The entrepreneur visa was introduced in September 2016 in order to “attract the best and the brightest” entrepreneurial talent hasn’t proved as popular as some other business and innovation visas.
This visa class could attract only one applicant in over a year since it was unveiled.
The Entrepreneur Visa was introduced in September 2016, along with other visas, with the aim of "driving ideas from research to commercial reality," under Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s much-touted push to the National Innovation and Science Agenda.
While other visas investor and business visas have proven more popular-attracting many more applicants, there’s only one application made for the Investor visa, a Freedom of Information document from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection revealed.
Whether the application made in August this year has been successful is not known.
The reason for this visa not gaining any traction with startups is thought to be the tough restrictions imposed on it.
Applicants for this visa are required to have a funding agreement for a minimum of $200,000 from a specified private or public entity, including state and territory governments.
But experts feel this is a tough requirement which not many applicants can meet.
Immigration lawyer Glenn Pereira has made some suggestions in a submission to the government to restructure the visa.
"State governments aren’t going to fund someone for an amount like $200,000 because they can’t claim equity. Queensland is currently offering $100,000 to overseas startups, but that’s the maximum. No state government is going to put forward $200,000,” he was quoted as saying.
“And the problem with VC investment is they require too many requirements for an investment of $200,000 — it’s almost like a Series A requirement rather than a seed or pre-seed. And so many startups have no idea where to start when looking for Australian venture capital,” he told StartupSmart.
The other visas business innovation and investment visas are Significant Business History, Venture Capital Entrepreneur, Business Innovation, Investor and Significant Investor visas.
Out of all these, Business Innovation visa is the most popular one with over 200 applications, most of which were made during the last two years.
There have been just seven applications for the Venture Capital Entrepreneur Visa between July 2016 and August 2017.