Australia to introduce new visa to attract entrepreneurs, boost economy

The proposed visa would facilitate foreign entrepreneurs and investors

The Australian Government is set to introduce a new visa for people willing to establish businesses in the country. The visa will not require any mandatory funding outlay and an applicant only needs to demonstrate “vocational English”.

“The Turnbull Government is focussed on increasing job opportunities and standards of living for Australians and we are doing this by fostering business growth and investment in Australia,” Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton was quoted as saying by SBS.

The proposed visa would facilitate foreign entrepreneurs and investors with an innovative idea and a supporting business plan to apply for a temporary visa to establish their venture in Australia.

The existing entrepreneur visa requires a mandatory capital backing of $200,000 which will not be required for the proposed visa.

The applicants’ business proposals will be examined by the State or Federal Government authorities before granting a temporary visa.

Entrepreneurs who are successful in establishing their business venture in Australia will become eligible to apply for permanent residence.

“Encouraging seed-stage entrepreneurs to take forward innovative ideas in Australia will assist in growing the jobs of the future,” said Mr Dutton.

Meanwhile, students from China and India continue flocking to Australian universities even without the popular Temporary Work visa, known as the “457 visa”.

Last year, the Turnbull government axed the “457 visa”, to stem the flow of foreign talent and give priority to Australian workers instead.

However, the Australian universities are still seeing a surge in international enrollments. Chinese and Indian students are not deterred by the visa restriction or the media reports of racist attacks and continued to flock in to Australian universities in record numbers.

Almost 190,000 foreigners applied to study in Australia between July and December 2017, which show an increase of 14.1 per cent as compared to 2016, with Indian applicants surging by 32 per cent and Chinese applicants by 13 per cent, according to new statistics.

Nepal overtook Brazil as the third-largest source of applicants, rising by 46 per cent to nearly 12,000 prospective students.

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About the Author: Akhtar Jamal

Tribune International