Like the 160 Business over, this visa is aimed at people with a demonstrated successful business background and a genuine intent to own a business in Australia. The business can be a new venture or buy into an existing Australian Business.

The difference between the 160 and 163 sub-classes is that this visa is sponsored by a State/Territory Government and therefore the business must operate within the State that Sponsors your application until you are ready apply for Permanent Residence. There are also lesser age restrictions on this visa subclass as well as lower asset requirements.

This visa is the first step towards Permanent Residence status in Australia and allows you to:

  • Establish a new or existing business in Australia
  • Multiple entry into Australia for as long as the visa is valid (generally 4 years)
  • Have your family accompany you to Australia. They will have access to work and study rights
  • Establish a pathway to permanent residence within 2 years

The basic requirements to be considered for a Business Owner Visa is as follows:

  • You must be under the age of 55 years old at the time of submitting the application (age exemptions may apply in specific circumstances)
  • You must have vocational English
  • The annual turnover of your main business must have been at least AUD300 000 in at least two of the four fiscal years immediately before you apply
  • In addition, you must have owned at least:
    – 51 per cent of the business where the turnover is less than AUD400 000 per annum
    – 30 per cent of the business where the turnover is AUD400 000 or more per annum
    – 10 per cent where the business is a publicly listed company
  • Your total assets have a net value of at least AUD500 000
  • You have sufficient assets (additional to those above) to settle in Australia

If you are married or in a de-facto relationship for at least 12 months prior to applying, your spouses assets may be included and combined to total the net assets required above. In addition, you are able to combine 2 business’ to evidence business turnover requirements, providing you can meet the percentage of share ownership (above).

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