U.A.E Businessmen and the Australian Business Innovation Visa

I travel very often to meet with the various clients over the World.

I recently met with a client in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

I will only refer to the client as Ahmed for the purpose of this publication.

Ahmed is a successful businessman from India.

He is operating a waterproofing Company in the UAE that is averaging sales of approximately 15 Million AED a year (equivalent to over $ 5.6 Million a year in Australia).

He has been living in the Emirates for 25 years with his Wife and 3 Children.

UAE and Residency

There is generally no Permanent Residency (PR) available to expats in the UAE.

However, there are some new reforms taking place in the UAE to increase direct foreign investment.

For example, the UAE is introducing a 10-year visa and that too with 100 % Company ownership in the mainland.

It has been reported that the 10-year visa will only be available to investors, entrepreneurs and specialists in the field of science and knowledge, as well as high achieving students.

It has been reported that there will be two categories for investors:

1. those purchasing property for AED 5 Million or more will be granted a 5-year visa.

2. those involved in public investments through a deposit, an established company, a business partnership of AED 10 Million or more, or a total investment of at least AED 10 million will be granted a renewable residence visa every 10 years.

Ahmed’s Instructions

Ahmed’s Children are soon to start their higher education.

Ahmed wanted to ensure that he can invest in Australia and ensure that his Children can complete their university degrees in Australia.

At the time Ahmed provided instructions, he did not want to invest a large capital (above $1 Million AUD) into Australia.

Subclass 188

Australia has a business innovation and investment visa program (Subclass 188).

The Subclass 188 (as follows) has four different categories which all have different requirements:

1. Business Innovation.

2. Investor.

3. Significant investor.

4. Premium investor.

While Ahmed did not want to invest a lot of capital, I noted that Ahmed did have 20 years of relevant business experience and his Company was making the required turnover.

Therefore, my office assessed him under the business innovation category for which he appeared to be eligible.

The basic (summarised) requirements for the business innovation visa (at the date of this publication) are as follows:

1. Score 65 points on the points test.

2. For two out of the four fiscal years immediately before you are invited, you must have had an ownership interest in an established business or businesses that had at least AUD $500,000 turnover in each of those years.

3. Own at least one of the following percentages in your main nominated business:

a) 51 % if the business has a turnover of less than $400,000 per year

b) 30 % if the business has a turnover of $400,000 or more per year

c) 10 % if the business is publicly listed company.

4. Have an overall successful business career.

5. If your nominated main business provides professional, technical or trade services, you must have spent no more than half your time providing those services, as opposed to general management of the business.

6. When you are invited for the visa, you and/or your partner combined must have a total net business and personal asset of at least $800,000 that are lawfully acquired and available for legal transfer to Australia within two years of the visa being granted.

What happens if you are granted a 188 visa under the business innovation stream?

-You can stay in Australia for 4 years and 3 months with multiple entry allowed in and out of the Country.

-The visa is available to be renewed for a further 2 years (subject to meeting set requirements).

-The 188 visa is a pathway to PR in Australia (indefinite stay) and if you meet the requirements for the 888 visa, you can make an application for PR in Australia.

-Carry out business and investment activity in Australia.

– You and your dependents can work and study in Australia.

-Bring your family members with you (if they classified as dependents under the Migration Act and Regulations).

Ahmed’s Application

Ahmed is now collating all the documents to make an application under the Business Innovation Visa and I look forward to assisting him and his family in obtaining a Subclass 188 visa to Australia.

Written by Farhan Rehman, Partner at RSG Lawyers.

(03) 9350 4440


Footnotes are available upon request.

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