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Supporting innovation through visas from November 2016: Entrepreneur Visa

A high-performing, innovative nation needs skilled, talented people to drive ideas from research to commercial reality.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics found that STEM skills jobs grew 50 per cent faster than other jobs between 2006 and 2011.

The StartupAUS Crossroads 2015 report shows that the demand for ICT workers doubled between 1999 and 2012, while applications for tertiary ICT courses declined significantly, indicating a skills gap that needs to be addressed.

To attract the best and brightest entrepreneurial talent and skills to Australia, the visa system needs improvement.

What is changing?

We’re enhancing the current visa system through:

  • A new Entrepreneur Visa for entrepreneurs with innovative ideas and financial backing.
  • Pathways to permanent residence for postgraduate research graduates with STEM and ICT qualifications will be enhanced. Australian doctorate-level and masters by research qualifications in STEM and specified ICT or related fields will be awarded extra points under the Points Tested Skilled Migration programme to strengthen their pathway to permanent residence.

Under the NISA, a new Entrepreneur visa with a pathway to permanent residency will be established for entrepreneurs with innovative ideas and financial backing from a third party. This visa will:

  • Be a provisional visa for individuals who have obtained capital backing from a third party to develop entrepreneurial ideas in Australia.
  • Be established as a new stream within the existing Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) and the Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888).

When is it happening?

The Entrepreneur Visa will be introduced in November 2016 and the enhanced permanent visa pathway for STEM postgraduate research graduates will be implemented in December 2016.