Permanent residence promise for successful startups

Migrants entering Australia on the new entrepreneur visa could be granted permanent residence if their ventures are commercially successful, says immigration minister, Peter Dutton.

Australian diplomatic staff in some 60 countries are on the lookout for entrepreneurial talent and encouraging them to ready themselves for the new entrepreneur visa which is expected to be introduced next year, according to a report in The Sydney Morning Herald.

Readying themselves will mean getting financial backing to kick-start their business venture in Australia. Currently, startups in Australia have great difficulty attracting funding, so the newcomers will have to find their own backers and show they can get their enterprise up and running on arriving in Australia.

“Australia has been this wonderful place to live but not a great place for startups,” said Murray Hurps, the general manager of Australia’s largest startup hub Fishburners noting that there is not enough local funding for startups particularly to get them through the early stages of business development.

Speaking to a group of young entrepreneurs in Sydney, Mr Dutton said that ideas, funding and actual success will be needed to achieve permanent residence in Australia – “the key then to becoming an Australian citizen is whether or not it goes on to success,” said Mr Dutton.

He said the government would consult with the sector as to what constituted “success”, but he intended to take “a liberal approach”. Embassy staff in many countries would likely already have identified people “in the back of their minds” who would be suitable candidates for the new visa, Mr Dutton said.

Innovation Minister Christopher Pyne has said there will be no limit on the number of people who can be accepted under the visa. “We want as many people coming to Australia who can start businesses and give jobs to other Australians as possible,” he told the National Press Club earlier this week.

The minister made no comment on what would happen to the foreign entrepreneurs if their, startups fail.