Recent amendments to immigration legislation have resulted in visa changes from 1 July 2021.
The Home Affairs Legislation Amendment (2021 Measures No. 1) Regulations 2021 repealed the Subclass 132 (Business Talent) visa. The criteria and conditions for the Subclass 188 (Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional)) and Subclass 888 (Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent)) visas have also been amended.
The repeal of the Subclass 132 visa includes both its streams; the Significant Business History and Venture Capital Entrepreneur streams. This removes the direct-to-permanent pathway and instead focuses on the provisional-to-permanent pathway provided by the Subclass 188 visa pathway to a Subclass 888 visa.
The amending regulations also repeal the Premium Investor stream of the Subclass 188 visa. This visa stream was assessed by the government as unsuccessful.
Current applicants and holders for these three streams of visa are not affected by these changes.
Summary of changes
The amendments to the criteria and conditions for the Subclass 188 (Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional)) and Subclass 888 (Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent)) visas entail:
- The assets and turnover requirements for the Business Innovation stream of the Subclass 188 visa have been increased to attract business migrants with more financial capital to invest in Australia.
- The designated investment requirement, based on passive investment in government securities, has been changed. The requirement is now to make a complying significant investment. This change is made through various amendments to the Subclass 188 visa and by increasing the minimum investment required from $1,500,000 to $2,500,000.
- The requirements for the Entrepreneur stream have been adjusted to make this stream more attractive for start-up and early-stage entrepreneurs. These amendments to the Subclass 188 and 888 visas include:
- Removal of the requirement for applicants to secure significant investment by way of a $200,000 funding threshold and limits on eligible sources of funding; and
- A new requirement for applicants to be endorsed by a State or Territory government and innovation industry partners.
- The extension of the Subclass 188 provisional visa validity period to five years and amending the period of provisional residence required for grant of the Subclass 888 permanent visa. For most streams this represents a reduction of the period required from four to three years, meaning holders can seek to progress to permanent residence more quickly.
The By Lawyers Immigration publication has been updated to reflect these amendments.