Please note: This visa is now closed to new applications.
For prospective immigrants, who had a successful business career, the Business Owner Sponsored subclass 163 visa allows for ownership and part ownership of an Australian business. The Business Owner Sponsored subclass 163 visa is also the first step in gaining permanent residency for Australia.
The main difference between the sponsored visa and the provisional business visa is that applicants for the Business Owner Sponsored Subclass 163 visa must be sponsored by an appropriate Regional Authority of a State or Territory Government. In addition some of the criteria around your previous business and net wealth are not so high.
Below we set out the criteria for a Business Owner Sponsored subclass 163 visa, but why not use our contact details or free assessment to ascertain whether the Business Owner Sponsored subclass 163 visa or an alternative visa is best suited for your needs.
Who can apply for this visa?
The visa is intended for foreign business people, under the age of 55 who intend to establish a business or own a business in Australia.
Requirements for applicants for the visa include:
- Sponsorship by an appropriate regional authority of a State or Territory Government.
- A specified minimum amount of net assets in a qualifying business in 2 of last 4 years prior to the application.
- Specified minimum turnover levels of applicants previous business in 2 of the last 4 years prior to application.
- A minimum net worth and sufficient assets that can be transferred to Australia within a reasonable period of time.
- You must have a vocational level of English.
- You have had a successful business track record.
- Meet the health requirements.
- Meet the character requirements.
- Commit to the Australian Values Statement.
How does the application process work for a Business Owner Sponsored subclass 163 visa?
The Business Owner Sponsored subclass 163 visa is granted for a period of 4 years. It is a temporary visa, however after 2 years you may be eligible to apply for one of the following visas:
Business Owner (residence)
State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner (residence)
In order to qualify permanent residency under these visas you must meet all the obligations and requirements of the Business Owner Sponsored subclass 163 visa and of the visa applied for.
What does a Business Owner Sponsored subclass 163 visa allow you to do?
Successful applicants are able to:
- Establish a new or existing business in Australia
- Travel in and out of Australia any number of times during the validity period of the visa
- Have their family accompany you to Australia. They will have access to work and study rights
- Establish a pathway to permanent residence.
What is the eligibility criteria for this visa?
- Age – You must be less than 55 years old.
- State/Territory Sponsorship – You must have sponsorship from the appropriate regional authority of a state or territory.
- English level – Applicants must have vocational English. This is proved by either being a native English speaker, holding a NAATI accreditation in English or achieving an IELTS test score of at least 5 out of 9 in all four components of the test.
- Business turnover and ownership – An annual turnover in the applicants main business (or two main businesses combined) must have been at least AUD 300,000 in at least two of the last four years prior to application. In addition, you (and your partner combined) must have owned at least:
- 51 per cent of the business where the turnover is less than AUD 400,000 per annum.
- 30 per cent of the business where the turnover is AUD 400, 000 or more per annum.
- 10 per cent where the business is a publicly listed company.
- Total assets – The applicants (and partners) legally acquired total net assets must exceed AUD 500,000. Such assets need to be capable f being transferred to Australia within 2 years. In addition to this sufficient further funds are required for settlement purposes.
- Business career – That you and your partner have been involved successfully in an acceptable businesses.
- Your intended involvement in business in Australia – There must be a commitment that you will maintain an ownership interest and continuous involvement in the management of the business.
- Australian Social values – If you are aged 18 years or over, you are required to sign an Australian values statement which you are required to have read, or had explained to you. Material is made available by the government on life in Australia and can be found in the Life in Australia book.
- Health and Character – You must meet certain health requirements and character requirements.
What about dependants?
When applying for a Business Owner Sponsored subclass 163 visa, you can include your children and also any other dependent relatives. Depending upon their age they must meet the health, character and Australian Values statement criteria.
Your journey begins with an assessment, before you get your hopes up and spend considerable sums of money. The assessment will tell you whether Australia is even an option for you and if so which options and costs are involved.
Where you to go for your assessment and advice is clearly defined by the Australian Government. Agents in Australia must be licensed agents or exempt. For many reading this, the preference for obvious reasons will be to enlist the services of an agent in your home country. In doing so, we urge you to take care. There are too many stories of agents’ taking large suns of money under false pretences and avoiding this should be of paramount importance to you.
Simply put, only use agents that are correctly licensed. You can search for these here on the Migration Authority’s Website. Further beware of agents with DIBP numbers. A DIBP number does not mean an agent is registered – they are given this number purely for admin purposes.
You can also view our licensed immigration agent’s, Katrin Maja Maehl, registration here.
Contacting Intergate Emigration
You can order your assessment here or should you wish to get more details on Intergate and our process, feel free to call us on + 27 (0) 21 202 2800 or e-mail us here.