Visa changes for innovation

This blog post is part of a series of three on our role in supporting the Australian Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda.Innovative ideas

On 7 December 2015, the Australian Government announced the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA), which includes a range of initiatives to drive prosperity in Australia through innovation and science.

As part of the NISA, we are making changes to the visa system to help Australia attract the best and brightest entrepreneurial talent and the skilled, talented people we need to drive innovative ideas.

New Entrepreneur visa

From 10 September 2016, a new Entrepreneur visa will be available as a new part of our Business Innovation and Investment Programme. The Entrepreneur visa will allow entrepreneurs with $200,000 in funding from a specified third party to develop and commercialise their innovative ideas in Australia. It also provides a pathway to permanent residency.

To be eligible for the Entrepreneur visa, you must:

Your $200,000 in funding can come from Commonwealth agencies, state and territory governments, publicly funded research organisations, investors registered as Venture Capital Limited Partnerships or Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnerships, or any combination of these.

If you are a co-founder of an entrepreneurial venture, you and your other co-founders can apply for an Entrepreneur visa for the same venture, as long as you each have a 30 per cent share when you enter into your funding agreement.

Expressions of Interest for the Entrepreneur visa will open in SkillSelect from 10 September 2016.

Points tested programme changes

We are also making changes to the points test for the skilled migration programme. From 10 September 2016, five additional points will be available for students from Australian institutions with doctorate-level and masters by research qualifications in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and information and communication technology fields.

Visit our website to learn more.

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