Business Visas – Skills Select

Skill Select is an online portal that allows skilled workers and business people wishing to come to Australia to work to lodge an expression of interest to be considered for a visa.

Applicants can either lodge the expression of interest on their own behalf, or they can be nominated by an Australian employer, state or territory government.

Successful applicants are then given an invitation to lodge a visa application.

Expressions of Interest

This is not an application. It is any indication to prospective sponsors that you would like to be considered for a skilled visa. Information required in an expression of interest include:

  • qualifications and education
  • personal information
  • occupation sought
  • business experience
  • level of English language proficiency
  • a skills assessment relating to the nominated occupation

The Selection Process

Expressions of interest are ranked based on criteria such as occupation ceilings, point score tests, whether the prospective sponsor is a private company or business or a State or Territory government.

As demand will vary for needed skills and occupational ceiling may be applied. This means that there may only be a set number of invitations given for each occupation group. This means that Australia does not have an influx of plumbers when it really needs primary school teachers.

If the ceiling is reached, no further invitations for that particular occupation group will be issued during the programme year. Invitations would then be given to other occupation groups even if they score lower on the point score test. State or Territory governments cannot issue a nomination if the nominated occupation has reached its ceiling.

Subject to the occupation ceiling invitations are issued automatically to people with the highest ranking points test. The points test is the minimum number of points need to receive an invitation. Invitations are issued regularly.

State and Territory governments can do their own assessment before they nominate the applicant. If you are nominated by State and Territory government and meet the minimum points test you will be issued an invitation subject to occupation ceiling.

If you are applying under the Business Innovation and Investment visa a State or Territory  Government can issue bonus points if they believe the proposed business is of exceptional benefit to the state or territory.

If you have already received a nomination from an employer you do not have to submit an expression of interest.

Employers can search expressions of interest and contact skilled workers to discuss employment opportunities. It is up to the applicant to decide whether they wish to deal with a particular employer.

Invitations

If you receive an invitation to apply for a visa you will receive confirmation from Skill Select. You then have 60 days to make a valid visa application online. If no application is made the invitation expires and is no longer valid.

The invitation will explain the application process. You will be required to provide evidence to support your application at that time. This will include a full character and health assessment.

Subclass 190 Skilled Nominated Visa (Permanent)

This visa is suitable for skilled and experienced workers and their dependent family members, who obtain sponsorship from a State or Territory government.

The applicant must first lodge an Expression of Interest through the Skill Select online service. At the time lodging the application the applicant must:

  1. Be under 50 years of age;
  2. Have had their skills positively assessed; and
  3. Score at least six in all four components of the IELTS test.

Successful applicants are then given an invitation by the relevant government agency.

Subclass 489 Skilled nominated/sponsored (Provisional)

To be eligible for this visa you must either be sponsored by an Australian state and territory governments all by an eligible relative living within a specified area of Australia.

The first step of the application is to lodge an online application under the Skill Select online portal. This can be done either on onshore or offshore.

Criteria to apply this visa are as follows:

  1.  You must be less than 50 years of age;
  2. You must nominate an occupation from the applicable skills occupational lists and have your skills assessed;
  3. You must score at least six in each of the  major components of the IELTS test and have at least a total of 60 points; and
  4.  You must satisfy all health and character requirements.

Holders of any of a subclass 495, 496, 475 or 487 visa who have satisfied all conditions of the visa can apply under this subclass for an additional year in Australia to open up further visa options.

Subclass 132 Business Talent (Permanent)

This subclass of Visa is by invitation only. The invitation is extended by a State or Territory government. The applicant must have business or personal assets of a minimum of AUS$1.5 million or have obtained at least AUS$1 million in funding from an Australian venture capital firm for a high-value business idea.

There are two streams for this visa:

  1. The Significant Business History stream; and
  2. The Venture Capital Entrepreneur stream.

Significant Business History stream

To apply under this stream you either individually or with your partner must meet all of the following criteria:

  1. You must be less than for 55 years of age:
  2. You must have net assets of at least AUS$400,000 in at least two out of the past four financial years immediately prior to your application;
  3. You must be able to show evidence of at least AUS$1.5 million that can be transferred to Australia within two years of the visa being granted;
  4. A minimum annual turnover of AUS$3 million in one of your businesses for at least two out of the last four financial years prior to application;
  5. No evidence of unacceptable business practices;
  6.  An intention to own and manage a role of business within Australia; and
  7. Ownership of at least:
  8. 51% of a business with a turnover of less than $400,000 per annum;
  9. 30% of a business with turnover of more than AUS$400,000 per annum; or
  10. 10% of a publically listed company.

Venture Capital Entrepreneur’s dream

This is for start-up companies. You must have obtained at least AUS$1 million in funding from an Australian Venture capital firm for business development relating to a high-value business idea.

Subclass 188 Business Innovation and Investment visa (Provisional)

This subclass of  Visa allows business people or people with business goals to invest or develop business activities in Australia with a view to obtaining a temporary to permanent visa. Applications are made by submitting an expression of interest through the Skill Select online portal.

The Visa has three streams:

  • The Significant Investor stream
  • The Investor stream
  • The Business Innovation stream

The Significant Investor stream

To apply for a Significant Investor stream you must have at least $5 million in one of the following investments:

  1. Government bonds;
  2. ASIC regulated managed funds with a mandate for investing in a specific project within Australia;
  3. Direct investment in an Australian company not listed on the stock exchange where you have an ownership interest and where the business is genuinely registered and operating within Australia.

You must also meet the following criteria;

  1. You have no history of unacceptable business investment activity;
  2. You and your partner combined have at least AUD$5 million in assets that have been legally acquired and are available to use in the compliant investment in Australia;
  3. You must agree not to take any legal action against the Australia government for any losses arising from your investment;
  4. You must have a genuine and realistic intention to reside within the Territory or state providing your nomination; and
  5. You must have a genuine and realistic commitment to your business activity for the life of the provisional Visa.

Investor stream

The criteria for applying under this agreement includes:

  1. You are less than 55 years of age;
  2. You have a minimum score of 65 on the Innovation Points test;
  3. You are able to evidence a high level of managerial skill in relation to the eligible investment;
  4. You have at least three years direct involvement in managing the business or investment; and
  5. You have a genuine and realistic commitment to continuing your business or investment activity after the original investment has matured.

Either you or your partner combined must also:

  1. Have at least AUD$2.25 million in assets in the two financial years immediately prior to your invitation to apply. These assets must be legally acquired and be capable of being transferred to Australia within two years of the Visa being granted;
  2. Have no history of unacceptable business practices;
  3. Use your governments approved investment of AUD$1.5 million from funds accumulated from direct involvement in either managing investments of at least AUD$1.5 million or in managing the qualifying business in which you owned at least 10% of the total business value.

Business Innovation stream

The minimum criteria for applying under the stream include:

  1. You are less than 55 years of age;
  2. You score at least 65 in the Innovation Points test;
  3. Evidence of turnover of not less than AUD$500,000 in one of your businesses in two of the four financial years prior to application;
  4. Evidence of managing a business in which you spent at least half your time;
  5. A genuine desire to own and maintain a business role within Australia;
  6. Evidence of business ownership requirements which are-
  • 51% of a business with turnover of less than $400,000 per annum
  • 30% of a business with a turnover of more than $400,000 per annum
  • 10% of a publicly listed company.

You and your partner combined must also show:

  1. Assets of at least $500,000 legally acquired and capable of being transferred to Australia within two years of the Visa being granted; and

No evidence of any unacceptable business practices.

Subclass 186 Employer nomination scheme (Permanent)

The 186 visa is a permanent visa available to skilled workers nominated by an Australian employer that operate their businesses within major metropolitan areas (not in regional Australia). There are three potential steams nominations can be made under. These are:

1. The Temporary Residence Transition stream

2. The Direct Entry Stream; and

3. The Labour Agreement stream.

The Temporary Residence Transition Stream

This allows workers already on a 457 Visa that have been working for their current employer for at least two years to transition to a permanent visa when their employer wishes to offer them a permanent position. The job offer must be for at least a further two years.

There are some minimum criteria the visa applicant needs including:

  1. Being under 50 years of age; and
  2. Having an English language proficiency score of at least five in each of the four components of the IELTS test;

It is assumed that having regard to the two years of service already performed for the employer that the visa applicant is suitable for the position and skills and qualifications will not have to be assessed further.

There are further conditions and criteria on the employer nominating the visa applicant including:

  1. 1 .The employer has met and continues to meet its training requirements;
  2. The visa applicant will be paid at the market rate that, is at least the same level as an Australian employed in the same position;
  3. The position being nominated for is consistent with the position held by the applicant whilst on the 457 Visa;
  4. The position will continue to be available for at least a further two years; and
  5. The terms and conditions of employment are same as would be applicable to an Australian worker in the same position.

The Direct Entry Stream

The direct entry stream is for workers not able to take advantage of the temporary residence transition. This is usually because they are not currently in Australia or have not been working for the temporary visa sponsor for the minimum two year period. To qualify for these visas the applicant must show;

  1. They are less than 50 years of age;
  2. English proficiency of at least six in each of the four components of the IELTS test; and
  3. Have at least three years of relevant experience and can provide a skills assessment.

Employers must be able to show:

  1. The businessis lawfully operating within Australia;
  2. The position is full time and available for at least two years;
  3. The nominated position is on the new consolidated sponsored occupational list;
  4.  The prospective applicant will be paid at least at the market rate that is at least at the same level as an Australian employee in the same position; and
  5. The employer meets the minimum training threshold.

The Labour Agreement Stream

The labour agreement stream is for applicants sponsored by an employer through a negotiated labour agreement.

Subclass 187 Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (Permanent)

The RSMS is similar to the 186 stream but it is for skilled workers from outside Australia or workers temporarily living and working in Australia who intended to find work and the employed in regional Australia.

The criteria for the applicant includes:

  1. The employer operates the business in regional Australia;
  2. They are less than 50 years of age; and
  3. They meet the skills and qualifications requirements;
  4. They meet the English language requirements.

There are exemptions to the age, English and skills requirements to specific workers in specific positions based on need, past work experience and skill. These exemptions can only be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Start the process now with our Free online Assessment to apply for Skilled or Business Visas. Simply visit our Visa Assessment page now for further details.