

Furthermore, the applicant must be nominated and have the support of an Australian citizen or permanent resident or Australian organisation that has a national reputation in the area of talent.

The applicant must also prove that they will be of exceptional benefit to the Australian community.

These are the minimum core threshold requirements for DT.

As can be seen, GTI applicants need also to fulfill many of the same criteria, but their eligibility will be narrower in scope.

Case Example

To illustrate what a DT candidate may look like, I can share a true story that was granted a DT Visa.

The applicant in question was an exceptional Indian classical dancer of Indian nationality. Because she was able to prove the following requirements, she was granted a DT Visa:

• as an Indian classical dancer, she was able to prove that she was the cream of the cream, globally, in the arts – that she had an internationally recognised record of exceptional and outstanding achievement;

• at time of application she remained prominent in her craft;

• she was able to prove that she was an asset (culturally?) to the Australian Community;

• she could prove that she had no difficulty in obtaining employment, or in becoming established independently in Australia in her area of talent and reputation – possibly teaching and earning an income from teaching Indian classical dancing to the growing Indian diaspora in Australia?

• she had the support of an Australian citizen/ permanent resident or Australian organisation that had a national reputation in the area of her talent; and

• she was able to prove that she would be of exceptional benefit (cultural?) to the Australian community.

This is an usual story, but it is chosen here to illustrate how the DI Visa works, even though it is an arcane talent.

However, unlike the GTI, the DI Program numbers have remained consistently low over the years – only a ceiling of 200 visas have been issued annually in the past many years.

Eligibility for DI candidates are therefore highly selective and rigorous.

How does the process work?

Candidates with immense talent as explained for GTI and DI, and who wish to be considered for either program should approach us to test their eligibility.

If the candidate is assessed as potentially meeting the requirements, we will assist the applicant with the process: by lodging an Expression of Interest in the case of GTI, or an application to Australian Immigration for DI candidates.

In either case, we will work with the client in guiding and advocating for them throughout the process:

• For GTI candidates: we will work with the client in a proactive manner to lodge their expression of interest to the department. Successful candidates will be issued an invitation to submit an application with a Global Talent unique identifier, and we will assist the client lodge the strongest application possible for them.

• For DI candidates: the process for DI is different. If we are convinced that the client meets all the required threshold requirements we will guide & work with them in a proactive way to collate all the required supporting evidence to enhance the applicant’s prospects before finally lodging the application.

We have direct experience in assisting clients with these applications and are familiar with the processes. As mentioned above, in July 2020, we assisted a GTI/ Distinguished Talent client get her visa in a record 11 days! We endeavour to assist all our future clients in a similar way. These applications are important to the Australian government, and GTI applicants are fast-tracked and given priority processing.

Contact

Rostron Carlyle Rojas Lawyers team of Migration Lawyers can assess the suitability of candidates for either program. We can provide comprehensive advice regarding eligibility, address the important threshold issues, and guide applicants in preparing a decision-ready application.

Please contact any one of us in the Migration team for assistance, or call (07) 3009 8444:
• Peter K K Lee, Special Counsel: [email protected]
• Clayton Hellen, Senior Associate: [email protected]
• Shanalee Johal, Lawyer: [email protected]

VISA UPDATE: Global Talent Employer Sponsored Program

Global Talent Employer Sponsored Visa

The Minister for Immigration announced in August 2019 that the Global Talent Visa scheme is now a permanent fixture in Australia’s migration program. The Global Talent scheme comprises of two different programs: Global Talent – Employer Sponsored program and Global Talent – Independent program. This article will address the first program, the Global Talent – Employer Sponsored program (GTES).

The Global Talent Employer Sponsored Program (GTES)

The Global Talent Scheme Pilot, targeting highly skilled global talent, began in July 2018. The purpose of the program was to address concerns that highly skilled niche positions required by Australian businesses were not able to be sponsored under the rigid occupation lists of other skilled and employer sponsored visa programs.

While the program has seen some success, critics question whether it is delivering on its aim, due to the low number of applicants sponsored through GTES Agreements since its inception.

Global Talent Visa AustraliaThe Global Talent Employer Sponsored Program (GTES) allows eligible Australian businesses to sponsor highly skilled overseas applicants for up to 4 years. The program is delivered through the existing Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa. However, GTES applicants do not have to apply through the usual Short Term and Medium Term streams of the TSS visa, which requires the nominee’s occupation to be on the published skilled occupation lists. Instead, GTES allows Australian businesses to negotiate specific labour agreements directly with the Department of Home Affairs to fill highly skilled occupations that may not be on the published skilled occupation lists and may not be available under the existing industry specific labour agreements in place.

A business must demonstrate that they cannot fill vacant positions under existing skilled visa programs before applying for a GTES agreement.

The visa is split into two streams: the Established Business Stream and the Start-up Stream.

GTES (Global Talent Employer Sponsored) Streams

The Established Business Streams

This stream is only available to Australian employers who are accredited sponsors with the Department of Home Affairs. There are five categories of accredited sponsors:
1. Australian Government agencies where at least 75% of the workers are Australian
2. Australian Trusted Traders where at least 75% of the workers are Australian
3. Existing Standard Business Sponsors with a turnover of over $4million where at least 85% of the workers are Australian
4. Existing Standard Business Sponsors who have successfully nominated at least 10 workers in the last 2 years, with a turnover of over $4million, where at least 75% of the workers are Australian
5. Existing Standard Business Sponsors who have made a major investment of at least $50million into Australia

Australian Employer Criteria- The Established Business Stream

The Australian business will need to meet the following key requirements:
1. Be an accredited sponsor;
2. Be publicly listed, or have an annual turnover of at least AUD4 million for each of the past 2 years;
3. Have good standing in compliance with regulatory agencies
4. That they have tried to find an Australian to fill the role;
5. That the position will have minimum annual earnings equivalent to the Fair Work High Income Threshold (currently $148,700); and
6. That the sponsorship will support job opportunities and a skills transfer to Australian workers.

This stream will allow businesses to nominate up to 20 positions per year.

Visa Applicant Criteria -The Established Business Stream

The visa applicant will need to meet the following key requirements:
1. Qualifications to suit the highly skilled role;
2. Three years of directly relevant work experience;
3. Capacity to pass their skills on to Australian workers; and
4. No family relationship with the directors and shareholders of the employer.
Applicants will have access to a transitional pathway to permanent residence after 3 years.

The Start-up Stream

The Start-up steam is aimed at newly-established companies in STEM-related fields (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Businesses must first be endorsed by the Start-up Advisory Panel. They must also demonstrate that they have received at least $50,000 in funding from an investment fund registered as an Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership, or that they have received an Accelerating Commercialisation Grant.

Australian Employer Criteria- Start-up Stream

The stream requires businesses to show the following:
1. Endorsement by the Start-up Advisory Panel;
2. That their recruitment policy provides first preference to Australian workers;
3. That they have tried to find an Australian to fill the role;
4. That the position will provide for the market salary rate for the position, which must be at least $80,000 (including a cash component of at least $53,900) and
5. That the sponsorship will result in job opportunities and a skills transfer to Australian workers.
Approved businesses can nominate up to 5 positions each year.

Visa Applicant Criteria- Start-up Stream

The visa applicant will need to meet the following key requirements:
1. Qualifications to suit the highly skilled role;
2. Three years of directly relevant work experience;
3. Capacity to pass their skills on to Australian workers; and
4. No family relationship with the directors and shareholders of the employer.

Applicants will have access to a transitional pathway to permanent residence after 3 years.

GTES agreements receive priority processing by the Department.

If you are an Australian business who is struggling to fill a high specialised role within your organisation, the GTES program may be your solution to being able to employ an appropriate candidate from overseas. Rostron Carlyle Rojas Lawyers migration team can provide advice on your eligibility, discuss the options available, and guide you through the GTES process.

If you are a highly skilled applicant who has an Australian employer interested in offering employment, and you need to discuss what visa options might be available, Rostron Carlyle Rojas Lawyers can provide comprehensive advice on the options and strategies available to you and your potential employer.

Contact us for a consultation today:
Peter Kuek-Kong Lee, Special Counsel and Registered Migration Agent MARN 0427478
[email protected]
Anna Gunning-Stevenson, Associate and Registered Migration Agent MARN 1797244
[email protected]
(07) 3009 8444

Entrepreneur Visa Australia

Entreprenuer Visa Australia

The Australian Government introduced an Entrepreneur Visa in September 2016, adding it to the suite of existing Business Migration and Investor Visas.

The visa is for people who are able to undertake a complying entrepreneur activity in Australia in conjunction with an acceptable partner listed below. It is in some ways a smaller version of the Venture Capital Entrepreneur Visa. This visa provides a pathway to permanent residence.

Conceivably bright international students in Australia researching in innovative, science, engineering, and technological industries may be eligible if they can find eligible partners who could assist with funding for the entrepreneur activity.

Who is eligible for the entrepreneur visa to Australia?

Applicants have to be less than 55 years old, and must be nominated by a State or Territory Government. This requirement can be waived by the nominating government if the proposed activity “is or will be of exceptional economic benefit” to the nominating government.

Unlike the other Business Innovation & Investment visas, the applicant must have Competent English (equivalent to IELTS 6).

And the applicant must undertake, or propose to undertake, a complying entrepreneur activity in Australia, and has a genuine intention to continue this activity.

Furthermore, the nominating government must be satisfied that the net value of the business and personal assets of the applicant is sufficient to allow them to settle in Australia. This net value may vary depending on the nominating government.

The criteria also include the mandatory elements of the entrepreneur activity listed below.
Unlike the Business Innovation (subclass 188a) Visa and the Investor (Subclass 188b) Visa, this Entrepreneur Visa is not subject to the Points Test.

What is Complying Entrepreneur Activity?

A Complying Entrepreneur Activity is an activity that relates to an innovative idea that will lead to either the commercialisation of a product or service in Australia, or the development of an enterprise or business in Australia.

The applicant will need to find a Partner with whom it will have a funding agreement of at least AUD$200,000 to undertake the complying entrepreneur activity. This Partner can be one of the following entities:

• Commonwealth Government agency;
• State or Territory Government;
• Publicly Funded Research or Innovation Organisation;
• Investor registered as an Australian Venture Capital Limited Partnership or Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership; and
• Higher Education Provider.
The entrepreneur activity must comprise the following elements:
• There is one or more legally enforceable agreements to provide funding for at least AUD$200 000 for the entrepreneur activity;
• At least 10 per cent of the funding must be payable to the entrepreneurial entity within 12 months from the day the activity commences in Australia;
• The applicant holds at least 30 per cent interest in the entrepreneurial entity;
• There is a business plan for the entrepreneurial entity showing how the innovative idea will lead to the commercialisation of a product or service in Australia, or the development of an enterprise or business in Australia.
What are my obligations for the entrepreneur visa?

It is expected that the Entrepreneur Activity will maintain an ongoing relationship with the nominating State or Territory government; and the funding party must pay the entrepreneurial entity, as described above, at least 10 per cent of AUD$200,000 within 12 months from the day the entrepreneurial activity in Australia commences.
Contact

If you are interested in the Entrepreneur Visa for Australia please contact migration lawyer Peter Kuek-Kong Lee of Rostron Carlyle Rojas Lawyers on (07) 3009 8444, or email: [email protected]

RCR Lawyers co-host an Investment and Business Migration seminar in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

On May 4, 2019, Rostron Carlyle Rojas Lawyers were the co-hosts of an Investment and business migration seminar in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

The partnership between RCR Law, TP Immigration, Investment, and Consultancy attracted Vietnamese business people from near and far and was a great success for all involved.

Presenters included our Founding Partner Greg Rostron and Special Counsel Peter Kuek-Kong Lee. Alongside, Greg McKean, Manager at Business and Skilled Migration QLD, Australia and Brendan Goulding, Director in International Services at Bentleys QLD, our very own Peter Kuek-Kong Lee presented on visa options for businessmen and women looking to bring their business and investment to Australia.

New Global Talent Scheme Pilot

Migration Lawyers

In March 2018, the Australian Government announced a new visa scheme, the Global Talent Scheme Pilot, targeted at highly skilled global talent. The trial of this new visa scheme will commence on 1 July 2018 and last for 12 months.

The purpose of the Global Talent Scheme is to recognize global talent in high demand for the benefit of Australian workers and Australian businesses. It will allow eligible Australian businesses to sponsor highly skilled overseas applicants for up to 4 years on the existing Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) Visa.

The scheme comes at a time of large cuts to the occupations available under Australia’s skilled migration program. It is a proposed solution to address skill shortages in Australia, particularly in the Innovation sector, where many evolving tech-based job positions do not fit in the strict occupation moulds of the current Skilled Occupation Lists.

The new visa scheme will involve two streams: the Established Business Stream and the Start-up Stream.

The Established Business Stream

This stream is available to Australian employers who are publicly listed or have an annual turnover of more than $4 million.

The Australian business will need to meet the following key requirements:

1. That their recruitment policy provides first preference to Australian workers;
2. That they have tried to find an Australian to fill the role;
3. That the position will have minimum annual earnings of $180,000; and
4. That the sponsorship will result in a skills transfer to Australian workers.

This stream will allow businesses to nominate up to 20 positions per year.

The Start-up Stream

The Start-up steam is aimed at newly-established companies in STEM-related fields (science, technology, engineering, and math).

The stream will require businesses to show the following:

1. That their recruitment policy provides first preference to Australian workers;
2. That they have tried to find an Australian to fill the role;
3. That the position will provide for the market salary rate for the position (at least $53,900);
4. That a ‘start-up authority’ has endorsed the business; and
5. That the sponsorship will result in a skills transfer to Australian workers.

Start-ups will be able to sponsor up to 5 positions per year.

There will also be other visa criteria related to the visa application, such as health and character checks.

Applicants under both streams will have access to a 4-year TSS visa, with a transitional pathway to permanent residence after 3 years, if the applicant is eligible.

The Global Talent Scheme Pilot initiative is a step toward a more innovative and skilled Australian workforce. However, the practicality of the requirements is yet to be tested. Whether the scheme will appropriately address skill shortage concerns is yet to be seen, but we expect further refinements will continue to be made once it commences.

Shanalee Hayer, Rostron Carlyle Rojas Lawyers

Paralegal

Rostron Carlyle Rojas Lawyers migration team can provide advice to Australian businesses in need of overseas skilled workers.  Contact us for a consultation today:

Peter Kuek-Kong Lee, Special Counsel and Registered Migration Agent MARN 0427478

[email protected]

Anna Gunning-Stevenson, Lawyer and Registered Migration Agent MARN 1797244

a.gunningsteve[email protected]

(07) 3009 8444