Business Skills (provisional) visas (subclasses 160-165)

​These visas are now closed to new applications​.

Features

With this visa you can:

  • establish a business in Australia or make a designated investment
  • travel in and out of Australia any number of times as long as the visa is valid
  • have your family accompany you to Australia. They will have access to work and study rights
  • establish a pathway to permanent residence.

Requirements

These visas are for people who have a successful business or investment career, and have a genuine and realistic commitment to be involved in investing or business in Australia.

About these visas

The following visas are closed to most new applications:

  • the Business Owner (Provisional) visa (subclass 160)
  • the Senior Executive (Provisional) visa (subclass 161)
  • the Investor (Provisional) visa (subclass 162)
  • the State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner (Provisional) visa (subclass 163)
  • the State/Territory Sponsored Senior Executive (Provisional) visa (subclass (164)
  • the State/Territory Sponsored Investor (Provisional) visa (subclass 165).

Family members of people who already hold these visas might be able to get the same visa.

If you have already applied for one of these visas and it has not yet been decided, you can also add your dependent children or your partner’s dependent children to your visa application until the application is decided.

Your eligible family members can apply for this visa when they are in or outside Australia.

Someone who applies for this visa must be outside Australia when it is granted unless they held a student visa when they applied. In this case, they can be in or outside Australia when the visa is granted.

Cost

The visa application charges are listed in Fees and charges.

Other costs

You might have to pay other costs, such as the costs of health assessments, police certificates, or any other certificates or tests. You are responsible for making the necessary arrangements.

Visa applicants

The following visas are closed to most new applications:

  • the Business Owner (Provisional) visa (subclass 160)
  • the Senior Executive (Provisional) visa (subclass 161)
  • the Investor (Provisional) visa (subclass 162)
  • the State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner (Provisional) visa (subclass 163)
  • the State/Territory Sponsored Senior Executive (Provisional) visa (subclass (164)
  • the State/Territory Sponsored Investor (Provisional) visa (subclass 165).

However, certain family members of a person who has already applied for or already holds one of the above visas might be able to get the same visa.

If you have already applied for one of these visas, you can add your dependent children, or your partner's dependent children, to the application up until the decision is made about the application.

Adding dependent children to a visa application

Dependent children can be added to the visa application at any time until the application is decided. Dependent children are your or your partner's children who:

  • have not turned 18 years of age, or have turned 18 but cannot work due to incapacity
  • are not married or engaged to be married or have  a de facto partner.

To add dependent children, complete:

  • Form 47BT Application for a Business Skills (provisional) visa (442 kB PDF).

The documents listed in the Document checklist must be provided with this application form.

Applying as a family member

Family members of someone who already has one of these visas, or who has lodged an application that has not yet been decided, might be able to get the same visa. The family members must be their:

  • partner (married or de facto)
  • dependent children or their partner’s dependent children
  • other dependent relatives.

These family members must meet the requirements for including family members in your application. The application must include documentary evidence of their relationship to you.

Your family members must be able to show that they meet health and character requirements.

The family members might also need to take the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test to show how well they speak, ready and write English.

Complete the following form to apply for one of the visas:

  • Form 47BT Application for a Business Skills (provisional) visa (442 kB PDF).

Submit the documents listed in the Document checklist with the application and pay the visa application charge by credit card, money order or bank cheque.

Health requirements

You must meet certain health requirements. However, most applicants for this visa will not be required to complete additional health examinations. Do not arrange a health examination until we ask you to.

Character requirements

You must meet certain character requirements. You must be prepared to provide a police certificate from each country you have lived in for 12 months or more during the past 10 years after you turned 16 years of age. Do not arrange for police certificates until we ask you to.

Debts to the Australian Government

You must have no outstanding debts to the Australian Government or have arranged to repay any outstanding debts to the Australian Government before this visa can be granted.

Where to lodge your application

Lodge the completed application form and the documents listed in the Document checklist by courier, by post, by fax or in person at one of the following offices:

  • If you live in the People's Republic of China (PRC), Hong Kong (SAR), Macau (SAR) or Taiwan: send the documents to the Australian Consulate-General Hong Kong
  • If you live elsewhere: send your documents by registered post to our Adelaide office in South Australia - attention Client Services, Adelaide Business Skills Processing Centre.

Email enquiry form

Visa Enquiries – Business Skills Visas

After you have applied

After you have lodged your application and documents, we will let you know that we have received your information.

Wait for a decision

We have visa processing times for each visa.

Your application could take longer if you need character or health checks (including x-rays), if you need to provide more information, or if your application is incomplete.

If you applied for this visa outside Australia, do not make arrangements to travel to Australia until you are advised in writing that you have been granted a visa.

Provide more information

You can provide more information to us, at any time until a decision is made on the application. If you want to correct information you provided, use:

We could also ask you for more information. You will have to respond by a set date. After that date, we can make a decision about your application using the information that we have.

If another person gives us information that could result in you being refused a visa, we will usually give you the opportunity to comment on the information.

You might also be interviewed. If you are asked to attend an interview in person, bring your passport or other identification and any requested documents to the interview.

Report changes in your circumstances

You must tell us if your circumstances change. This includes a new residential address, a new passport, or a pregnancy, birth, divorce, separation, marriage, de facto relationship or death in your family.

You can use the following forms:

If you do not provide us with the details of any new passport issued to you, you could experience significant delays at the airport and may be denied permission to board your plane.

Withdrawing your application

You can withdraw the application at any time before we make a decision about it. To do this, send us a letter or email to ask for the withdrawal. Your request must include your full name and date of birth. You should also include the number we gave you when you applied, if you know it – this could be a file reference number, client ID, or a Transaction Reference Number.

If you are 18 years of age or older, you must sign the letter of withdrawal or send a separate email or letter.

Visa decision

If the visa is granted, we will let you know:

  • when you can use the visa
  • the visa grant number
  • any conditions attached to the visa.

You will not have a visa label placed in your passport.

If the visa is not granted, we will let you know:

  • why the visa was refused
  • your review rights (if any). Where applicable, your sponsor can apply for the decision to be reviewed
  • the time limit for lodging an appeal.

Document checklist

You need to provide documents to support your application for this visa. We can make a decision using the information you provide when you lodge your application. It is in your interest to provide as much information as possible with your application.

Provide certified copies of original documents. Do not include original documents unless we specifically ask for them. Police certificates should be original documents. Documents not in English must be accompanied by accredited English translations.

Use this checklist to make sure your application is complete.

Forms

  • Form 47BT Application for a Business Skills (Provisional) visa (442 kB PDF)
  • For anyone included in the application who is 18 years of age or older and is not your partner:
    • Form 47a Details of child or other dependent family member aged 18 years or over (238 kB PDF).

Identity

  • Certified copies of the biographical pages of the current passports or travel documents of all people included in the application (these are the pages with the holder's photo and personal details and the issue/expiry dates).
  • Two recent passport-sized photographs (45 mm x 35 mm) of each person included in the application.
    • These photographs should be of the head and shoulders only against a plain background.
    • Print the name of the person on the back of each photograph.
  • Certified copies of birth certificates or the family book showing the names of both parents of all your dependent children.
  • If your name has changed or the name of anyone included in your application has changed: a certified copy of evidence of the name change.

Family

  • If any dependent child included in the application is adopted: certified copies of the adoption papers.
  • If you want to bring a child younger than 18 years of age with you to Australia, and that child’s other parent is not included in the application: documentary evidence that you have the legal right to bring that child to Australia, such as:
  • Evidence of financial dependency for all your family members aged 18 or older:
    • a certified copy of their birth certificate and proof of their relationship to you
    • proof that they live in your household
    • proof that they have been financially dependent on you for at least the 12 months immediately before you lodge your application.
  • Certified copies of marriage certificates or relationship registrations for you and anyone else included in your application, even if they are not joining you in Australia.
  • If you are living in a de facto relationship: independent evidence that your relationship is genuine and continuing (for example, joint bank account statements, billing accounts in joint names or joint ownership of major assets).
  • If you or anyone included in the application has been widowed, divorced or permanently separated: a certified copy of the death certificate, divorce documents, or statutory declaration separation documents.

Character requirements

  • Police checks for everyone included in the visa application who is 16 years of age or older:
    • an Australian National Police Check for anyone who has spent a cumulative total of 12 months or more in Australia since turning 16 years of age
    • police certificates from each country in which anyone in your application has spent a cumulative total of 12 months or more in the past 10 years since turning 16 years of age.

Provide the original certificates and keep a copy for yourself.

  • If anyone included in the application has served in the armed forces of any country: certified copies of their military service record or discharge papers.

Health requirements

  • Documents to show you meet Australia’s health requirements:
    • Applying outside Australia: medical and x-ray examinations by a panel doctor for you and any family member planning to stay with you in Australia
    • Applying in Australia: evidence of a booking or receipt from Bupa Medical Visa Services for your medical and x-ray examinations.
​​

English language proficiency

  • For each of your dependants aged 18 years or older at the time of invitation, provide one of the following:
    • if they have functional English: the results of an IELTS test that they each took less than 12 months before you lodge your application
    • if they have less-than-functional English a statement indicating your intention to pay the second visa application charge.

Visa holders

This information is for people who have already been granted one of the following visas:

  • the Business Owner (Provisional) visa (subclass 160)
  • the Senior Executive (Provisional) visa (subclass 161)
  • the Investor (Provisional) visa (subclass 162)
  • the State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner (Provisional) visa (subclass 163)
  • the State/Territory Sponsored Senior Executive (Provisional) visa (subclass 164)
  • the State/Territory Sponsored Investor (Provisional) visa (subclass 165).

It explains your rights and obligations.

You can use Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) for free to check your visa details and entitlements.

How long your visa lasts

If you are outside Australia when the visa is granted, you will need to enter Australia by a specified date. The visa is usually valid for four years from the date specified for your first entry to Australia.

What your visa lets you do

This visa allows you and any family members who have been granted this visa to:

  • live, work and study in Australia
  • apply for permanent residence (if you are eligible)
  • travel in and out of Australia any number of times as long as the visa is valid.

You cannot access Medicare, family assistance or social security benefits.

Your obligations

You and your family must comply with all visa conditions and Australian laws.

You might also need to comply with the following conditions:

  • If condition 8515 is attached to your visa you must not marry or enter into a de facto relationship before you enter Australia
  • If condition 8502 is attached to your visa you must not enter Australia before the person specified has entered Australia.

Business Owner, State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner, Senior Executive and State/Territory Sponsored Senior Executive provisional visa holders

You need to provide valuable input into the Australian economy. You must:

  • obtain and maintain substantial ownership interest in a business in Australia
  • participate, at a senior level, in the day-to-day management and decision-making of that business.

In the business, it is expected that you will do at least one of the following:

  • develop business links with international markets
  • create or maintain employment in Australia
  • export Australian goods
  • produce goods or services that would otherwise be imported
  • introduce new or improved technology
  • add to commercial activity and competitiveness within the Australian economy.

A failure to meet these obligations while holding a Business Skills (Provisional) visa may impact adversely upon any late application for a Business Skills (Residence) visa.

Holders of these visas may be asked to complete a monitoring survey to provide us with information about any business activities undertaken in Australia. This assists in reporting on outcomes of the Business Skills category.

Investor and State/Territory Investor visa holders

Applicants for Investor visas must maintain their Designated Investment for a four year term. Failure to do so may result in visa cancellation.

Holders of these visas may be asked to complete a monitoring survey to provide us with information about any business activities undertaken in Australia. This assists in reporting on outcomes of the Business Skills category.

Last reviewed

Thursday 2 October 2014

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