Australia is set to introduce a number of reforms to its immigration system to encourage highly skilled and educated entrepreneurs to settle in Australia. It is part of the government’s new Innovation and Science announcement. It will be aimed particularly at foreign students in Australia that have excellent results in their degrees. The changes to the immigration program are part of an overall package of reforms designed to give an innovation economy the best possible chance of success in Australia.
The Minister for Immigration, Mr Peter Dutton said the following:
“The visa system is a key enabler of Australia’s ability to attract and capitalise on the expertise and ideas of foreign innovators within a global marketplace.
It has also been announced that entrepreneur visa will require applicants to obtain financial backing for their ideas before being approved for residence in Australia. The changes are largely aimed at retaining graduates in the STEM subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The reforms are due to be introduced in the second half of 2016.
Further details of the reforms are expected to be announced in early 2016 as the planning of the reforms proceeds. The other parts of the innovation reform program were increases in funding for research in the STEM subjects, changes to bankruptcy laws making it less risky for start ups to establish a new business and tax incentives for startups innovating in particular areas.
The innovation reform package is also designed to coincide with reforms that are intended to make Australian companies more competitive on a global platform. This includes the free trade agreements that have been finalised between Australia a number of other countries like Japan, Korea, China, Singapore and the USA. Also, the expected Trans Pacific Partnership is part of the suite of treaties that is expected to the open the Australian economy to new export markets and in the process allow Australian firms to take their place on the world stage.