Many who are selling an interest in a business would like to move to Australia, and would prefer not to be required to start a business when they arrive.
After owning a business for several years many who are exiting a business would like to relax, enjoy the sunshine and beaches of Australia, and limit physical exertion to an occasional game of golf or tennis!
The Investor stream of visa subclass 188 potentially offers a solution.
The Investor stream of subclass 188 is a provisional visa which allows the visa holder to live in Australia.
Subclass 188 visa holders typically progress to permanent residency after a Designated Investment of A$1.5m has been retained for 4 years.
The general requirements to secure a subclass 188 visa under the Investor stream are discussed here.
For business owners the specific requirements to be met under this stream in addition to the general requirements as to age, net assets, the business visas points test, and making a Designated Investment prior to visa grant are:
- At least three years’ experience of direct involvement in managing one or more qualifying businesses
- An overall successful record of qualifying business activity
- For at least one of the five fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply for the visa, have directly managed a qualifying business in which you, your partner, or you and your partner combined had an ownership interest of at least 10 per cent
A “qualifying business” is defined as an enterprise that is operated for the purpose of making profit through the provision of goods, services or goods and services (other than the provision of rental property) to the public, and is not operated primarily or substantially for the purpose of speculative or passive investment.
Note that in claiming points in the subclass 188 visa points test for business turnover reference is made to the visa applicant’s main business.
A “main business” is defined as one in which the value of the visa applicant’s ownership interest (or the total value of the ownership interests of the applicant and the applicant’s spouse or de facto partner), in the business is (or was):
- If the business is operated by a publicly listed company — at least 10% of the total value of the business
- If the business is not operated by a publicly listed company, and the annual turnover of the business is at least A$400,000 – at least 30% of the total value of the business
- If the business is not operated by a publicly listed company, and the annual turnover of the business is less than A$400,000 – at least 51% of the total value of the business
In summary, a visa obtained under the Investor stream of subclass 188 removes the obligation to acquire or to set up a business in Australia – and in our experience is a strategy adopted by many current or former business owners who want to move to Australia.
Those who are interested in exploring such a pathway and who would like to discuss their situation more fully are invited to complete the enquiry form on this page.