The government’s long-awaited ‘entrepreneur’ visa has arrived in a bid to bolster the South Australian start-up scene.
The scheme, which commenced on 21 November, is exclusive to South Australia.
It was a key election promise of Premier Steven Marshall’s campaign earlier this year.
Officially named the ‘Supporting Innovation in South Australia’ (SISA) visa, the pilot will run for three years and will offer 30 spots in 2019 and another 100 in 2020.
Federal Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman said that the visa will help the South Australian start-up sector continue to grow.
“Start-ups generate new jobs, drive innovation and bring opportunities to diversify our economy,” Minister Coleman said.
“The pilot is just one of the ways the Government is increasing job opportunities and providing incentives for growing businesses of the future.”
Unlike other visa schemes, businesses putting forward candidates do not require capital backing.
Rather, they must be endorsed by the South Australian Government through either a “South Australian ecosystem provider” or the Office of the Chief Entrepreneur.
South Australian Minister for Industry and Skills David Pisoni said the success of an application “will ultimately rest upon the quality of their start-up and idea and the soundness of their business plan”.
Applicants must also be under 45 years old at the time of application, demonstrate a minimum of vocational level English, meet health and financial requirements and have sufficient funds to support themselves and any eligible dependent family members.
Premier Steven Marshall said the scheme will support the State’s emerging industries.
“This is a refreshing, innovative and bold drive to attract the world’s best and brightest minds to South Australia to help create new business, industry and jobs,” Marshall said.
“The entrepreneurs can be focussed on a variety of industries, however, we’ll be looking favourably at applications that relate to the state’s emerging industries such as defence and space; cyber security and big data; agribusiness; health and medical technology; robotics; and media and film.”
“The new visa arrangement builds on our plan for an 'Innovation, Incubator, Startup and Growth Hub' at Lot Fourteen on the site of the former Royal Adelaide Hospital.”
The Marshall government has pledged $400,000 over the next four years to support the visa program.