Entrepreneur visa


Australia will introduce an entrepreneur visa and offer tax breaks for start-ups as it tries to unleash an "ideas boom" to move the economy away from the dependence on the mining investment boom which, after 20 years of economic growth is now fading.

Launching a signature AUD1.1 billion four-year innovation agenda, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Australia needed a "dynamic, 21st century economy" underpinned by creativity and innovation as being crucial to the next wave of prosperity.

Australia lagged in terms of commercialising ideas, consistently ranking last or second last among OECD countries for business-research collaboration and a big cultural change was needed to turn things around. "The more high-quality, effective, productive enterprising entrepreneurs we can attract, the better, because they drive jobs," he said.

To help fix this, new tax breaks for early-stage investors in start-ups will be offered, giving them a 20 percent non-refundable tax offset based on the size of their investment, as well as a capital gains tax exemption.

Turnbull said there would be no cap placed on the number of new entrepreneur visas designed to attract innovative talent, while changes would also be made to retain high-achieving and talented foreign students who have gained their knowledge base in Australia. Graduates with qualifications in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and in specific IT fields such as coding will benefit from the new visa which will offer a pathway to permanent residence.




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