Business Skills Migration

The Australian Business Skills Programme encourages successful business people to settle in Australia and use their proven business ability to develop business activity in Australia. 

The majority of all Business Skills migrants enter Australia initially on a temporary visa for four years and, after satisfactory evidence of a specified level of business or investment activity, may then apply for permanent residence. 

The Business Skills Migration programme is divided into sponsored and unsponsored classes and is divided into four categories:

  • Business Talent – for high-calibre business people who have sponsorship from a state or territory government
  • Business Owner – for owners or part-owners of a business
  • Senior Executive – for senior executives of a major business
  • Investment – for investors or business people willing to invest in Australia

Depending on the terms of the relevant visa, these visas allow established business people to come to Australia, buy or establish a business and then maintain the defined level of business activity for a minimum period of two years or maintain the approved investment for four years. 

Upon meeting the requirements of the relevant visa, application can be lodged for a Business Skills Permanent Residence visa.  At this stage careful, individual assessment is made on a case by case basis to ensure the qualifying criteria of the migrant’s visa have been achieved.

Further information on the criteria of each visa type can be obtained from the Government Immigration website, or from solicitors offering specialised immigration services.

It is our experience that many business migrants favourably consider the Management Rights business opportunity as it provides both a home and a business.

When considering your business purchase it is important to discuss the qualifying business criteria with your immigration advisor.

Visa terminology emphasises that the “main business” must be a “qualifying business”.   In order to be a qualifying business, the regulations state that the business must be an enterprise that:

  1. is operated for the provision of making a profit through the provision of goods, services or goods and services (other than the provision of rental property) to the public; and
  2. is not operated primarily or substantially for the purpose of speculative or passive investment

Jonathan Flannery, Immigration Solicitor of has had policy interpretation from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC)  which has indicated that, in their view, not all of the income of a Management Rights business may be assessable in terms of the visa income qualifying requirement. 

There is opinion that the income derived from the Caretaking Rights is for the provision of goods and services to a specific group of people (the Body Corporate) rather than from goods and services provided to the general public.

This will not be an issue if the income derived from the Letting Rights and other business sources is sufficient to meet the relevant revenue threshold in the twelve months immediately prior to application.

Although this opinion needs to be tested on a case by case basis, we believe that this is an important factor for migrants to consider before making their purchasing decision.

Having successfully negotiated Management Rights purchases for fellow migrants, we would be delighted to assist you with further information or, alternatively, refer you to reputable Immigration specialists.

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