We are making changes to the visa system as part of the
National Innovation and Science Agenda. These changes will help Australia attract and retain the best and brightest entrepreneurial talent and the skilled, talented people Australia needs to drive ideas from research to commercial reality.
On 10 September 2016, we launched a new Entrepreneur visa stream and amended the points test for the skilled migration programme.
The Entrepreneur visa is part of the
Business Innovation and Investment visa programme. Entrepreneurs interested in applying for the Entrepreneur visa will need to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) in
SkillSelect and be nominated by a State or Territory government.
Key eligibility criteria includes:
- Applicants must be undertaking, or proposing to undertake, an entrepreneurial venture in Australia.
- The entrepreneurial venture must not be related to residential real estate or labour hire or involve purchasing an existing business or franchise.
- Applicants must also be under 55 years of age, have a competent level of English, and have at least 30 per cent interest in their entrepreneurial venture.
- There must be one or more funding agreements in place for at least $200,000 between the entrepreneur or venture and a third party funding body or bodies.
- Sources of third party funding are limited to state and territory governments, Commonwealth agencies, Publicly Funded Research Organisations, and investors registered as a Venture Capital Limited Partnerships (VCLP) or Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnerships (ESVCLP). Agreements outlining funds from a combination of these sources are also acceptable.
- Applicants must have a business plan outlining their plans for their venture in Australia.
An Entrepreneur visa holder can progress to permanent residency after four years if they can meet a measure of success, which includes factors such as business turnover, employment of Australians and ability to obtain significant financial backing.
The amendment to the points test will enhance the pathway to permanent residence for students who have completed Doctoral or Masters by research-level qualifications in science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) or specified information and communication technology (ICT) related fields in Australia.
The current points test will be amended to award additional points for Doctorate and Masters by research-level qualifications gained from Australian universities in STEM, specified ICT and other related fields.
The following fields of education qualifications are proposed to be accepted under this new measure and are defined by the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS):
Field of Education:
- Biological Sciences
- Chemical Sciences
- Earth Sciences
- Mathematical Sciences
- Natural and Physical Sciences
- Other Natural and Physical Sciences
- Physics and Astronomy
- Computer Science
- Information Systems
- Information Technology
- Other Information Technology
- Aerospace Engineering and Technology
- Civil Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Technology
- Engineering and Related Technologies
- Geomatic Engineering
- Manufacturing Engineering and Technology
- Maritime Engineering and Technology
- Mechanical and Industrial Engineering and Technology
- Other Engineering and Related Technologies
- Process and Resources Engineering.
Graduates who want to determine whether their qualification is eligible are able to search the
CRICOS website. If their qualification is at Doctorate or Masters by research-level and their field of education is listed in the above table then they will be eligible for five additional points towards their points test.
Work visa options
Skilled migration visa options
You may be eligible for a skilled visa if, amongst other things, you are a skilled overseas worker with skills needed in Australia.
Sponsored or nominated work visa options
You may be eligible for a nominated or sponsored work visa if, amongst other things, you are nominated or sponsored by:
- An approved Australian employer or business
- A state or territory government agency
- A state or territory authority
Information for workers including:
- Visa options comparison chart
- Your rights and obligations as a worker
- Skills assessment
- Withdrawing a General Skilled Migration visa application
- Working in Australia's offshore oil and gas industry
Information for Australian employers about:
- Sponsoring and employing skilled workers from overseas
- Labour agreements for recruitment
- Employing legal workers
- Checking a person's visa entitlements
- Working with migrants and refugees
- Skilled migration events
If you are a skilled overseas worker and want to apply for a skilled migration visa, you can lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) to work in Australia.
Information on employment programs to attract young, skilled, English-speaking migrants to regional areas of Australia, including:
- Regional opportunities for migrants
- Regional certifying bodies
Skills Australia Needs
The Australian government attends skilled migration events around the world. The events provide information to skilled workers on what it is like to work in Australia.
Skills Australia Needs
Work visa scams
Be aware that criminals can use visa scams to exploit or steal money from overseas workers wanting to come to Australia. These criminals may lure people by making false promises of work and permanent residence in Australia.
Learn how to avoid being a victim of a work visa scam.
Work visa scams
Bringing family with you
If you are working in Australia, you may be able to bring your family if:
- You include your family members on your working visa application, or
- Your family members apply for a family visa, or
- Your family members apply for a visitor visa
Bringing family with you
Take a working holiday in Australia
If you are a young person (aged 18-30) and want to work and holiday in Australia for up to a year, you may be eligible for a working holiday visa.
A working holiday visa allows you to work while you have the holiday of a lifetime. You will have the opportunity to share your culture, knowledge and skills whilst discovering our unique landscape.
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