Getting an Australian Visa: The Shortcut

I am often asked if there is “a quick way” or “an easier way” to get into Australia that avoids all that nasty paperwork and answering all those pesky questions.

In the past I have always said no, but, coming soon, there will be. The Australian Government always look at the migration criteria each year and usually announce changes on 1 July.

I know of one change on the table for next month that does introduce that quick way, but it’s not for everyone. In fact, it’s probably not for anyone I know, so please don’t get too excited.

First, let’s have a quick look around some other countries at how they deal with the type of visa I am talking about here. I am really not 100% sure all this information is up-to-date, so I have included links to my sources.

Investment Visas

First, let’s take a look at my old country, the UK. How much would I need to invest to fast track myself a visa if I had no other way of getting residency?

ukUK

Tier 1 – Investor Visa

‘This is available for large investors, who have £1million at their disposal, are willing to spend over 50% of their time in the UK and have a reasonable command of English.

Source: formacompany

Gosh, £1 million! On the Aussie dollars current value that’s just over…

AU$1.5 million.

ireland

Ireland

‘In order to be considered for the Programme, the proposed investment must be in one of the following categories:

  • A once-off endowment of at least €500,000 to a public project benefiting the arts, sports, health, culture or education
  • A minimum €1,000,000 aggregate investment into new or existing Irish businesses for a minimum of 3 years
  • A minimum €2,000,000 investment in a special low interest 5-year immigrant investor bond
  • A minimum €1,000,000 mixed investment consisting of €500,000 in property and €500,000 in immigrant investor bonds’

Source: citizensinformation

Let’s take the middle ground on this one and go for the visa that costs €1 million. That’s not cheap either, is it? Works out at just over…

AU$1.25 million.

usaUSA

‘In order to qualify under the EB-5 category, foreign investors must:

  • Invest $1 million in either a new or existing U.S. business or commercial enterprise that will create at least 10 full-time U.S. jobs, or
  • Invest $500,000 in a new or existing U.S. business or commercial enterprise that is in either a rural area or an area with a high unemployment rate, or
  • Invest in a U.S. government designated Regional Center, and
  • Prove that the investment will somehow benefit the U.S. economy’

Source: chb-law

Seems if I want to live somewhere that’s not in the middle of nowhere, or Woop Woop as we Aussies call it, it’ll cost USA $1 million. Let’s not quibble about the exchange rate, that’s about…

AU$1 million.

canadaCanada

A hugely desirable country in all the league tables and surveys I’ve come across, it’s often very close between Australia and Canada for desirability. How much do I need to spend to wangle my way from hot to cold?

‘Any individual who has –

A. Successfully operated and controlled a business outside Canada,
B. Made a minimum investment of 400,000 CD$ or 800,000 CD$ in a government approved program for a period of five years,
C. Accumulated the above mentioned net worth by his/her own business endeavors.’

Source: canadaimmigrationvisa which is no longer online.

So, is it C$400,000 or is it C$800,000? I don’t know, but I’m going to assume the worst; it’s always prudent. So C$800,000 is…

AU$784,800

Have you noticed how things are getting cheaper?

Hmm. Let’s go to Europe.

germanyGermany

As Europe struggles big time, I hear that the German economy is still quite strong. I imagine that comes from making things like cars, appliances, machinery and chemicals.

So how much to get into Germany…

‘Different from other countries there is no investor visa category in Germany in a sense that the investor would get monies from the state. However, when an investor is willing to invest 500.000 € and to employ more than 5 employees it might be easier to get a residence title for taking up gainful employment (= work permit). It has to be differentiated between the question of entry and residence (hereafter I.) and the question of whether a work permit will be granted (hereafter II).’

Source: visalawint

Okay, I think I’ve got that one. Half a million euros. That’s about…

AU$625,000

spainSpain

Spain, on the other hand, are not doing so good. Just today, apparently, they have asked the EU for help recapitalising their banks. How much to get into Spain?

‘Our investor visa (or investment visa) service is for the individual who plans to have a business in Spain, and has 100,000€ available for investment purposes. Once completed, you will be the director of a company with 100,000€ in backing capital. You may immediately start drawing on this capital in the implementation of your business.’

Source: strongabogados

Gosh, that sounds cheap and easy. Can it be true? That’s only…

AU$125,000

Just thinking out of the box here, but if you can get into Spain first, surely you become part of the EU. Then just get a Ryanair flight to Birmingham for about £39 and you saved yourself over $1 million?

I must be missing something.

And now….

australiaAustralia

‘Normally migrants are ranked according to criteria like age, qualifications and English language skills, along with a requirement to reside in the country for a period of time before they qualify.’

But..

‘In return for investing in state and territory bonds, managed funds, or directly into Australian companies, investors will be offered concessions on the usual visa requirements.’

Source: Wallstreetjournal

Okay, how much? Come on, how much??

AU$5 million!

Let’s convert the two Aussie dollars…

Yep, still AU$5 million!

Maybe it’s me, but if you have that kind of money, would you be the kind of guy who…

  • Likes to spend lots of time on the beach.
  • Walks around in thongs (flip-flops to some of you) holding a boogie board under his arm.
  • Would like to live in a country where the number of people you can make money from is just a fraction of the say, 1.3 billion people who live in China or the 300 million or more people that live in the United States.

As they say, most millionaires have swimming pools in their back garden; the majority have never got around to swimming in them.

I have always said Australia is a very difficult country to get into; this is more proof on that one.

I wonder if they’ll do a better deal for cash.

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{ 48 comments… add one }
  • Sachin November 26, 2016, 4:30 am | Link

    Hello Bob I am businessman in Punjab India I am 38 years old my turnover is approximately 10 million aus dollars I want to business visa for Australia I want to invest 500000 aus dollars but my English is not very good can I take visa?

    • BobinOz November 27, 2016, 9:04 pm | Link

      I couldn’t tell you, but a MARA registered migration agent could. What you need to do is speak to a MARA agent about your situation and they would be able to tell you whether the business investment visa, or whatever it is called, requires you to pass one of the English language speaking tests or not.

      To find a MARA registered migration agent, see my page about Migration agents.. Good luck, Bob

  • Md Mohebul Islam July 31, 2016, 12:22 am | Link

    Im Md Mohebul Islam from Bangladesh 36 Years old . I hv Garments Business In Bangladesh since 2008 But now i want to Settle My family ( Wife Age 28 & Child 2 and half ) Any Europe or Australia for better Clothing store . Any one can support me to get Investment visa or Immigrant .
    Thanks

  • Jashavsnt January 4, 2016, 5:46 pm | Link

    Hi,my self jashavant
    I want to invite my brother for pr hear with his family,i am citizen hear,so pls reply me thx

    • Kirit patel January 4, 2016, 5:51 pm | Link

      Hi bob,
      Kirit hear,i have question for u,
      I am 37 years old and i want to get pr in australia so how pls advise me,i want to invest as well.

  • Salem December 14, 2015, 8:28 pm | Link

    His Bob, which country offers cheapest investment visa in Europe. I have 110k. Please help me out. I am 26 years old and Indian national. Thanks

    • BobinOz December 14, 2015, 11:54 pm | Link

      I have no idea, everything I know about this subject is written above. I’m afraid you will have to do some research through Google. Good luck, Bob

  • Anton October 30, 2015, 7:17 am | Link

    I am selling my catering business and house in Sunshine West, Melbourne.
    Established for 15 years with lots of corporate clients and schools, universities, hospital, private bookings. We are seeking a person who will continue to prosper with our support. I moved out of Melbourne, nearly ten years ago but my business still thrives and now that I have a 3rd child on the way , its time to stay forever at home !
    The business is to be sold with a residential home in a sought after area of Melbourne, The house has a fully council registered kitchen at rear and I believe a “new Australian” may be the perfect match for Flying Woks. Check out
    http://www.flyingwoks.com.au/food-business-for-sale.html

    • BobinOz November 1, 2015, 8:41 pm | Link

      I expect commission out of this Anton. Shall we say a chilli prawn pad Thai delivered to my door? I think that’s fair.

      • Anton November 2, 2015, 4:51 am | Link

        Deal done, crab, lobster what ever you like ! Cheers

  • Basker October 4, 2015, 2:48 am | Link

    Write now I am working as a asst engineer in power plant UAE..I want to work in Europe countries. This is my lifetime achievement. I am 35 year old.I had no language exam band because still I don’t write it. But I want to work in Australia. Could u help& guide me

  • Bhavin Mehta July 7, 2015, 5:18 am | Link

    Dear sir

    I want to settel in Australia my age are 51 years if I do business their how much AUD need to invest their!
    Another my daughter is their how can I will apply for parent visa? She has pr
    Please answer me
    Thanks

    • BobinOz July 7, 2015, 7:47 pm | Link

      It’s just not that simple, you really must speak to a MARA registered migration agent about your options. Or, if you prefer, go through my Visa Assessment Service.

      Good luck, Bob

  • Arsen June 28, 2015, 4:12 pm | Link

    Hi bob, I own a granite slab fabrication business in USA I’m thinking of selling it, combined with my house I should have a million dollars. Would it be possible for me to get a visa and start the same business in Australia if I’m coming from USA but I’m not a U.S. citizen. I have a wife and 2 kids. My kids are US citizens. thanks

    • BobinOz June 29, 2015, 12:14 am | Link

      Qualifying for a visa isn’t simply a money-based decision, so you would really need to speak to a MARA registered migration agent to see if you do have a chance of qualifying. See my page Would I Qualify?

      If you do qualify though, I see no reason why you shouldn’t be able to set up the same business here in Australia.

  • sue March 15, 2014, 10:35 am | Link

    Hi, I have a auto mechanical repair shop in nsw Australia. I just heard my business partner has a stroke, therefore I decided we shld sell the business n retire. Can u provide some info about selling a business to investors who wants to move to Australia please. Thanks Sue

    • BobinOz March 17, 2014, 12:46 am | Link

      No, sorry, I have no idea about that at all.

  • Vijay Siwach December 2, 2013, 8:57 pm | Link

    This is by far the best article that I’ve come across which gives information about the resident permits on offer by various countries via investment. I myself moved to Latvia this year and I invested in the real estate program that they have on offer. I bought a property in Riga for 160000 Euros, but the actual minimum investment is just 144000 Euros. This has given me and my wife a Temporary Resident Permit for 5 years and later, upon completing 4 years we can apply for PR, provided we pass a basic language test.
    I’m really ruing the fact that I missed out on the Spanish investment program. I’d have saved 60 thousand Euros and maybe bought myself a nice BMW or something with that money haha 😀

    But once again! Really good writing, it had me in splits at times, good job Bob 😉

    • BobinOz December 3, 2013, 12:00 am | Link

      Hi Vijay

      If I can make someone, somewhere, laugh, then that makes me happy, so I’m happy. Thanks for taking the time to tell me.

      As for Latvia, I must have missed that when I was doing my research. I’ve never been either but always fancied going. I’ve heard it’s quite good there, so I hope you are pleased with your investment, even without the BMW 🙂

      Cheers, Bob

  • gill February 1, 2013, 7:32 pm | Link

    my 2 children going to settle in australia, we are over 55 – how would we apply to join them?

    • BobinOz February 4, 2013, 1:12 pm | Link

      I think there are a couple of parent visa options, you can fast track your way in if you have enough money, if you don’t there is a very long waiting list, I’ve heard as long as 10 to 15 years.

      If you need any help, my MARA agent is very good, check out my Visa Assessment Service.

  • BobinOz November 22, 2012, 2:12 am | Link

    Well Globetrotter2020, for one with so much knowledge I’m surprised you missed the tongue in cheek tone of this post. You are welcome to prefer Spain or even the UK, I’m happy to stay where I am. I’d be more careful about how you use the word “arrogance” though, if I were you.

    Bob

  • Globetrotter2020 November 20, 2012, 6:58 am | Link

    No culture, no cuisines, no history….why the hell would I want to spend $5 million to live in an island so cut off and far away from the rest of the world where the original settlers were all criminals?? There are better beaches in spain and EU is at your disposal for $100k….what does the Australian government think that millionaires are desperate to move to their unsafe, high crime, highly racist island?? Australia hardly has a population to have such an arrogance – they hardly even have an existence….it’s only a matter of time before the aussies get hit with serious crises and then see how they start selling their country for pennies. $5 million is a total rip off to move to such an insignificant culture-less country…even UK is a better option – and for £1 million you can get a UK passport in 5 years..once you have a passport you can go live anywhere…people with $5 million don’t live in just one country anyways….Aussies must be really dumb to sell such a ridiculous visa – it would rather discourage people to invest in their country….seems like the crooked mentality is still around somewhere in that country.

    • USA2OZ December 30, 2014, 6:14 pm | Link

      Gosh Globetrotter, tell us how you REALLY feel about this, you’re being too circumspect, you’re holding your feelings inside, let us see how you really feel 😉

      I knew some folks would be frustrated and even a touch of anger is ok..but is it really smart (or nice) to insult the country this website is dedicated to? For that matter, is if fair to insult an *entire* country, no matter what the country is? I don’t think so…

      In my humble view, you’re also quite fortunate that one Aussie, formerly from the UK, one particular website owner, took your comment as well and as gently as he did.

      Goodluck with your own endeavors Globetrotter…but I for one, while I’ve found plenty to be disappointed with or frustrated with, am still going to try to make a move to Australia “happen” for me…even without my having [cue Dr. Evil video clip from Austin Powers film] “5 MIIIIIIIIILLION dollars!”….

      I’m a pretty serious person myself…not all “happy go lucky”…but one appealing aspect of Australia is a “she’s be right mate” optimism going forward 🙂

  • Vennia July 1, 2012, 6:07 am | Link

    Hi Andy!

    Many thanks to you for the valuable advice! Sorry for the late reply due to travelling.

    My husband has been using both Seek and Linkedin but it’ll be of great help if you could set up an introduction. How could I send my husband’s CV to you?

    Regards,
    Vennia

    • BobinOz July 1, 2012, 8:07 pm | Link

      Hi Vennia

      You can send it to me, and I will forward it to Andy. You can get my email address from my Contact Me page.

      Cheers

      Bob

  • Vennia June 24, 2012, 5:58 am | Link

    Hi Andy!

    My husband has more than 10 years of experience in software development and he is starting to look for job in Melbourne. We have got our Australian PR until 2013. Right now we’re living in Finland (but we’re Malaysian) as my husband was transferred to work in the company’s headquarter in 2008. However, we are still planning to make the move to Australia in early Dec.
    My questions are:
    1. Other than job search sites like seek, what are the other ways of finding IT job in Australia?
    2. Did you have to go to Australia for interview even after the remote interview?
    3. How long did you take to find the job?
    Would appreciate if you could give some advice.

    Thanks a lot!

    Vennia

    • Andy Painter June 25, 2012, 9:03 am | Link

      Vennia,

      That’s great news to have the PR all ready. I’m still on the 457, and will look for PR in a few years, (once LAFHA has gone).

      In response to your questions:

      1. I only used Seek, there are some other job sites that you could use, and internet search will find them. Have you also looked at LinkedIn, this is an excellent way to seek jobs, and you may be connected to people advertising, which is a big help. Have you also talked to your own network and people out in Australia? Our company http://www.altis.com.au (altis Consulting), is looking for IT people. If your otherhalf works in the same area as we do, then please send me his CV and details, i’d be happy to set up an introduction.

      2. I did all my interviews remotely, a lot of the employers who were looking to help people come in on 457 were going to run the interviews remotely. I also had a couple of initial interviews in the UK for some of the big 4 accountancy firms. I did 4 remote interviews for altis in the end!

      3. Finding a job was very quick. Once we had done our trip to New Zealand in Dec 2010/Jan 2011, and decided it wasn’t quite right for us, i started looking for Melbourne jobs in Feb 2011, had my interviews done by Mar/Apr 2011 and landed Jun 2011!

      As you may know the IT market is very good and demand is very high for talented IT people, you shouldn’t have a problem finding work in Melbourne or any of the other cities in Oz. It may also be worth coming over without a firm offer, as you have the PR already. There is plenty of IT work.

      Good luck.

      Andy

  • Nicky June 20, 2012, 11:18 pm | Link

    Hi Robert Young,
    Have you been to an expo yet? Lots of proffessionals there for you to speak to. Also, do the free online skills assessment and if it looks like you have enough points then you can get in touch with an agent. Good Luck x

  • Robert Young June 20, 2012, 5:46 pm | Link

    Hi Bob, I am a joiner / carpenter from the UK. Would love to move over to Australia with my wife and two kids. My trade always seems to be on the SOL. Any advice on the best way forward for us? Seem to be going around in circles at the moment.

    Thanks.

    Robert

    • BobinOz June 21, 2012, 12:52 pm | Link

      Do you get enough points? If you do, you could always apply for a visa and then come out here with your family on a permanent residency and look for work when you get here. Check out my page about Visas.

  • Mohan June 20, 2012, 12:45 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,
    your info on Investor visas are informative and thanks for that.
    But I would be grateful if u could let me know the ways to get PR (Permanent Resident) status in OZ.
    Particularly for young guys and gals working there for more than a year now.
    Can u help me out!
    Thanks

    • BobinOz June 20, 2012, 3:28 pm | Link

      It’s a complicated matter, different procedures for different people. I suggest you start on my page about Visas.

  • sameh June 20, 2012, 1:17 am | Link

    iam 24 years old … a christian engineer from egypt
    i had completed my studiies and took the baclour of engineering department ( urban and regional planning ) from cairo university in egypt .. at 2009 … i have 3 years experience at work … i want to study in an australian university to take a recognized baclour .. as i want to move to australia

    please tell me all the papers and procedures step by step to achieve my gool … and notice that iam looking for a free or cheap scholorship as the study funds is very expensive and i dont have all that amount of money

    thanks

    • BobinOz June 20, 2012, 3:27 pm | Link

      I don’t know all the procedures step-by-step I’m afraid, you need to speak to a MARA registered migration agent. It’s a highly skilled job, and I’m not qualified. Check out my Visa Assessment Service, it may help you.

  • chris conway June 19, 2012, 7:37 pm | Link

    Hi Bob,is it worth just going to Oz or New Zealand and getting job sponsorship over there, my career is dry liner but I also have gas qualifications, I havnt got the money to get an agent costing five grand upwards, willing to take a chance any ideas, thanks

    • BobinOz June 20, 2012, 3:26 pm | Link

      Not sure that’s such a good plan Chris, you need a visa just to visit Australia and unless you are under 30 and qualify for a Working Holiday Visa, you won’t be able to work when you get here. So you won’t be able to show prospective employers what you can do and that makes getting a sponsorship very difficult. It won’t be cheap either, cost of flights, accommodation, living without work etc.

      So, it has its pitfalls. Good luck though!

  • Nicky June 8, 2012, 1:11 am | Link

    My husband is a skilled IT developer and we would have found it incredibly easy to get a sponsorship – if we’d have been looking anywhere but Queensland!! As it is it wasn’t so bad anyway, we fot our full visa in just over 12months and we fly out this September! Yippee. The one thing I would say to anyone who’s looking on here in the early stages is that an agent, in my opinion, is well worth it. For us, both working and with 3 young children it was a massive weight off our minds to have someone else take away most of the worry – and our agent is an ex-pom based in Brisbane so she’s been a brilliant source of information and advice too. x

    • BobinOz June 8, 2012, 5:28 pm | Link

      Congratulations on getting your visa Nicky, enjoy your last three or four months in England, the time will literally fly by.

      I do agree, using a MARA agent does take a huge weight off your shoulders, we used one and found her a great help.

      Talking of help, you’ll need some Aussie dollars, have you seen my Currency Exchange page? My contact there is a guy called Ian, I highly recommend.

      See you in Brisbane soon!

  • Andy Painter June 7, 2012, 3:13 pm | Link

    Bob,

    From start (job search, remote interviews) to finish (landing in Oz), we managed to do it from start of Feb 2012 to start of June 2012. That’s on a 457. It took my employer 2 weeks to get the employer part of the 457 and me 5 weeks to get the employee part.

    It obviously depends which country you are coming from and the skill set and how in demand your talents are …. but anyone looking from the UK with IT skills, should find it easy. Bob – I’d be happy to offer advice via your site, if you are interested 🙂

    Good luck, if you are current looking.

    • Andy Painter June 7, 2012, 3:14 pm | Link

      Correction – that’s 2011! I’ve been here for a year already and loving it!

      • BobinOz June 8, 2012, 12:15 am | Link

        I remember from one of your comments way back how fast it was for you Andy, it’s great to hear that you have now been here a while, you’ve settled in and you’re loving it.

        It would be great to hear your full story and put it online, I’ll send you an email about that, I’m real keen to take you up on your offer.

        Cheers!

  • Rosana June 7, 2012, 1:00 pm | Link

    Bob hi..!! congratulations for your blog!! 😀 please how is about the Visa for Business People?, I found this in the Inmi web (www.immi.gov.au) and I believe it could be an easier way to a lot of migrants, how do you think? (sorry for my bad english 😉 )

    (…)
    “This visa is for people who have a successful business career, and have a genuine and realistic commitment to be involved as an owner in a new or existing business in Australia. This visa is also the first step towards being granted a permanent Business Skills visa.

    Who is this visa for?
    This visa is for business owners from overseas who intend to own a business in Australia, and are less than 45 years of age.

    How much will this visa cost?
    You must pay a non-refundable visa charge when you lodge your visa application.
    See: Business Development Visa Charges

    What does this visa let me do?
    With this visa you can:

    •establish a new or existing business in Australia
    •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

    Main Applicant Eligibility
    On this page

    •Age
    •State/Territory notification
    •English level
    •Business assets
    •Business turnover and ownership
    •Total assets
    •Business career
    •Your intended involvement in business in Australia
    •Health requirement
    •Character requirement
    •Australian Values Statement
    •Application document checklist

    You must meet the following requirements to be eligible for this visa. You must provide evidence of each of the requirements with your application.

    Age
    You must be less than 45 years old.

    State/Territory notification
    You have notified the appropriate regional authority of a state or territory of your intention to develop a business in that State or Territory.
    See: Form 927 State/Territory notification: business skills class ( 82KB PDF file)

    English level
    You must have a vocational level of English. To show this you must you have one the following:

    •have evidence you are a native English speaker
    •undertake the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). You need to take the general training test, and must achieve a band score of at least five from a maximum of nine, for all four components of the test; speaking, reading, listening and writing. (Your IELTS test results may not be more than 12 months old when you apply)
    See: http://www.ielts.org
    •hold a NAATI accreditation in English.
    See: http://www.naati.com.au
    Business assets
    You (and your partner combined) had net assets in a qualifying business of AUD200 000 for at least two of the four fiscal years immediately before you apply.

    Business turnover and ownership
    The annual turnover of your main business (or two main businesses combined) must have been at least AUD500 000 in at least two of the four fiscal years immediately before you apply.

    In addition, you (and your partner combined) must have owned at least:

    •51 per cent of the business where the turnover is less than AUD400 000 per annum.
    •30 per cent of the business where the turnover is AUD400 000 or more per annum.
    •10 per cent where the business is a publicly listed company.
    Total assets
    Your (and your partner’s) total assets have a net value of at least AUD800 000, and were legally acquired and are capable of being transferred to Australia within two years of being granted this visa.

    You have sufficient assets (additional to those above) of at least AUD100 000 to settle in Australia.

    • BobinOz June 8, 2012, 12:09 am | Link

      Hi Rosana

      Yes, this would be a good visa for people with proven business skills who wants to set up their business here in Australia. Part of the deal, I think, is that they will have to employ a certain number of Australians in their business. It’s about creating jobs.

      But if you are over 45, and don’t want to answer so many tricky questions, five million-dollar visa is the answer 🙂

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