Getting an invitation letter for an Australian business visa

Samuel Clennett
3 minute read

If you want to run a business in Australia, it’s vital to get your visa sorted out. And 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 authorities. Without it, you won’t be able to get either a Business Innovation and Investment visa, or a Business Talent visa.

In this guide, you can find out how to get hold of an invitation letter for a business visa.

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What is an invitation letter for Australian business visa?

There are two main types of Australian business visa for people looking to run a company in Australia. One is a Business Innovation and Investment visa (which is initially temporary), and the other is a Business Talent visa (which is permanent). 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 from an Australian state or territory. This letter forms part of your visa application¹,².

Host organisation invitation letter for Business Visitor visa

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.

For the Business Visitor visa, 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 invited to the country for business purposes. It doesn’t need to be from government³.

You can find various sample invitation letters for Australian Business Visitor visas online. The key thing is that they should be official-looking, ideally on headed paper, and they should contain full details of why the visit is taking place, and what arrangement is in place between the businesses.

How do I get an invitation letter?

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.

1. Submit an Expression of Interest

Before they write to you, you have to send them 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 a Business Talent visa¹,².

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 also need to state where you want to operate your business – that is, which states or territories you’re hoping to move to⁴.

2. Wait for a letter of invitation

You’ll get an estimated points score from SkillSelect quickly after submitting your EOI. If you have more than 65 points, your EOI will be passed on to the state and territory governments, and they’ll then be able to review it. 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 have what they’re looking for, they may nominate you – which means writing to you with a letter of invitation.

There’s no guarantee they’ll do this, and the timing is uncertain too. Your EOI stays active for two years⁵.

3. While you’re waiting…

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 changes³. Of course, these changes could affect your eligibility, potentially for the better.

4. Receive your invitation and apply

If you’re chosen, you’ll receive that crucial invitation letter. After that, you’ll have 60 days to put your full visa application together⁵.

What is the process once I have my invitation letter?

OK, so you’ve received your invitation letter. This is what to do next.

1. Apply for your visa within 60 days

You’ll only be eligible to apply for 60 days – otherwise you’ll have to start the whole thing again⁴.

Rather than SkillSelect, you do this part via the online portal ImmiAccount. Your invitation letter will give you the details you need to make your application. As you’d expect, they’ll need to see plenty fo documentation, both about you andabout your business and assets⁵.

2. Wait for a reply

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, or you have a child⁵.

When you make your visa application, there will be a fee to pay. 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 cheapest way of getting your money from your home country to Australia, without facing the barrage of extra charges that banks often leave you with. Wise Business can help – not only by providing international transfers at the real mid-market rate, but also by giving you an international multi-currency account, with bank details in AUD, NZD, USD, EUR and GBP.

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 move to Australia and getting hold of that invitation letter. Australia’s a great place to do business, and fingers crossed you’ll be welcomed with open arms.

Sources used:

  1. Business innovation and investments
  2. How to get a Business invite letter
  3. Business Visitor Stream
  4. Skill Select
  5. Business Visitor Stream - How to

All sources checked 20 July 2020

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