Australian Visas

Business and Investor Visas

Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Subclass 188 Visa

This is a 4-year provisional visa for business owners and investors interested in establishing business or investment operations in Australia. it is only available to applicants with an offer of sponsorhsip from an Australian state or territory.

After 4 years, 188 visa holders can apply for the (permanent) Subclass 888 Visa - provided they have met the requirements of the 188 visa. Requirements for the 188 visa vary depending on the sponsoring state or territory

The provisional 188 visa has 5 streams :

  • Stream A - Business Innovation: for business owner interested in setting up a business in Australia
  • Stream B - Investor: for people prepared to invest $1.5 mio in the sponsoring Australian State or Territory
  • Stream C - Significant Investor : for people prepared to invest at least $5 mio in the sponsoring Australian State or Territory
  • Stream D - Premium Investor: for people prepared to invest at least $15 mio in the sponsoring Australian State or Territory
  • Stream E - Entrepreneur-Visa: for people with a third-party funding agreement for at least $200,000 for a complying entrepreneur activity

Permanent Business Innovation and Investment Visa (888)

This permanent visa is the permanent stage for the subclass 188 Business Innovation and Investment visa; the 888 visa comprises two streams; requirements depend on the preceding visa:

  • Business Innovation Stream: applicants must have established a business in Australia which meets specified asset and turnover requirements
  • Investor Steam: applicants must have held an investment in Australian bonds for 4 years

Business Talent (Migrant) Visa (132)

This permanent visa is available to applicants with an overall successful business career as the owner of a business or in Venture Capital funding. There is no requirement to apply for a provisional visa before applying for this permanent visa.

Which business visa / investment visa??

Migration on the basis of business or investment can be very complex - even the question whether an applicant is likely to qualify for a particular business/investor visa often requires extensive examination of the applicant's business / investment history - not to mention an examination of whether an applicant could qualify for more than one visa type.

The requirements for some of the visa options can differ markedly from one state to another, as can the requirements after visa grant.

Chapter 2 Australia offers comprehensive support to prospective investor and business migrants, as required.

Our suite of services for prospective investors/entrepreneurs encompasses:

  • Advice on business /investor visa requirements
  • Preparing visa application
  • Explaining your obligations and rights as a business visa holder
  • Arranging the examination of financial reports to Australian accounting standards
  • Helping you find suitable staff (if required)
  • • Introducing you to reputable providers of relevant support services

Contact us for an assessment of your options

General Skilled Migration (GSM): Visas for Skilled Workers without a job offer

General Skilled Migration (GSM) denotes a suite of (permanent) visas which do not require sponsorship through an employer or family member. Instead, GSM visas are points-tested (minimum score required 60) and restricted to applicants in highly sought occupations. (Note: the list of highly sought after occupations can change quickly and frequently). GSM visa applications are by invitation only. Candidates must first submit an Expression of Interest (EOI), and those with high points are invited first.

To be eligible for a GSM visa, applicants must also be below 45 years of age, have 'competent English' and their qualifications must be recognised in Australia (=Positive Skills Assessment)

The key criteria for which points are awarded are age, English Language skills, qualifications and work experience (in the skilled occupation) since competing your qualification.

Independent Skilled Migration (189)

The independent Skilled Migration Visa 189 is widely regarded as the most desirable permanent skill-based visa: it gives the holder the greatest freedom: Visa applicants can include their partner and dependent children (below age 23) in their application Once granted, all visa holders have full work rights, and are under no obligation to work in any particular occupation, any particular place or for any particular employer. The key criteria for which points are awarded are age, English Language skills, qualifications and work experience (in the skilled occupation) since competing your qualification.

Once granted, all visa holders have full work rights, and are under no obligation to work in any particular occupation, any particular place or for any particular employer.

Permanent State-Nominated Skilled Migration (190)

The permanent 190 Independent Skilled Migration Visa 190 is similar to the independent GSM visa 189, in that it is based on the skilled migration points test and requires an invitation to apply.

Each State and Territory Government publishes its own a list of occupations highly sought in their area. Requirements in terms of work experience, English language ability and/or specialised skills can also very between states and territories

Successful 190 Visa applicants are obliged to lve and work during pend their first two years in Australia in the sponsoring state or territory.

Provisional State-Nominated Migration (489)

This 4-year visa visa is designed to overcome specific skills shortages in designated regional areas of Australia. Candidates must be nominated by an Australian state or territory or be sponsored by a close relative and must commit to living and working in the designated regional area for at least two years. After 2 years, the visa holder can apply for a permanent visa.

The Skilled Regional Provisional visa 489 is generally sought by candidates who cannot reach sufficient points for a permanent 189 or 190 visa, or whose occupation is not eligible for a permanent visa (189 or 190). The list of eligible occupations and any additional visa requirements are controlled by the individual states and territories and can change quickly

Contact us to find out if you could be eligible for one of the General skilled Migration visas (189, 190, 489)

Employer-Sponsored Visas - for skilled workers with a job offer

A number of temporary and permanent visas are available for skilled workers who have an employer willing to sponsor them in an eligible occupation. Temporary and permanent employer-sponsored visas have different eligibility requirements - and often different eligible occupations - there are, however, a number of minimum requirements that apply to all:

Minimum Requirements for all Employer-Sponsored Visas

  • Specified English Language Skills
  • For permanent visas: applicants age must be below 45 years at time of application
  • Recognised skills - usually in the form of qualifications for the nominated occupation)
  • Post-qualification work experience in the nominated occupation: 2 years (TSS); 3 years (permanent visas)

Temporary Skills Shortage (TSS) Visa (482)

The 'Temporary Skills Shortages' (TSS) Visa is a temporary visa which replaced the 457-visa on 18 March 2018.
(457-visas already issued remain valid)
Under the TSS visa, some occupations are eligible for a 2-year visa only, others are eligible for a 4-year visa.
For the  complete list of eligible occupations click here.
Under current legislation  occupations which are only eligible for a 2-year-visa do not have a pathway to a permanent visa. The occupations which are eligible for a 4-year -TSS visa have a pathway for permanent employer-sponsored visa, after the visa holder has worked for 3 years for the sponsoring employer in their skilled occupation.

Special (transitional) arrangements are in place for certain TSS visa applicants who are holding a 457 visa at the time of the TSS visa application. Contact us to find out if you could qualify for a 2-year or a 4-year TSS visa.  

(Permanent) Employer Nominated Scheme (ENS) (186 )

This permanent visa is for skilled workers in an eligible occupation, with at least 3 years' work experiences and 'Competent English' language skills. Generally, applicants must be below the age of 45 at the time of application, although in cdertain circumstances some exemptions apply, for insgtance, for certain occupations. 

A 186-application has 2 separate parts: 'Nomination' and 'Visa application'. Nomination involves an examination of the sponsoring business and the position offered; the visa application provides a choice of 3 streams; an applicant must choose one stream un der which to apply

  • Direct Entry: this requires a positive skills assessment and extensive documentation
  • Temporary Transition: this is for applicants who have worked 2 (or in certain cases 3) years for their sponsor on a 457 visa, or for 3 years on a 457 or TSS visa; case officers have the discretion to demand a skills assessment 
  • Labour Agreement: for applicants whose sponsor has a labour agreement

(Permanent) Regional Skilled Migration Scheme (RSMS) (187)

The Regional Skilled Migration Scheme (RSMS) 187-visa is similar to the Employer Nomination Scheme and was created to attract skilled staff (in eligible occupations) to designated regional areas in Australia.

To qualify for RSMS, the sponsoring employer must be located in a 'designated regional area' and the visa applicant must commit to working for the employer for at least 2 years after grant of the visa.

'Designated regional areas' are determined by postcode and are subject to change. The list of occupations eligible for the 187 visa may contain additional occupations (compared to the 186 visa)...but is also subject to frequent change based on changing economic climate

Which Employer-Sponsored Visa is Right for You?

Contact us to find out which employer-sponsored visa could suit you

Student and Graduate Visas

Student and Graduate Visas

A student visa (500) allows a person from overseas to study full-time in Australia, in an approved course, at an approved institution. Examples of approved courses include English Language courses, studies that lead to a university qualification, and vocational studies. A prospective student must first apply for admission at the relevant university/college/school. Only after he/she has received a confirmation of enrolment, can he/she apply for a student visa.

International Students whose course in Australia has a duration of 2 years or longer, are in many cases entitled to apply for a temporary graduate visa (485) after successful completion of their studies. The 485-visa has full work rights to enable new graduates to gain work experience in Australia. The duration of the 485-visa depends on the course studied, ranging from 18 months to 4 years.

Student Visa (500)

While all student visa applicants must meet the 'baseline' criteria listed below, scrutiny of applicants from 'high risk' countries is generally stricter than for those who hold a passport from a country deemed to be 'low-risk'. Student visa applicants must demonstrate that they are:

  • enrolled in full-time study in an approved course at an approved instituion
  • Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE): demonstrate that they intend to depart Australia upon completion of their studies
  • Sufficient funds to pay for their living expenses during their studies
  • sufficient English language skills: level required depends on course)

Student Visa holders can bring their partners and children to Australia, and are entitled (upon request) to a limited work permit during their studies.

The number of refusals of student visa applications has been steadily increasing, with the most common grounds for refusal the failure to meet the Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) criterion Contact Chapter 2 Australia to optimise your strategy and maximise your chances of success.

Temporary Graduate Visa (485)

The Temporary Graduate subclass 485 visa is for international graduates in approved courses to extend their stay and gain work experience in Australia, after completing at least 2 years of study in Australia. Gaining relevant work experience on a 485-Visa can be an important strategy towards becoming eligible for a permanent skilled visa. It can last from between 18 months and 4 years.

Key requirements for 485-visa applicants include:

  • Must apply within 6 months of course completion
  • Must apply from within Australia
  • At time of application: must be below 50 years of age
  • At time of application: must have 'Competent English'
  • At time of application: must have applied for an AFP police clearance certificate

Book a consultation (hyperlink) to discuss the timeline for your application and how to maximise the opportunities inherent in this visa

Visa Options for Spouse / De Facto Partner / Fiance

Australia has a range of visa options for people in a relationship with an Australian citizen, a permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen. Each option has 2 stages: an initial temporary visa, followed - usually after around two years- by a permanent visa (provided the relationship has not broken down) The option best suited to you depends on several factors, such as:

  • Where the applicant is at the time of application (inside Australia or outside Australia)
  • How long the couple have been in a serious, committed relationship
  • Whether the couple is marrried (or planning to get married)
  • If applicant is inside Australia: the conditions of the applicant's current visa
  • If the applicant's partner is a New Zealand citizen: Additional requirements may apply, depending on the circumstances

In all cases the partners have to prove that their relationship is genuine; that they are committed to a shared life together to the exclusion of all others; that they are living together - in the case of an unmarried/defacto couple: they must have been living together for at least 12 months prior to application (temporary separation is acceptable in certain circumstances)

Extensive evidence and documentation is required in support of all applications. In addition, all applications are subject to health and character requirements.

The available visa combinations are as follows

Partner Visa for applicants inside Australia (820/801)

The 820/801 visa-pair is for onshore applicants married to an Australian citizen (or PR or eligible New Zealand citizen) and for onshore applicants who have been in a defacto relationship for at least 12 months and meet DoHA's defacto criteria (in particular 12 month cohabitation). The temporary visa (820) and the permanent visa (801) must be applied for at the same time. The applicant must meet health and character requirements and must be sponsored, usually by his/her partner Applicants who lodge their application before expiry of their prior visa will be granted a Bridging Visa A with full work rights, while the application is being processed.

Partner Visa for applicants outside Australia (309/100)

The 309/100 visa-pair is for offshore applicants married to an Australian citizen (or PR or eligible New Zealand citizen) and for offshore applicants who have been in a defacto relationship for at least 12 months and meet DoHA's defacto criteria (in particular 12 month cohabitation). The temporary visa (309) and the permanent visa (100) must be applied for at the same time. The applicant must meet health and character requirements and must be sponsored, usually by his/her partner Applicants must be offshore at the time the application is decided.

Prospective Spouse Visa ('Fiancé Visa') (300)

This visa is for applicants outside Australia who plan to marry an Australian citizen or permanent resident. The Prospective Spouse visa allows applicants to travel to Australia and marry their partner within 9 months of arrival

Once married, the 300-visa holder can apply for permanent residence via a partner visa application (820/801)

Important Considerations for Partner Visa applications

Professional Consultation and Strategic Panning can be extremely important in the context of a partner visa application, for the following reasons:

  • Partner visa applications generally have long processing times
  • Partner Visa applications have strict requirements of where the applicant must be at the time of application and at the time of decsision
  • DoHA has foreshadowed significant changes to the partner visa regulations

Book a consultation (hyperlink) to find out your options and help you settle in Australia as soon as possible

Other Visas

Visitor Visas

Australia offers several types of visas suited to people intending to travel/visit Australia for a limited time only, without engaging in (paid) work. Which visa is best suited depends largely on the applicant's nationality, purpose and planned duration of the visit. The most common ground for visa refusal is if DoHA is not convinced that the applicant intends to depart Australia at the end of their visa. Contact (Hyperlink) us to explore your options, prospects and timelines.

Parent Visas

Parents auf Australian citizens or permanent residents can generally apply for a parent visa, if at least half their children reside in Australia. There are provisional and permanent parent visa options . The number of parent visas granted per year is limited, resulting in a lengthy processing time. If the application is lodged from within Australia, the applicant is able - in certain circumstances - to remain in Australia while his/her visa is being processed.

Resident Return Visa (155)

The Resident Return Visa (RRV) is required by permanent residents in order to re-enter Australia, if the intended return to Australia will occur more than 5 years after the permanent visa was granted. PRs who have spent an extended period of time outside Australia, must generally demonstrate, personal, cultural, financial and familial ties to the benefit of Australia

Working Holiday Visa (417)

This visa is for young people from certain countries, wanting to travel and work in Australia for 12 months. The WHV visa allows holders to work for the same employer for up to 6 months. Subject to certain conditions, the holder can apply for a second year WHV visa, either immediately or at a later time.

For skilled workers in approved occupations this visa can provide an excellent opportunity to gain work experience in Australia and improve their prospects for a subsequent skill-based visa.