A comprehensive guide to Australian business and entrepreneur visas

Everything you need to know about Australian business and entrepreneur visas. Explore eligibility criteria, application processes, and tips for a successful relocation to Australia's thriving business ecosystem.


Joel Cacciotti

Joel is responsible for discovering exceptional founders to join Antler. As a successfully exited founder himself, Joel is a serial entrepreneur with his most notable startup, Hey Tom, which was acquired by Hometime. He has also advised various startups across a variety of industries. Previous to running his own businesses, he specialised in Sales and Sales Management for fast growing startups.

Joel is the Scouting Manager for Antler Australia, he is responsible for discovering exceptional founders to build their companies with us.

Australia is an exceptional destination for ambitious individuals seeking to make a lasting impact in the world of business and entrepreneurship. If you have been granted a Business Talent visa (subclass 132), Global Talent visa (subclass 858), or Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) (subclass 188) visa in the Entrepreneur stream, joining the Antler program can provide you with the support, resources, and network to launch and scale your own successful business. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the benefits and eligibility criteria of these Australian visas and share valuable insights on how Antler can help you transition seamlessly into Australia's thriving business ecosystem, empowering you to create a transformative venture and become a successful entrepreneur.

Australia is an ideal destination for business owners, entrepreneurs, and highly skilled professionals looking to expand their horizons, tap into new markets, and establish a presence in a thriving economy. The Australian government has designed several visa programs to facilitate immigration for those who possess the skills, experience, and drive to contribute to the country's growth. This guide will explore three popular Australian visas for business and entrepreneurship: the Business Talent visa (subclass 132), the Global Talent visa (subclass 858), and the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) (subclass 188) visa in the Entrepreneur stream.

Sydney and Melbourne stand out as the premier destinations for immigrants looking to tap into Australia's vibrant startup ecosystem, owing to their mature and thriving environments that foster innovation and entrepreneurship. Both cities boast a rich concentration of resources, support networks, and opportunities for business owners, entrepreneurs, and highly skilled professionals. With a diverse pool of talent, world-class infrastructure, and easy access to domestic and international markets, Sydney and Melbourne provide the ideal foundation for building and scaling successful ventures. In addition, these cities offer an excellent quality of life, with their multicultural communities, exceptional education systems, and a wide range of cultural and recreational activities. By choosing Sydney or Melbourne as your base, you can leverage the unique advantages of these cities and position your business for long-term success in Australia's most dynamic startup hubs.


1. Business Talent Visa (subclass 132)

The Business Talent visa (subclass 132) is designed for high-calibre business owners or entrepreneurs with a significant business background who are interested in establishing or developing a business in Australia. This visa grants permanent residency and work rights, allowing you to fully integrate into the Australian business ecosystem.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Proven business background
  • Genuine intention to establish or develop a business in Australia
  • Business and personal assets that meet minimum thresholds
  • Must be nominated by an Australian state or territory government

As a seasoned entrepreneur, you would be in good company joining an Antler Cohort, we scout the best and brightest talent in Australia to build a business with. 

2. Global Talent Visa (subclass 858)

The Global Talent visa (subclass 858) targets highly skilled individuals in targeted sectors, such as technology, science, and research, who want to work and live permanently in Australia. This visa requires nomination by an eligible organisation or a particular sector of the Australian government.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Must be highly skilled in a targeted sector
  • Have a track record of exceptional achievements
  • Evidence of future income potential
  • Nomination by an Australian organisation or government sector

3. Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) (subclass 188) Visa in the Entrepreneur Stream

The Business Innovation and Investment (subclass 188) visa in the Entrepreneur stream is tailored for entrepreneurs with innovative ideas and the potential to contribute to the Australian economy. This visa offers a pathway to permanent residency in Australia.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Under 55 years of age (exceptions may apply)
  • Competent in English
  • Endorsed by an Australian state or territory government
  • Possess a genuine and realistic commitment to establish or participate in an innovative business in Australia

Application Process

The process of applying for an Australian visa begins with gathering the required documents, including personal identification, proof of business background, and evidence of financial resources. The Australian visa application process varies depending on the specific visa subclass but generally includes the following steps:

  1. Research the specific visa requirements and ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria.
  2. Obtain a nomination from an Australian state or territory government or eligible organisation, depending on the visa subclass.
  3. Complete the online visa application form on the Australian Department of Home Affairs website.
  4. Pay the relevant application fees and submit the completed application, along with the required supporting documents.
  5. Await the decision on your visa application, which can take several months, depending on the visa subclass and individual circumstances.

Relocating to Australia

Once your Australian visa has been granted, it's time to prepare for relocating to Australia. This involves several logistical considerations, including securing accommodations, opening a bank account, obtaining a tax file number, and enrolling in Australia's healthcare system.

In addition, you'll need to familiarise yourself with the Australian startup ecosystem, which offers various support programs and resources for entrepreneurs and business owners. Some of these resources include:

  • Business advisory services: These services offer expert advice and mentoring to help you develop your business idea, create a business plan, and navigate the Australian market.
  • Networking events: Attending industry-specific events, conferences, and workshops can help you build connections with like-minded professionals, potential investors, and industry experts in Australia.
  • Co-working spaces: These shared workspaces provide a collaborative environment where you can access resources, tools, and mentorship to grow your business.
  • Accelerator and incubator programs: These initiatives provide startups with funding, mentorship, and resources to help them scale their businesses quickly.
  • Consider migrant-specific programs run by companies such as Catalysr which runs intensive entrepreneurship programs for high-performing migrant and refugee entrepreneurs - aka Migrapreneurs - who want to find success in Australia by building their own startup or social enterprise.
  • Speak to Antler, we are the world's Day 0 investor and we aim to fundamentally improve the world by enabling and investing in exceptional people building the defining companies of tomorrow.

Tips for Success in the Australian Business Environment

To ensure the success of your business venture in Australia, consider the following tips:

  1. Conduct thorough market research: Understand the local market dynamics, competition, and customer preferences to make informed decisions about your business strategy.
  2. Adapt to the Australian business culture: Embrace the country's values of fairness, equality, and work-life balance to foster a positive work environment and strong business relationships.
  3. Network and build connections: Establishing a strong professional network can open doors to new opportunities, partnerships, and collaborations.
  4. Stay informed about industry trends and developments: Stay up-to-date with the latest news, trends, and regulations affecting your industry to ensure your business remains competitive and compliant.
  5. Seek support and advice: Take advantage of the numerous business support programs available in Australia, including mentorship, funding, and resources, to help you navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship.

Australia offers an attractive environment for business owners, entrepreneurs, and highly skilled professionals seeking to establish or expand their ventures. By obtaining the right visa, such as the Business Talent visa (subclass 132), the Global Talent visa (subclass 858), or the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) (subclass 188) visa in the Entrepreneur stream, you can access the opportunities and resources available in the Australian market. Remember to conduct thorough research, adapt to the local business culture, and leverage the available support programs to ensure the success of your venture in Australia.

With the right approach and the right visa, you can become a valuable contributor to Australia's thriving business ecosystem and enjoy the benefits of living and working in one of the world's most prosperous and dynamic countries. 

Two migrapreneur success stories

Mahan Lamei and the Story of Calctree

In the world of startups, success stories come in all shapes and sizes. Some are born out of a eureka moment, while others are the result of years of perseverance, grit, and determination. Mahan's journey from an immigrant to a successful entrepreneur in Australia is a perfect blend of all these elements. This is the story of how Mahan, an ambitious migrapreneur, joined Antler and founded Calctree, a revolutionary company that brings engineering teams, design, and calculations together.

Coming to Australia with a wealth of knowledge and a passion for problem-solving, Mahan saw an opportunity in the engineering sector. He envisioned a platform that could streamline engineering processes, foster better collaboration among teams, and enhance the accuracy of design calculations. This vision led to the inception of Calctree.

Hendricus and the story of Madu.ai

Madu co-founders Hendricus Willem and Ben Huang.

When it comes to building a company in a new country Madu.ai is another great example of an Antler portfolio company whose founding team are migrapreneurs. Madu.ai is an ad-tech solution that helps publishers monetize visual content.

Here’s what Rick had to say about Antler: “The coaching from Antler throughout our journey so far has been of massive value. Antler helped us find the pain points within our initial solution when we first joined their cohort. They coached us throughout our journey while making sure that we made all the right decisions independently.

“Antler points you in the right direction but doesn’t hold your hand, which as a start-up, is great and is a valuable way to work with your VC investor.”

In conclusion, Australia offers a wealth of opportunities for driven individuals with the right skills, experience, and entrepreneurial mindset. By securing the appropriate visa—subclass 132, 858, or 188—you gain access to a vibrant business environment and the chance to contribute to the nation's economic growth. The Antler program is designed to support and nurture your entrepreneurial journey, providing you with the resources, mentorship, and connections needed to build a successful venture. We encourage you to consider joining Antler, where your passion and expertise can be transformed into a thriving business, creating a lasting impact not only in Australia but across the globe. Apply now and take the first step towards realising your entrepreneurial dreams.

The most driven founders are joining Antler - the world's day zero investor - to solve important problems. Apply to join Antler in Australia, or sign up here to access insights and resources to help you on your founder journey.

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