Letter to India

Australia and India share the same National Day, 26 January. Yet as countries they are similar but different.

Both India and Australia have ancient civilizations, except that India’s civilization is readily recognised, but Australia’s indigenous civilization is not. Both countries are expansive in geography, but India has a teeming population of one billion people with obvious population pressures like clean air and blue skies, whereas Australia only has 24 million people, the population of New Delhi. It has clean air and blue skies almost every day.

With these differences, we begin to see a stark contrast in the two countries.

India has a myriad of languages spoken and is culturally diverse, but Australia is uniquely more diverse with people settling in Australia from every corner of the world, speaking all the world’s languages, and has cuisine from every corner of the globe.

Yet India and Australia have much in common: with a population of one billion, more Indians speak English than any country in the world including the UK and USA. We share a common legal system inherited from the British who had a major influence in transforming both countries.

These juxtapositions continue, but what is not commonly known will be revealed in this article.


Australia is a relatively young country of just over 200 years old, despite its ancient indigenous civilization. It is located in Asia, even if only in its south-east corner, where the engine of the world’s economic growth is centred.

It has a stable system of government, excellent education, a strong economy and a diverse and dynamic population. It has immigrants from every country in the world.

Given its geographic location and abundant resources, the opportunities of living in Australia are enormous, as is the potential for business.

An Indian Phenomenon

Many Indians are aware of these benefits and have moved to Australia in significant numbers but this phenomenon is not generally well known.

Did you know that in the past two years, India is the number one source country for immigrants to Australia? India is also the number two source country for International Students. Indeed the Australian Department of Immigration has reported that the Indian-born population is now the fourth largest migrant community in Australia, with Hindi a fast growing language spoken in the home. In fact the Indian-born people living in Australia has more than doubled in eight years, from June 2006 to June 2014.

While the public may stereo-type Indians as working as taxi drivers and running 7-Eleven stores in Australia, India is Australia’s number one source country for Skilled migrants and employer sponsored visas like Temporary Work (Skilled) visas.

Indeed the Writer’s doctor is an Indian as is his Cardiologist. Indians as a community is fulfilling a major role in Australia’s health, IT, engineering and other industries. And significantly is also playing a major role in Australia’s culinary culture. You will find Indian restaurants common in all the major cities of Australia; and slowly Hindu and Sikh temples are becoming evident.

Indian Business

While Indians are leading the way and migrating to Australia in such big numbers, it is incredulous that this is also not reflected in Business Migration, despite India’s growing middle and upper class.

Australia issues seven thousand two hundred (7,200) business migration visas every year for more than the past three years. Yet in the three years (2012/13, 2013/14 & 2014/15) mentioned in the Department of Immigration information, no more than 48 visas were issued to Indian nationals. This equates to about four Indian families a year.

Why is this so?

Is it because Indian business men and women are not interested in Australia unlike their other compatriots who have migrated; or is it because they don’t meet the business migration criteria?

It is believed both reasons are wrong. Indian business people are not aware of this program. It may be because Indian business people are too busy, and are not aware of Australian business migration opportunities.

This conclusion was reached from two reconnaissance undertaken in India in August and November 2016. From these visits, it showed that business people in India are not aware of the program. But importantly the people we saw had an abiding strong interest in the program.

The first visit was to Delhi and the Punjab, where in Delhi a number of interviews were conducted over a week end. These meetings showed that Indian business people were not familiar with the Australian program. And surprisingly, 56% of the people interviewed in Delhi were eligible for the business migration program.

In the second visit, we went to Delhi (again) and Mumbai. It was interesting that the profile and characteristics of business people seen in both these cities was quite different. But the constant in the interviews conducted in both cities showed a lack of awareness but keen interest in the business migration program.

Consistent with the first Delhi visit, the eligibility of the people seen in both cities were very high, and as a result, clients from both cities are already signing up requesting assistance in applying for these visas.

Australian Business Migration

Moving to Australia does not necessarily mean cutting off business ties with India. The world is becoming a global village, and increasingly business people can work from more than one centre. This is true of Australia, as it is true of India.

Indeed by moving to Australia, Indian business people have the best of both worlds in terms of living, lifestyle and business opportunities. They literally have a foot in both camps, and the opportunities that both countries can offer them.

So what is Australia’s Business Migration Program?

This comprises a suite of business and investment visas to suit different business people. In total the suite has seven visa streams that can be considered. See diagram below.

For people who are substantial business people, they can apply for the Business Talent Visa which will potentially grant them permanent residence when the visa is granted. There are two streams in this visa subclass 132: the first is the Significant Business History applicant who intends to develop a significant business in Australia, and the second is a Venture Capital Entrepreneur who intends to be a Venture Capitalist in Australia.

In contrast, there are five other streams that belong to the two-stage Provisional, and later Permanent Residence visa. This suite of visas belong to the subclass 188 visa category comprising the following five streams:

  • (a) the business innovation stream where the business person sets up a smaller business proposal than the subclass 132 Significant Business History applicant; and
  • the investor category where there are four investor visa streams available:
    • (b) Investor Visa
    • (c) Significant Investor Visa
    • (d) Premium Investor Visa
    • (e) Entrepreneur Visa.

Tripartite Collaboration

Given the interest in the Australian business migration program that has been generated from the reconnaissance visits in 2016, three groups have joined together to work collaboratively in helping Indian business people move to Australia and do business there.

The Group comprising the parties to this collaboration are:

These three parties will work together to assist Indian business people move to Australia.

If you wish to contact any of these parties, the email addresses and phone numbers for the contacts are:

  • Spatial Impacts: Manish Karkhanis, Managing Director: [email protected]; and Phone: +61 4 326 345 74 (Australia) and +91 9819918189 (India);
  • SMC India: Saroon Kumar, General Manager – International Market & NRI Desk: [email protected]; Phone +91- 9811627346; and
  • Rostron Carlyle Lawyers: Peter Kuek-Kong Lee, Senior Migration Lawyer:
  • p.lee@; and Phone: + 61 7 3009 8444 and +61 4242 888 43.

While the Group is currently focussing on the Delhi and Mumbai markets, the Group is willing to assist any business person in India regardless of their location. SMC India has also travelled to the Punjab and Gujarat to meet and help clients.

The Group will have campaigns in India periodically, and the next campaign will be in Delhi (11-15 February 2017) and Mumbai (16-20 February 2017).

A Migration Lawyer (Peter Kuek-Kong Lee) from Australia will be in Delhi and Mumbai to participate and meet with eligible clients. This lawyer has over 37 years’ experience in the migration industry, having worked on both sides of the industry: he worked for 25 years in the Australian Department of Immigration, including 12 years on overseas postings with the department, and the past 12 years in private Practice helping people move to Australia successfully.

If you are interested to participate in this campaign, please contact Mr Saroon Kumar by email: [email protected]

If you are eligible, Australia is waiting for you!

We look forward to seeing you.

Spatial Impact

SMC India

Rostron Carlyle Lawyers

26 January 2017

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