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How can I demonstrate significant ties to Australia to avoid the two-years-in-five residency requirement?

I run a China trade consulting business in Shanghai and have worked with companies in Australia for nearly two decades. I wish to move there permanently in the next five years with my family so that my son can complete his education there. How can I know if my business connections demonstrate significant ties?

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    Adrian Felton

    Australia Registered Migration Agent
    Answered on

    A resident return visa can only be granted for 5 years if the applicant meets two years out of five-year residency requirement. Personal, business or employment ties are required for a one-year resident return visa.

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    Quentin Kuo

    Australia Registered Migration Agent
    Answered on

    The law and policies are not strictly defined. The Department of Immigration will assess on a case-by-case basis. The significant ties condition requires you to demonstrate a factual matrix based on evidence of your current connection to Australia. For example: (1) significant trade activity between Shanghai and Australia based on your consulting business or other personal or company matters that leave you no choice but to stay overseas, (2) your constant financial support to Australian assets and family members funded by your work overseas, among other factors that require detailed analysis of your circumstances. Clients often have to consult their legal counsel in detail to gain advice on documentation and actions that can help them build their cases on significant ties to Australia.

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    Lisa De Leon

    Australia Registered Migration Agent
    Answered on

    I think the residency requirement you refer to is for a Resident Return 155 visa. You need to first have been granted a permanent visa. All permanent visas allow an indefinite stay in Australia but a travel facility of 5 years only. After this time, if you have not become an Australian citizen, you will need to apply for a Resident Return visa in order to leave Australia and be able to return. The residency requirements for permanent Business visas are as follows: (1) the 888 Innovation Stream requires 1 year in the 2 years immediately before applying (not continuous), (2) 888 Investor Stream requires 2 years in the 4 years immediately before applying, (3) 888 Entrepreneur Stream requires 2 years in the 4 years immediately before applying (4) 888 Significant Investor Stream requires 40 days per year for each year holding a 188 visa (or for spouse 180 days per year), (5) 888 Premium Investor Stream has no residency requirement; you just need to hold a 188 for 12 months before applying and, finally, (6) 132 Business Talent visa also has no residency requirement.

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    Mark Welch

    Australia Registered Migration Agent
    Answered on

    If an individual holds a permanent residency (PR) visa, then really the only certain way of maintaining PR is through a Residents Return Visa (RRV) is to have resided in Australia for 2 of the 5 years. If you do not meet the 2-year requirement and you want to be granted an RRV on the basis of business ties with Australia, you will need to provide proof of the ties and how they are a benefit to Australia. This usually includes evidencing substantial ownership in the business, that you are involved in day-to-day operations of the business and that you manage the business for commercial purposes. I would suggest you contact an immigration specialist to discuss your circumstances in detail. If you do not currently hold a PR visa for Australia and you are intending to apply for one in the future, again, talk to an immigration specialist who can help you to plan your pathway to PR.

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