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If you want to run a business in Australia, it’s vital to get your visa sorted out. One crucial step within that process is getting hold of an invitation letter for your business visa.
This letter is what actually allows you to send in a business visa application to the Australian immigration authorities. Without it, you won’t be able to apply for certain business visa types. In this guide, you’ll find out how to get hold of an invitation letter for an Australian business visa application.
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There are two main types of Australian business visa for people looking to run a company in Australia long term.
- Subclass 188 Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa
- Subclass 888 Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa
There are various subclasses of both, specifically targeting entrepreneurs, investors, and so on.
One thing that’s common to all of them, though, is that they require a formal letter of invitation or a nomination from an Australian state or territory. This document forms part of your visa application.¹
|Read more: A guide to Australian Business Visas|
It’s worth clearing up one thing here. In this article, we’re mainly talking about the steps you need to take if you want a full Australian business visa, that will let you live in the country and run a business for several years.
If you’re only planning to visit Australia briefly for business reasons, you could well need a Business Visitor visa instead. There’s a completely different sort of invitation letter involved in this process.²
For the Business Visitor visa – subclass 600, you’ll need a letter from a “host organisation” – a company you’ll be visiting during your trip. That letter should confirm formally that you’ve been temporarily invited to the country for business purposes. It doesn’t need to be from a government body.
Here’s a list of some of the business activity details and requirements that you’ll need:
- an invitation letter from a host organisation
- A conference registration details
- a letter from your employer stating why you are visiting
- your plans for your stay and details of your Australian business contacts
- proof of your current employment and professional qualifications
- evidence your company is an active business, such as an annual report
- evidence of prior contact with Australian businesses
You can find various sample invitation letters for Australian Business Visitor visas online. The key thing is that they should be an official company document, ideally on letter headed paper, and they should contain full details of why the visit is taking place, and what arrangement is in place between the businesses.
There’s a formal process to observe if you need an invitation letter for a business visa in Australia. These are the steps you need to take.
You have to send in an Expression of Interest (EOI) via the online portal SkillSelect. That’s true whether you’re applying for a Business Innovation and Investment visa or are a skilled worker. ³
There’s no fee for this, because it’s not an actual visa application – just a preliminary step. However, you will need to provide a fair amount of detail regarding what you can do and what credentials you have.
You will be asked which state or territory you wish to seek nomination from. It’s best to contact the state directly to know of their requirements and what process you need to follow to gain their nomination.
The process of nominating you is fully up to the state or territory or government agency to decide. There is a higher chance of gaining a nomination if your talent, your business and investment is what they are looking for.
Each state or territory has its own particular criteria, so it’s crucial to make sure you’re ticking all the boxes they’ll want to see. If you are nominated by a state or territory government, or by Austrade, you will receive an invitation to apply for your visa from the SkillSelect system.
You can update your EOI if your situation changes and you get some new work experience or qualifications, improve your English, or if your family situation changes. Of course, these changes could affect your eligibility, potentially for the better.³
If you’re chosen, you’ll receive that crucial invitation letter or nomination through the SkillSelect system. After that, you’ll have 60 days to send in your visa application.³
OK, so you’ve received your invitation letter. This is what to do next.
You’ll only be eligible to apply for 60 days – otherwise you’ll have to start the whole thing again.
Rather than SkillSelect, you do this part via the online portal ImmiAccount.⁴ Your invitation letter will give you the details you need to make your application.
As you’d expect, they’ll need to see plenty of documentation, both about you and about your business and assets.
Then it’s another period of waiting, unfortunately. If they need any more information from you, they’ll be in touch. Only get in touch with them if something crucial happens like you change your contact details or passport, your marital status changes or you have a child.⁴
When you make your visa application, there will be a fee to pay in Australian dollars. And, if you do end up moving to Australia, this will only be the first of many international bills you’re going to get.
What that means is that you’ll need to figure out the fairest way of getting your money from your home country to Australia, without facing the barrage of extra charges that banks often leave you with.
A Wise Business account can help – not only by providing international transfers at the mid-market rate – like the one you see on Google, but also by providing you a multi-currency account where you can hold over 40 currencies get local account details in world currencies like AUD, NZD, USD, EUR and GBP for a one time fee.
There’s no monthly fee, and all the costs are kept to a minimum and clearly stated. For sending and receiving money internationally – or even for holding money in foreign currencies – it’s a super convenient solution, especially while you organise a move abroad.
Good luck with your nomination process and eventual move to Australia. Australia’s a great place to do business, and fingers crossed with your application, you’ll be welcomed with open arms.
- Business innovation visa details – Homeaffairs
- Business visitor visa requirements – Homeaffairs
- Skillselect expression of interest EOI
- Business innovation visa application
All sources checked 30 September 2022
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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