Expert Tips on Getting Australian Business and Skilled Visas [Sri Lankan TV’s Interview with Ariel Brott]

Our Principal Lawyer recently appeared on Sri Lankan TV, where he was interviewed about visitor visas, skilled visas, business (188 and 888) visas and employer-sponsored visas including the new subclass 482 TSS visa.

This is the third and last part of a 3-part interview series. You can check out the rest here:

Watch the full interview here.

Bandu: Right. So Ariel, let’s go on to another subject, that is purely business migration. If an established person with a good history of business and a thriving business, if they want to contribute to the Australian market here, invest or something, what are the requirements, basic?

Ariel: Well, it depends what visa we’re talking about again. Because there’s more than one option. There is something known as a 132 business talent visa. I probably won’t dwell on that too much because they’re really hard to get. They actually take you directly to permanent residency which is wonderful. The thresholds are quite high. You need to show a business history where you have a turnover of $3 million plus, assets of $1.5 million plus, but what makes it really tricky is, you need to be nominated by a state. And most of the states aren’t too keen on this visa because it takes people straight to permanent residency. There’s no provisional time to test out, is this person genuine or not. So very few of the states grant a great number of visa. I think South Australia is a bit more lenient. But typically, for people in Victoria, it’s quite hard to get the Victorian government to sponsor you. So that’s the 132 visa. And there are many other requirements of course as well. But those are some of the reasons why it’s quite difficult. And I don’t want to discourage people…

Bandu: No, no, no actually. If you’re really keen, they need to speak to an expert like you.

Ariel: Yeah, I think so. Typically for something like… it is difficult to… it requires a bit of planning and strategy. And certainly if you’re planning on moving here and setting up a business here, that’s a big undertaking, it’s worth getting some professional advice. Now, the more common business visa is the 188 significant business history visa. So that’s a stream within the broader 188 sub-class. And the thresholds for that are a bit lower. And this reflects that it’s a provisional visa. So it’s not a permanent visa. But it can lead eventually to a permanent 888 visa. And the basic thresholds there are, again, they want to see that you have a business history. So it’s not enough that you can show your parents have a business history. You need to show, you’ve got a business history with turnover I believe of about $500,000 a year. And they also want to see assets that you have…

Bandu: So we’re not talking about profits but just a turnover.

Ariel: That’s right. Just turnover. And they also want to see that you have assets of I think it’s $800,000. These thresholds change from time to time. But I think it’s about $800,000.

Bandu: Yeah, we’re only talking broadly. I mean, if someone is interested, they should talk to an expert like you.

Ariel: Precisely.

Bandu: Okay. So if we go into another category, now skilled people like professionals, they can migrate to Australia. That stream is still available, isn’t it?

Ariel: Yup. Again, there are several visas that come under that broad umbrella of skilled visas, I think, is what you’re talking about. There is also a different category, the distinguished talent visa. But that’s a little bit specialised. But in terms of skilled visas, yup, there’s a 189 visa, which is the independent one where you’ve got a lot of freedom, but it’s only a small number of occupations that’s open for. And then there are state sponsored skilled visas as well, where you need to be sponsored by a state. The thing to note about all of those skilled visas is, a couple of years ago, they decided that they wouldn’t let people just apply anymore. Because it used to be if you apply and you meet all the criteria, they have to give you the visa. The government didn’t like that. They wanted to take a bit of control back. So what they did was, they decided, you can’t apply directly, you need to lodge an expression of interest. And then we will invite you to apply if we so wish. And what happens in that sense is, if you do lodge an expression of interest, you may be waiting a week, you might be waiting two months, you might be waiting two years, or you might be waiting forever. They might not invite you. So you need to meet a certain number of points under a points test.

Bandu: Now, how does one find out what sort of criteria that they are to comply with?

Ariel: Well, the obvious answer from someone like myself is, go speak to a professional. Really. To get a basic understanding, take a look at Immigration’s website. Don’t trust it completely. It’s not full legal advice and it’s not personalised to anyone in particular. But if people want to get a sense of, well, what does it take, what kind of visas…

Bandu: For example, if I have a degree or a post graduate degree and have been working in the industry and proven your capability through working, then if that particular category is in the required categories, can’t they apply directly to the Australian High Commission in the relevant country?

Ariel: They’ll still need to lodge an expression of interest. And then, if they are invited, then they can make their application. And of course, in order to get invited, typically what they’re looking at is, who has the highest number of points. So the lowest number of points you can have, the minimum is 60. But typically, and it varies from time to time, but I think recently the lowest number of points was about 75, rather than 60. So you have to have a high level in English, a high level of qualifications, high level of experience, and there are various other criteria which you can add points.

Bandu: But there is an opening there. The government hasn’t stopped that.

Ariel: No, absolutely. There are still many skilled visas on offer. Again, some of them aren’t granted very often. For example, there’s what’s called the 489 visa, which is a regional visa. And you can sometimes get that through family sponsoring you. At least in Victoria, very few of those are ever nominated. But if you’re talking about say the 189 visa, which doesn’t depend on any state, if you can get good points and you’re on the eligibility list for that, then many of those are…

Bandu: That eligibility list changes from time to time?

Ariel: It is very similar to the medium and long term list I was talking about for the employer sponsored visas. In fact it’s called the same thing, but each visa sub-class has its own version. But that’s a common thing. And the 190 visa is very similar as well. It’s got different occupations open to it. But then you need to be on that particular state’s list. And then things can get quite difficult too. They may want you to have a job offer in the state or a higher level of English.

Bandu: Right, okay so the other thing I want to talk to you about, Ariel, is the parent migration. Is that still on or…?

Ariel: There are things happening with the parent visas. Traditionally, there was just parent visas. And then the government wasn’t too happy with people coming here, they’re not working, they’re not contributing tax. So what they did was they introduced a faster one. So it was about a 10 year processing period they put on that, which is unfortunate, because many people just pass away before that. But they brought in what’s called the contributory parent visa. And they put a price on that, which is about $50,000 per parent. So we thought that was terribly expensive. We didn’t like that very much. But they were processing them in maybe one, two, three years, which is quicker for some people, but they’ll pay for the costs. We thought that was very expensive. And then the productivity commission took a look at parent visas and they assessed the cost of each parent who comes here, ends up costing the taxpayer closer to about $400,000. So the government tried to abolish the regular parent visas altogether. That was blocked in the Senate. So that still exists but then they upped the processing period to 30 years. It’s quite absurd. So right now, really, the only real chance, unless things change, and a lot can change over 30 years, but really, if someone’s serious about getting their parents here at the moment, the option is the contributory parent, which is $50,000 currently. But given what the productivity commission said, we have a feeling that price might be moving quite a bit higher shortly. And one thing which is very important to mention about parent visas that they’re talking about right now is that they’re going to bring in a temporary parent visa. And I think that’s the way the government’s moving. And I think once they provide that, the government once they give something, they take away as well. And we think the takeaway will either be the abolition of the permanent parent visas or perhaps

more likely, a much more expensive one closer to that $400,000 mark. So anybody who’s thinking of bringing a parent in at this stage permanently would really be advised to get moving on that before these changes come through.

Bandu: What’s the timeline on that?

Ariel: Well, we don’t know. I’m speculating at this stage. I don’t know for sure that this is going to happen. But typically, if we look at history and the way things work, and what just happened to the employer-sponsored visas last year, and this coming March, if you have an opportunity right now, it’s worth taking it. And even if that $50,000 per parent sounds expensive, it could get a whole lot more expensive. However, if you just want to bring your parents here for a year or two, the new temporary visas might be suitable. But they’re not that cheap either.

Bandu: What sort of figures are we talking about?

Ariel: I’m trying to remember, actually. I think for a five year visa, it’s about $10,000 or something like that. Again, it hasn’t been finalised. But when it comes through, it won’t be cheap. And of course, unlike a permanent visa, there will be no Medicare or any of those benefits.

Bandu: So it has to be private medical cover?

Ariel: That’s right. Parents will have to have private medical cover, and at the end of the period of the visa, they’ll probably have to leave. So it’s quite harsh. But again, the government looks at this in terms of dollars and cents, and they want people coming here when they’re young, who are going to work hard, and pay the taxman. They don’t necessarily value older people the way that they should.

Bandu: At a later stage, at a different interview, I’d like to talk to you about the entertainers visas, like temporary entertainment from various charitable organisations here. They want to temporarily bring entertainers here. So maybe in about a couple of weeks’ time, you can come back and talk to us on this temporary… they’re also sort of work visas. Entertainers. What should the sponsoring organisation do, and what is the criteria and so on? So I think for this episode, we’ve talked enough. You have given enough information and elaborated on various aspects of visas. Thank you very much for that, Ariel.

Ariel: My pleasure. Thanks for having me, Bandu.

Bandu: And before we close, how does one get in touch with you if they are interested?

Ariel: Oh yes. The first point you might take a look at is my website. And I think it might be appearing down there: You’re also very welcome to give me a call. The best phone number is +613 8740 2191. Or you can send me an email at

Bandu: Just

Ariel: That’s right.

Bandu: That’s very good. Thank you very much for coming on and giving us all that information.

Ariel: Talk to you in a couple of weeks.

Bandu: Couple of weeks, specifically on this entertainer visa.

Ariel: Wonderful.

Bandu: Okay, thank you.

Ariel: Cheers.