The 1 July 2012 changes


The changes which came into effect on 1 July 2012 basically gut the business visa system.

The subclass 845 established business visa simply ceased to exist on 1 July 2012. But there are still subclass 845 applications working their way through the appeal system and the writer has a couple of those.

All 160 series visa applications had to be lodged before 1 July 2012. These are the Business Skills (Provisional) (Class UR) class which consists of these  Subclasses:

160      (Business Owner (Provisional))

161      (Senior Executive (Provisional))

162      (Investor (Provisional))

163      (State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner (Provisional))

164      (State/Territory Sponsored Senior Executive (Provisional))

165      (State/Territory Sponsored Investor (Provisional))

But these are still valuable visas and anyone holding one of these visas still has a pathway to permanent residence via the Business Skills (Residence) (Class DF) in which the subclasses are :

890 (Business Owner)

891 (Investor)

892 (State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner)

893 (State/Territory Sponsored Investor)

But because the 160 series visas are prerequisites for the 890 series visas ultimately the 890 series visas will come to an end.

Because there will be a group of people who got their 160 series visas after 1 July 2012, these visa will be around and current up to 2016 and possibly even early 2017.   Proper planning needs to be done for such visa holders to ensure they meet the criteria for the 890 series visas.  Immigration reported in May 2015:

The Department… continues to focus on ‘complete’ applications lodged with audited ASIC financials. A complete application is one that provides all information necessary for a Visa Processing Officer to be able to decide an application at initial assessment.

Audited financials are not essential as far as the regulatory criteria are concerned. However a limited audit would be of assistance.

As a last resort subclass 160 visa holders could apply for subclass 457 visas assuming they have viable businesses as ‘self-sponsored’ applicants via their own companies. This then leads to permanent residence via the ENS visas.

All subclass 160 series visa holders must be advised to work on their English, at least, to obtain vocational English so that the pathway via the subclass 457 visa is not cut off.  Family members of primary visa 160 series holders also have the pathway of student visas.