Business visas

Looking for qualified personnel within Australia? Planning to send employees to work in Australia? Need a specialist to work on a specific project?

Visapath is your partner for visa strategy and implementation, providing personalised solutions tailored to your specific visa requirements.

Visa solutions for businesses and their staff

The range of Australian business visas is diverse, and requirements vary significantly. For all business-related travels to Australia, a special visa is required. It is differentiated according to business travellers, company founders, or established businesses recruiting employees. Choosing the right visa for your business or your employees depends on your individual needs and objectives. Visapath will assist you in making the right choice and support you with personalised solutions tailored to your particular needs.

The following is an overview of the most important business visa subclasses.

Visas for business travellers and short stays

If you are planning a short business trip to Australia, there are different options. The essential distinction is whether it is purely a business trip or a paid job.

For trips to Australia that are purely business-related, a Tourist or Visitor visa is often sufficient. If, for example, you need to enter the country for a job interview, for research purposes, or in the course of business negotiations or contract signings, this falls into the category of Visitor visa. These visas are also suitable for participation in trade fairs, conferences or seminars, as long as you do not receive a fee for your participation.

If you plan to undertake a temporary job or activity for a fee, you will require a work permit. For companies planning to send employees to Australia (e.g., for highly specialised assembly work), or Australian companies that invite professionals from abroad to attend events or collaborate on projects, there are special visa classes.

This visa is available for EU citizens as well as citizens from Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and Vatican City. With fast processing times, this is the most cost-effective solution for holiday and business travellers.

This visa is an electronically granted visa to enter Australia for touristic and business purposes, which is valid for one year (from the date of grant). During these 12 months, it allows the holder multiple entries into Australia, for up to three months at a time.

The most important visa requirements at a glance:

  • Valid passport issued by an eligible country
  • No outstanding debts to the Commonwealth
  • No prior refusal or cancellation of an Australian visa

Visa validity and essential visa conditions:

  • Temporary visa for stays of max. three months
  • For private and business-related purposes
  • Participation in study programs and trainings for up to three months
  • No work rights
  • Travel for the purpose of planned medical treatment is excluded

You can apply for your eVisitor visa fast and easy here.

This visa is available for holiday and business travellers. It is first and foremost intended for holders of passports that are not eligible for an eVisitor visa or who plan to stay in Australia for more than three months.

The visa is valid for a limited period of stay in Australia. The validity period as well as the number of entries into Australia can vary depending on the purpose of the visa.

Additional supporting documents and statements are required upon application for this visa and the purpose of the stay has to be explained. For instance, the applicant may be required to provide details of the event in which they are planning to participate or the contact details of a business partner they are planning to meet.

The most important requirements at a glance:

  • Valid passport
  • Health check or proof of health insurance (on request)
  • Evidence of sufficient funding to support the person’s stay and travel (on request)
  • Evidence that the visit is only temporary
  • No outstanding debts to the Commonwealth
  • No prior refusal or cancellation of an Australian visa
  • Character requirements fulfilled (no severe convictions)

Validity and essential conditions:

  • Temporary visa for stays of between three and 12 months (depending on the purpose)
  • Temporary visa for stays of between three and 12 months (depending on the purposes
  • Participation in study programs and trainings for up to three months
  • No work rights
  • Travel for the purpose of planned medical treatment is excluded

This visa enables the holder to conduct paid temporary and highly specialised work/activities in Australia.

Eligibility for this visa includes being invited to participate in an event, conference or trade fair. It is also suitable for highly specialised workers with specific knowledge and skills. Such individuals may be granted this visa for the duration of certain projects or assembly work.

The most important visa requirements at a glance:

  • Valid passport
  • Qualification or experience pertaining to the nominated activity
  • Provision of evidence that the presence of the applicant in Australia is necessary and justifiable
  • No intention of conducting further work while in Australia
  • Evidence of sufficient funding to support the person’s stay (on request)
  • Character requirements fulfilled (no severe convictions)
  • No outstanding debts to the Commonwealth
  • No prior refusal or cancellation of an Australian visa
  • Application has to be made from outside Australia

Visa validity and essential visa conditions:

  • Temporary visa (usually max. six weeks)
  • Work permit (restricted to the nominated activity)

Sending employees to Australia and employee sponsorship

Businesses that want to employ workers from overseas in Australia have various options, depending on their future business objectives and strategies. Temporary as well as permanent Work visas are available.

This is an option for:
  • – Businesses not represented in Australia who want to send employees there to establish a subsidiary
  • – Australian businesses that want to hire qualified personnel from abroad
For this visa subclass, businesses are required to complete a three-stage process to become an eligible business sponsor, which then enables them to support the visa application of an employee. This three-stage process entails:
  1. Recognition of the business as a standard business sponsor
  2. Nomination of a candidate
  3. Visa application by the nominee
What do you need to do to become a standard business sponsor?

To obtain standard business sponsorship status, certain criteria have to be met. The business must be a lawfully operating business. Also, the business must demonstrate its commitment to recruiting local labour and to filling positions with workers from overseas only if they cannot be filled otherwise.

Essential requirements for standard business sponsors:
  • Submission of a company description with corresponding documents and evidence
  • Agreement to undergo official controls
  • Obligation to employ workers from overseas at local and industry conditions
  • Commitment to support the education of Australian employees
As a business sponsor, you are authorised to nominate qualified employees for a specific position and to sponsor them for a Work visa.

Under what conditions can you nominate a (future) employee?

As the business sponsor is required to demonstrate their commitment to employing local labour, he/she must prove, when nominating a candidate from overseas, that this position could not be filled from within Australia. This can be done, for example, with nationally placed job advertisements through which no suitable employee was found.

(This is not applicable in the case of foreign companies wishing to send one of their own employees to set up a branch.)

Essential requirements for the nomination:
  • Submission of a job description for the particular position
  • Proof that this position could not be filled by an Australian resident
  • Nomination of a specific candidate who is suitably qualified
  • Signed employment contract
  • Employment of the nominee at local and industry conditions
  • Obligation to pay all associated costs for the nominee
In their subsequent visa application, your candidate must provide evidence that all requirements regarding qualifications, professional experience, and formal criteria are met.

If the nomination is recognised, you can sponsor the named employee for an employment visa. There are different visa categories to choose from, which differ in terms of requirements and validity period.

This visa is a temporary and employer-bound residence permit. It was introduced in March 2018 in order to meet the short-term and medium-term needs of Australian employers and is the successor to the Short-Term Workers’ Visa (subclass 457). For employers who are demonstrably unable to source a qualified employee within Australia for a specific position, this temporary Work visa enables them to hire experienced workers from abroad for a certain period of time. The relevant occupations (subdivided according to short- and medium-term requirements) are listed on special Skilled Occupations Lists. An employer who needs an employee with a qualification listed on these lists can sponsor them for this visa.

Employees with this visa only receive a temporary residence permit of max. four years. But depending on the profession, a visa extension may be granted, or an application for a Permanent Residence visa may be possible (subclass 186 or 187).

The employee’s family members can be included in the visa application if the employer agrees to cover their visa costs as well. They are granted the same visa status.

The most important visa requirements at a glance:

  • Valid passport
  • Sufficient English language skills
  • Occupation is listed on the relevant list
  • Nomination by an Australian employer
  • Full-time contract for the relevant duration
  • At least two years of relevant work experience
  • Skills assessment (if requested)
  • Health check
  • Character requirements fulfilled (no severe convictions)
  • No outstanding debts to the Commonwealth
  • No prior refusal or cancellation of an Australian visa

Visa validity and essential visa conditions:

  • Temporary Visa valid between one and four years
  • No change of employer or position
  • Private health insurance required

This visa is a permanent work permit. It enables Australian employers, regardless of their place of business, to hire qualified workers from abroad. There is no points test required for this visa.

The relevant occupations are listed on special Skilled Occupations Lists. An employer who needs an employee with a qualification listed on these lists can sponsor them for this visa, provided the parties agree to an employment contract of at least two years, full-time.

The applicant is required to undergo a skills assessment to ensure that they are suitably qualified for the job profile.

The employee’s family members can be included in the visa application if the employer agrees to cover their visa costs as well. They are granted the same visa status.

The most important visa requirements at a glance:

  • Aged under 45
  • Valid passport
  • Sufficient English language skills
  • Nomination by an Australian employer
  • Full-time contract for at least two years
  • Occupation is listed on the relevant list
  • At least three years of relevant work experience
  • Health check
  • Character requirements fulfilled (no severe convictions)
  • No outstanding debts to the Commonwealth
  • No prior refusal or cancellation of an Australian visa

Visa validity and essential visa conditions:

  • Permanent visa
  • Medicare access

Did you know? Employers who have not yet found a suitable candidate from overseas can use the Australian SkillSelect portal. Individuals interested in working in Australia can post an expression of interest here. Australian employers use this online platform to select candidates for vacant positions and sponsor them for visas.

This visa is a permanent work permit. It enables Australian employers based outside major cities to recruit skilled professionals from abroad. The relevant occupations are listed on special Skilled Occupations Lists. An employer who needs an employee with a qualification included on these lists can sponsor them for this visa, provided they agree to a full-time employment contract of at least two years.

The applicant is required to undergo a skills assessment to ensure that they are suitably qualified for the job profile.

The employee’s family members can be included in the visa application if the employer agrees to pay for their visa costs as well. They are granted the same visa status.

The most important visa requirements at a glance:

  • Aged under 45
  • Valid passport
  • Sufficient English language skills
  • Nomination by an Australian employer situated in a regional area
  • Full-time contract for at least two years
  • Occupation is listed on the relevant list
  • At least three years of relevant work experience
  • Health check
  • Character requirements fulfilled (no severe convictions)
  • No outstanding debts to the Commonwealth
  • No prior refusal or cancellation of an Australian visa

Visa validity and essential visa conditions:

  • Permanent visa
  • Medicare access

Did you know? Employers who have not yet found a suitable candidate from overseas can use the Australian SkillSelect portal. Individuals interested in working in Australia can post an expression of interest here. Australian employers use this online platform to select candidates for vacant positions and sponsor them for visas.

Visas for entrepreneurs and founders

Separate visa categories exist for business people who want to enter the Australian market and establish a business there. The requirements vary depending on whether the applicant is already a successful entrepreneur or a founder with a promising business idea.

Since the Australian Government is keen to attract talented and resourceful business people to the country, the visas of this group are generally either permanent or provide a pathway to permanent residency.

This visa is a permanent residence permit for established business people and start-up founders. A prerequisite is sponsorship by an Australian state or territory government or AUSTRADE (Australian Trade and Investment Commission).

Under certain conditions, this visa can be granted for successful business owners. If the applicant’s business meets or exceeds specified key performance indicators and they have sufficient assets, they can submit an application under the Significant Business History stream. Also, start-up founders with a promising business idea can apply for this visa under the Venture Capital Entrepreneur stream. This requires a binding financial commitment from a recognised venture capitalist at an early stage of the business.

Grant of this permanent visa is associated with certain commitments. For example, the applicant must have the serious intention of settling in Australia, be actively operating a business in Australia, and transfer their assets to Australia within two years.

The most important visa requirements at a glance: 

  • Aged under 55 (no age restrictions for entrepreneurs)
  • Valid passport
  • Sponsored by an Australian state or territory government or AUSTRADE
  • Evidence of sufficient financial resources and business shares
  • Character requirements fulfilled (no severe convictions)
  • No outstanding debts to the Commonwealth
  • No prior refusal or cancellation of an Australian visa

Visa validity and essential visa conditions:

  • Permanent visa
  • Willingness to transfer business and private assets to Australia within two years
  • Active participation in the company at management level
  • Medicare access

This visa is a residence permit for established business people and start-up founders. A prerequisite is sponsorship by an Australian state or territory government. Unlike the Business Talent visa, a points test is required. Points are awarded for, for example, English proficiency, qualifications, and work experience.

Under certain conditions, this visa can be granted for successful business owners. If the applicant’s business meets or exceeds specified key performance indicators and they have sufficient assets, they can submit an application under the Business Innovation stream. Also, start-up founders with a promising business idea can apply for this visa under the Entrepreneur stream. This requires a binding financial commitment from a recognised venture capitalist at an early stage of the business. In direct comparison with the Business Talent visa, the criteria and limits are slightly lower.

Grant of this permanent visa is associated with certain commitments. For example, the applicant must have the serious intention of settling in Australia, be actively operating their business in Australia, and transfer their assets to Australia within two years.

Applicants will initially receive a temporary visa. If the applicable conditions and all other requirements are met during this time, application for a permanent residence permit can be filed. In some cases, a one-time extension of the provisional visa is also possible if there are comprehensible reasons.

The most important visa requirements at a glance:

  • Aged under 55 (no age restrictions for entrepreneurs)
  • Valid passport
  • Sponsored by an Australian state or territory government
  • Points-test requirement (Business Innovation stream only)
  • Evidence of sufficient financial resources and business shares
  • Heath check
  • Character requirements fulfilled (no severe convictions)
  • No outstanding debts to the Commonwealth
  • No prior refusal or cancellation of an Australian visa

Visa validity and essential visa conditions:

  • Temporary visa with option of renewal or subsequent application for permanent residency
  • Willingness to transfer business and private assets to Australia within two years
  • Active participation in the company at management level

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