May 18 2011

163 Visa – Sponsored Business Owner

Subclass 163 Visa
State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner (Provisional)

This visa is for people who have a successful business career overseas, and

  • intend to own a business in Australia
  • are less than 55 years old.

With this visa you can:

  • establish a new or existing business in Australia
  • travel in and out of Australia any number of times as long as the visa is valid
  • have your family accompany you to Australia. They will have access to work and study rights
  • establish a pathway to permanent residence.

This visa is a temporary visa, and the first step towards being granted a permanent Business Skills visa.

After two (2) years you may be eligible to apply for one of the following visas:

  • Business Owner (residence)
  • State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner (residence)
School Fees for 163 Visa Holder

Although the 163 visa is classed as a temporary visa, it must be noted that it is a Temporary “Resident” Visa, and not a Temporary “Visitor” Visa.

Most States allow the children of Temporary “Resident” Visa holders to access Government School facilities under the same conditions as Citizens and Residents.

I have not confirmed every State yet, but I feel that the ACT and New South Wales may treat the 163 the same as a 457, and charge Full Education fees to children under this Visa.

Australian Capital Territory – Word Doc Source

The ACT Department of Education requires all students, who are not Australian citizens or permanent residents, to pay international student tuition fees for their education, unless a fee exemption is granted.
Subclass 163 visa holders seeking the fee exemption must first apply, in writing, to the ACT Business Migration Program.
You must demonstrate that you have been actively conducting business in the ACT for at least six months, that your business activity is of economic benefit to Canberra and that you have a genuine commitment to living in Canberra.

Queensland –

Visa Sub Class 163 State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner
It can be confirmed by a phone call to the Queensland Education Department, that Queensland treats the 163 Visa holders in the same way as permanent residents.

Western Australia – PDF Source

Visa Sub Class : 163
Visa Sub Class Title : State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner
Entitlement to enrolment at local public school : YES
Access to Intensive English Centre : YES
Access to ESL Support in mainstream : YES
Contributions, Charges or Fees Payable : Local Fees Only


If you are from a country with reciprocal health care arrangements with Australia, (United Kingdom, Sweden, Finland, Norway or the Netherlands) Medicare assistance is available for immediately necessary treatment.

Nationals from reciprocal countries must therefore also pay the Medicare Levy on wages earned.

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  1. Rasheed

    Hi there,

    I am currently on 163 visa and want to know what kind of work rights do I have. Can I work full time or part time while on 163 visa? I would appreciate if you could respond quickly.


    1. ABCDiamond

      A 163 visa is the State/Territory Sponsored Business Owner (Provisional) (Subclass 163) class of Visa.

      You are required to obtain a substantial ownership interest in a business in Australia or maintain your investment in Australia for four years.

      This is not a normal working Visa.

      You must actively participate at a senior level in the day-to-day management of that business and continue to make such genuine efforts to hold a substantial ownership interest.

      If your situation has changed, you MUST advise immigration immediately to avoid problems. There may be circumstances that allow a change of visa to allow normal working options.

      Form 1022 Notification of Changes in Circumstances (88KB PDF file)

  2. Michiko

    Hello, my parents have subclass163 and so do I. I’m working with them as part time and not studying at tafe/uni. I’m 21yrs old.
    As I’m their only one child, when my parents apply for the subclass892, am I allowed to be included?
    Or because of I’m 21yrs and not studying currently(working now), am I not include the transition of the subclass892?

    1. ABCDiamond

      The 892 applicant can include ” dependent children AND other dependent relatives living with you.”
      Definition of Dependent child:
      The child or stepchild, of a person (other than a child who has a partner or is engaged to be married), being a child who is one of the following:
      has not turned 18
      has turned 18 and is dependent on that person.

      You, being over 18, if dependent on your parents, should still be able to be included in the application (If you are not married or engaged).

  3. Alice

    I have a 163 visa and has established business for 1 year, i am going to apply 892 visa. However, 892 is going to be abolished on 1-7-2012, do you know whether there is any transitional period or policy of 892 visa, or I have to apply for 188 and then 888 after 1-7-2012

    1. ABCDiamond

      I cant see anything on this subclass 892 being stopped on the immigration webpage for that visa.

      However, on the Queensland page I did see this: (note the last line mention of the 892 subclass)

      The Australian Government’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) will introduce SkillSelect on 1 July 2012.
      SkillSelect is an initiative of the Australian Government that requires individuals intending to migrate to Australia, to submit their details through an expression of interest to be considered for a skilled visa.

      Please visit the SkillSelect website at for further information.

      In order to prepare for the introduction of SkillSelect, the Queensland Government will stop accepting and processing applications received after close of business (5:00 pm Australian Eastern Standard Time) on Friday 25 May 2012, with the exception of applications for subclasses 892, 893 and 405.

      Also, from Western Australia government webpage

      DIAC will close the current business migration program for any new 163, 164, 165 and 132 applications on 30 June 2012. To ensure all applications on hand will be processed prior to this deadline the Business Migration Centre has closed its State sponsorship program as at 5pm (WST) Thursday 31 May 2012. No applications will be accepted after this time.

      Applications for State sponsorship under the 892, 893, 405 and 405 Further Application Onshore visa categories will continue to be accepted beyond the deadline under the current DIAC Business Migration program.

      DIAC will introduce its new Business Migration program on 1 July 2012.

  4. ABCDiamond

    My feeling is that you will be OK to work. I have looked at one of the government websites for a bit more clarification on this Visa, and the site: http://www.apprenticeshipsinfo.qld.gov.au/information-resources/info-sheets/is8.html does indicate that “persons (and/or their spouse/dependants) who are holders of Provisional visa subclass 163” are eligible to participate in Australian apprenticeships or traineeships.

    The reason that I mention this is that this is an area where many visa holders are restricted, but with the 163 Visa holders being grouped together with:
    * Australian citizens
    * New Zealand citizens
    * persons with permanent residency visas
    It does go a long way to indicate that you should have no problems with any form of work.

  5. Nur Hani

    Hi, my father currently holding a Temporary Visa (subclass 163) and as his child, I’m also holding the same type of visa. I just finished Year 12 last year and I’m currently studying in a University..

    I was just wondering what my work rights are, as I am thinking of quitting University and working instead.

    It was mentioned in the post that the Business Owner can “have your family accompany you to Australia. They will have access to work and study rights.”

    My question is, since I’m an immediate family member of a person who is on a Temporary Visa of subclass 163, am I allowed to work full-time and not study in a University?

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