A new visa initiative pilot programme for South Australia has been announced which is aimed at attracting more foreign entrepreneurs to the state.

If it is successful the initiative, which will make it easier and cheaper to establish a new business, it will be rolled out across Australia in 2019.


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Under the pilot the South Australian State Government will be able to partner with business incubators in attracting foreign entrepreneurs.

It means that overseas entrepreneurs and investors with an innovative idea and a supporting business plan will be able to apply for a temporary visa to take forward their venture in Australia.

Applicants will not need capital backing, unlike the current entrepreneur visa which requires demonstrated funding of at least $200,000.

Instead, applicant's proposals will be vetted by State or Federal Government entities, with these entities able to partner with incubators and accelerators to identify potential applicants for nomination.

Entrepreneurs who are successful in establishing their business venture in Australia will become eligible to apply for permanent residence.

'The Government is focussed on increasing job opportunities and standards of living for Australians and we are doing this by fostering business growth and investment in Australia,' said Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.

'Encouraging seed stage entrepreneurs to take forward innovative ideas in Australia will assist in growing the jobs of the future,' he added.

Revealing further details of the proposed visa, the South Australian Liberal leader Steven Marshall said all applicants must be under 45 years of age and have vocational level English which is band 5 in each four components of the International English Language Testing Service (IELTS).

'We are confident that this arrangement can lead to participants applying for permanent residence in South Australia as they develop their business plans into successful enterprises creating new companies and jobs in our state,' Stevens explained.

'These arrangements will also encourage more investment in those sectors of our economy with the greatest capacity to grow, including advanced manufacturing and defence technology following the Federal Government's decision to centre the naval ship building programme in South Australia,' he added.