SYDNEY - Australia is a preferred choice for students to study higher education but the lifestyle that the country offers is also attracting business owners to get a visa and explore opportunities.
In this detailed guide, we are going to tell you everything related to the Business Owner Visa (Subclass 890) of Australia.
What is a Business Owner Visa (Subclass 890)
The Business Owner visa is for those who own and manage a business in Australia. This visa type permits one to stay in Australia indefinitely but to apply as a primary applicant, you must have a qualifying visa granted on a particular basis.
In order to be eligible for this visa, one should have an eligible visa and have lived in Australia on that visa for at least 12 months in the 2 years immediately before the application is made while holding this visa.
By the eligible visa, the authorities mean that you hold a visa in any of the following visa subclasses:
For residence requirements, the authorities say that you must have been in Australia as the holder of an eligible visa for a total of at least 1 year in the 2 years immediately before the application is made. The 1-year period does not have to be continuous.
Another eligibility benchmark is that one should have owned and operated a business in Australia for at least 2 years immediately before the application is made.
It must be kept in mind that you must be in Australia when you lodge your application. As far as family is concerned, they can be in or outside Australia but not in immigration clearance.
As far as eligibility regarding business is concerned, it should be kept in mind that for each nominated main business you must provide evidence of ownership interest in the business and value of your ownership interest.
Another eligibility criterion is that for the 2 years immediately before you apply, the value of your ownership interest or the total value of the ownership interest of you and your partner must have been at least 51% of a business with a turnover of less than AUD400,000 per year, or 30% of a business with a turnover of AUD400,000 or more per year, or 10% of a publicly listed company.
You must also provide evidence that you had and continue to have, a direct and continuous management role in the business on a day-to-day basis (including periods when you are outside of Australia). Moreover, you should also justify that each main business meets the criteria to be assessed as a qualifying business.
Additionally, you must have obtained an Australian Business Number (ABN) for each of your main businesses though you can rely on a maximum of two ABNs. You must also provide evidence of portal process Business Activity Statements issued by the Australian Taxation Office.
Another important aspect in this case is that if you spent more than 6 weeks in total outside Australia during the 2 years, you must explain how you managed the business while you were away.
The immigration authorities have outlined detailed criteria for a business to qualify as a valid business for this visa.
At the time you apply and throughout the 12 months immediately before you apply, you must show that you and/or your partner had net business assets in the main businesses of at least AUD100,000 and those assets were lawfully acquired.
As far as turnover is concerned, for the 12 months immediately before you apply, you must provide evidence of annual turnover in your main business (or 2 main businesses together) of at least AUD300,000.
Moreover, for the 12 months immediately before you apply you must provide evidence that the nominated main businesses employed 2 full-time employees or the equivalent of 2 full-time employees. Employees must be Australian citizens, permanent residents or New Zealand passport holders and you cannot include yourself or members of the family unit in the team for meeting this criteria.
At the time you apply and throughout the 12 months immediately before you apply, you must show that the net value of your and/or your partner’s net business and personal assets in Australia was at least AUD250,000.
The applicant must also meet the health requirements of Australia and any member of the family unit who applies might have to meet health requirements, depending upon their circumstances. This does not mean you will have to do medicals again.
The Home Office has also clarified that they will consider the applicant's immigration history when making a decision on their application, which means you might not be eligible for this visa if you have had a visa canceled or refused.
The authorities have, however, announced that in some circumstances you may still apply for a permanent visa if you have had a visa canceled or an application refused.
Interestingly, there is no age limit for this visa.
How to apply for Business Owner Visa (Subclass 890)
Before you apply, you must notify the business development agency in the state or territory in which you intend to continue your investment activity. The agency will sign, stamp and send the form back to you which needs to be included in your visa application.
As part of your application, you will need identity documents (colour copies of the pages of your current passport showing your photo, personal details, and passport issue and expiry dates, a national identity card), photos ( two recent photos (45mm x 35mm) for each person in application with a plain background, head and shoulders only and the name of the person on the back), business documents (overview of your business career in Australia, a two-page summary covering the 12 months before you apply of how you meet the business eligibility for the visa explaining your ownership interest in your business(es) in Australia and length of ownership, your Australian business activities, your management role over the 2 years before applying, information about assets, turnover and employees).
Other documents include Organisational chart and business premises (one-page chart for each business claimed covering the 2 years before you apply and showing your position, staff attribution, management reporting lines, functional responsibilities, photos of business premises and business activities (maximum 6 photos)), Management in the main business or businesses (documents prepared or signed by you like supplier contracts, credit applications, eftpos or merchant agreements, insurance policy agreements, employment contracts, copies of Food Assessment reports, emails, letters, faxes between you and third parties, documents from customers or suppliers addressed to you
statements or references from customers, suppliers, neighbouring businesses, or landlord, a copy of your business’ bank authority confirming you as a signatory, documents showing any repair or maintenance work you have managed, council registration and any applicable licenses, business insurance papers, employee PAYG summaries, export shipping summary sheet together with associated evidence for each export if applicable etc.).
Moreover, you will also need Business ownership documents (documents proving your purchase of the business, partnership agreements, trust agreements, franchise agreements etc), Turnover (for the 2 years before you apply, the Australian Business number (ABN) for each business, Portal generated Business Activity Statements (BAS) for each quarter for each business and financial statements for each business), documents related to employees (hourly wage rates and hours worked, wage books, most recent PAYG summary for each employee), Assets (1-page summary statement outlining assets and liabilities. Liabilities can include mortgages, credit cards, and loans (including unsecured and third party loans)), Business assets (Financial statements completed by a licenced accountant), Personal assets, Partner documents, Proof of functional English, Character documents. A detailed list can be seen here.
After you have gathered all the documents, to apply for this visa, you need to pay the application fee before submitting your application as the application will not be processed without fee.
Your application should also include evidence of payment of the application fee and all the relevant supporting documentation.
The immigration authorities have clarified that you must post (with the correct prepaid postage) or send by courier your application to the Adelaide Business Skills Processing Centre, Department of Immigration and Border Protection in Adelaide, Australia.
There is no online procedure mentioned by the Home Office for submitting the application.
The Home Office has also highlighted that they do not give the status of the application under assessment, adding that they will inform the applicant in writing of the decision, and in case you are granted a visa, you will be informed of your visa grant number, the date your visa starts, your visa conditions.
In case, your visa is refused, the authorities will inform you about the reasons for refusing the visa and whether you have a right to a review of the decision but the authorities will not refund the application fee if the visa is refused.
Benefits of Business Owner Visa
With the Business Owner Visa, one can stay in Australia permanently. Moreover, those who have this visa can also work and study in Australia and enroll in Australia's public health care scheme, Medicare.
Another benefit that this visa offers is that one can sponsor relatives to come to Australia. Moreover, you can travel to and from Australia for 5 years and finally, if you are eligible, you can also become an Australian citizen.
This visa provides a maximum advantage, one of which is the fact that you can travel to and from Australia as many times as you want for 5 years from the date you are granted the visa. After 5 years you will need a Resident Return (RRV) visa (subclass 155 and 157) to re-enter Australia as a permanent resident.
Duration of stay allowed
The biggest advantage of this visa type is that it allows stay in Australia indefinitely. The visa has a travel component that expires 5 years after the date of the visa grant.
The immigration authorities confirm that the applicant becomes a permanent resident on the day they are granted the visa.
For those curious about citizenship purposes, the immigration authorities confirm that your permanent residency starts on the day, you are granted a visa, if you are in Australia, or on the day you enter Australia on this visa, if you are outside Australia.
This visa costs the applicant around AUD2,810.00 but for the main application only. The authorities have announced that you might have to pay an extra charge for any applicant 18 years old or older who has less than functional English and who does not hold an eligible visa when they apply.
This charge is called the second installment and is only payable if you are requested to pay it by the home office. The second installment charge for family members is AUD4,890 and there are some other costs as well like for health checks, police certificates and biometrics.
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