Australia to start new visa to foster entrepreneurship, boost jobs

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Fate of Australia 457 Visa Hangs in the Balance
Deliberations on Australia's 457 visa are due to take place over the next few weeks, so business owners are expressing concerns over hiring implications of restrictions. Jesse Collins/Unsplash

The federal government has announced that it will introduce a new visa for foreign entrepreneurs and investors who want to establish businesses in Australia. Any mandatory funding outlay will not be required, and anyone who wishes to apply only has to exhibit "vocational English.”

The Turnbull government is set to establish a new visa to foster entrepreneurship and boost the state’s economy prior to its national rollout in 2019. It has provided South Australian Liberals with an undertaking to pilot this visa.

Peter Dutton, the Home Affairs Minister, said the government focuses on increasing job opportunities as well as standards of living by promoting business growth and investment in the country. Foreign investors and entrepreneurs can apply for a temporary visa to establish their business here under the proposed visa.

The current entrepreneur visa requires an obligatory capital backing of $200,000. The proposed visa will not require that amount.

It is expected that applicants have innovative ideas and a supporting business plan. The state or federal government authorities will examine their business proposals before they can obtain a permanent visa.

Foreign entrepreneurs who are able to establish their business venture in Australia successfully will be qualified to apply for permanent residence. Dutton believes that encouraging seed-stage entrepreneurs to take forward innovative ideas will help in growing the jobs of the future.

South Australian Liberal leader Steven Marshall has announced additional details of the proposed visa, saying all applicants must have vocational level English, which is band 5 in every four components of the International English Language Testing Service (IELTS). There is also an age requirement of under 45 years old.

SBS reports Stevens as saying they are confident that the arrangement can lead to participants applying for permanent residence in South Australia as they build up their business plans into successful enterprises creating new companies and jobs in the state. He added that these arrangements will support more investment in those sectors of the economy with the greatest capacity to grow. These include advanced manufacturing and defence technology after the federal government’s decision to centre the naval shipbuilding program in South Australia.

Last month, Dutton told the National Press Club of his hi-tech plans for overseas air passengers. Passport-free travel is reported to be “very close” with technology that will allow returning Australians to walk from their airline seats to the airport kerb without the need to flash travel documents.