It seems most of Australia has greeted the South Australian media release regarding their new exclusive visa for new bright sparks with a loud applause. It seems like a nice idea doesn’t it? Lets give bright hopefuls a visa to come to SA and help them develop their business ideas into a reality and at the same time generate jobs in the state

However it’s time to expose the Porkies the SA Government has been spinning.

Porky Number 1

The governments publication  headline says “A new visa for seed-stage entrepreneurs.” It’s not a new visa, it is the old 408 Visa subclass which has a number of temporary events applicants can apply to take part in. Nothing new in that except that this particular event stream is not used much.

Porky Number 2

Same publication states “Exclusive to South Australia”.  Sorry guys but this 408 visa stream is open to any state or government territory to utilise at their will.

Porky Number 3

Same publication states, “The Supporting Innovation in South Australia (SISA) Visa.”  Had to laugh at this one, for really there is definitely no such visa in the Migration Regulations that I have ever seen. Again SA hopefuls will be applying for the 408 Temporary Activity visa which will expire in November 2021.

Porky Number 4

Same publication boasts “Fast Application Process”. Fell off my chair at this one. To get this visa you have to apply and be processed by two government departments and one quasi department. The four quasi departments are listed but if none of those suit then you have to use another one. After this you then go to the South Australian government for their stamp and then after this you have to apply for the actual 408 visa. I don’t think any reasonable person would think this is going to be a fast process. And don’t forget, your visa has to expire in November 2021 because this is the end of the state sponsored event so its not a 3 year visa from the time it is granted.

Porky Number 5

Immigration South Australia, (part of the South Australian Government) released on their web site “The world’s ‘best and brightest’ start-up entrepreneurs will be encouraged to move to South Australia to develop their business under a bold new Federal Government visa arrangement launched today.” Sorry folks, the 408 visa was introduced on the 19th November 2016. Nice try to make out it is a new visa made just for you. This goes hand in hand with the SISA Visa spin (Porky Number 3).

Porky Number 6

Immigration South Australia web site in March last year came out with this heading New Entrepreneur Visa being trialled in South Australia”. Again this visa is not new and it is not new and it is also not called an “Entrepreneur visa”.

Porky Number 7

Same web page paragraph 6, “Entrepreneurs who are successful in establishing their business venture in Australia will become eligible to apply for permanent residence.” Perhaps of all the Porkies, this is the most disturbing for it is terribly misleading for potential applicants that all of their hard work and endevours will make them eligible for PR. It is simply not true.

So what do we actually have here in this visa?

It is simply a Subclass Temporary Activity 408 visa which has a variety of activities inbuilt to the legislation. There is no linked pathway to any PR avenue from this visa!

In fact we spoke to Immigration South Australia today through the number they provide on all of these media spins and incredibly they are still trying to push that this visa maybe a link to the General Skilled Migration Program. The person we spoke to toady (we will keep the name suppressed so as not to cause direct embarrassment) claimed there is still an idea being developed by Immigration South Australia that a direct pathway will become available to these 408 visa holders. However they stressed this is still in the “idea” stage of development. Is it Porky Number 8? Well they did say a hope, so does not quite classify as one.

Let me get this straight then, perhaps some of the readers can assist later. This is a visa that by the time it is granted will be about two years duration. During this time young hopefuls will move to South Australia with their great innovative ideas, share it with the friendly helping natured people of these SA think tanks, perhaps start their own budding business. When it comes to the time their visa will run out they will discover there is no actual visa they can apply for to stay here that is associated with their business and are forced to leave Australia.

There are 10 Activity types used for this visa subclass and number 10 is the Australia Government Endorsed Event (AGEE). The guidelines state the following;

“Australian Government Endorsed Event

Eligibility for the Australian Government Endorsed Events (AGEEs) activity type is established where the Minister lists a major Australian event in the relevant legislative instrument. The listing of the major event will also include the classes of persons eligible to apply under this activity type by invitation of the event organiser.

This will allow the Department to manage most, if not all, visa applications associated with an AGEE through a single visa pathway. The visa criteria are streamlined to take into account that the event and the activities associated with the event have already been assessed and approved by the Department.  Visa applicants continue to be subject to genuine temporary entry requirements and other standard GG-​408 criteria.”

Did you notice the last part, “subject to genuine temporary entry requirements”? Every student visa will have heard of these, the GTE test. Of course part of the GTE test is that the visa applicants do not have the desire to remain in Australia permanently, that their visit is only temporary in nature. Sorry Immigration South Australia, that means all your visa hopefuls coming to start a business in Australia will fail this test.

That about sums it up then, Immigration South Australia is guilty of a multitude of Big Fat Porkies

Karl Konrad