Reforms for Business Migration to Australia Announced

Reforms for Business Migration to Australia Announced

Major reforms to the Australian business migration have been announced and will apply from 1 July 2012 coinciding the new DIAC SkillSelect.

The key changes to the Business Skills visa program – now named the Business Innovation and Investment program are:

Skilled Migrant Selection Model To Be Integrated

From 1 July 2012, the business migration program will be integrated to the SkillSelect system. SkillSelect requires applicants to first lodge an EOI(Expression of Interest). The Department of Immigration will then assess the EOIs which have been submitted and invite the best applicants to make a visa application.

As a result, from 1 July 2012 people will not be able to apply directly for business migration, they must first make an EOI and receive an invitation from the Department of Immigration.

Number of Visa Subclasses Will Be Reduced From 13 To 3

From 1 July 2012, there will only be 3 business migration subclasses:

• Business Talent (Subclass 132) – a direct pathway to permanent residence for top level business people

• Provisional Business Innovation and Investment (Subclass 188) – a 4-year provisional visa

• Permanent Business Innovation and Investment (Subclass 888) – the permanent stage of the provisional subclass 188 visa

New Innovation Points Test

A new innovation points test has been created for the provisional subclass 188 visa which gives points for:

• Age

• English Language Ability

• Qualifications

• Experience in Business or Investment

• Net Personal Assets

• Business Turnover

• Special Endorsement by State/Territory Government

The applicants for provisional business visas will now need to meet a points test requirement. The new system will seek to advantage applicants who are more innovative and more likely to succeed in business in Australia as SkillSelect will give highest priority to people with the highest points score.

Transitional Arrangements

Provisional business visa holders (ie subclasses 160-165) will still be able to apply for permanent residence through the current system (ie through subclass 890-893). The same applies to anyone who applies for the current subclasses as they will be assessed under the current visa criteria prior to 1 July 2012. It appears that provisional business visa holders will not need to go through SkillSelect for their permanent stage in particular. In the near future, though not specifically mentioned, it is quite possible that the Established Business in Australia Subclass 845 visa and the Regional Established Business in Australia Subclass 846 visa may be abolished.


With these change in the business skills program, it is clear that the Australian government is trying to elevate the standard for business migration. Business turnover will be higher along with personal net assets and applicants will receive points for showing a higher degree of innovation raise.

As with the SkillSelect requirement, this is to ensure that only the most highly qualified applicants will be able to make applications for business migration.

Call us at +65 6299 0245 if you would like to discuss your application for Business Migration to Australia or try our free business migration assessment to let our consultants determine your eligibility under Australia immigration.