Business migrants invest $306m in Queensland

Eighty-six business migrants have invested $306 million and created 306 jobs in Queensland in the past 4 years, according to data gathered by TIQ’s Business and Skilled Migration Queensland (BSMQ) team.

BSMQ’s survey of business migrants nominated for permanent residency in 2019–20 shows that each has transferred an average of $3.5 million since arriving in Queensland on a provisional visa.

Business migrant Jerry Bezuidenhout emigrated from South Africa to Queensland in 2016 with his wife Karin, purchasing Kelwin Coastal Carpets at Buderim on the Sunshine Coast.

At the time the business employed 3 people, but in the 4 years since then the couple have grown it to employ 6 full-time staff and around 20 local subcontractors, as well purchasing from many local suppliers.

Mr Bezuidenhout, who ran a small construction business in South Africa, said the area’s natural beauty initially drew them to Queensland and the government support had been a bonus.

‘The Sunshine Coast is an incredibly beautiful area with a laidback lifestyle but still a lot happening.

‘And the government support has been absolutely fantastic. If we want information, it’s available, if we want assistance, it’s available – we really feel that the government is working with us to achieve something.’

TIQ Acting CEO Richard Watson said business migrants were a welcome part of Queensland’s economic success story and another asset in the state’s recovery from COVID-19.

‘Last financial year we nominated 86 business migrants for the permanent residency stage of their business visas, including 34 who’ve settled in areas outside of Brisbane,’ he said.

‘Between them they’ve invested $306 million in their businesses, homes and other investments, and directly created 120 full-time and 186 part-time jobs.

‘They’ve also established enterprises in a wide range of sectors, including retail, construction, and accommodation and food services.

‘To be nominated for their original provisional (innovation) visa, they committed to transferring at least $800,000, but we can see from these figures that they’ve actually brought far greater sums, along with their entrepreneurial and community spirit.’

Mr Bezuidenhout said he and his wife were happy they could contribute to Queensland after being nominated as business migrants.

‘The Queensland Government is placing trust in us – to support us and, in return, we will grow the business and contribute here,’ he said.

‘It’s nice to be able to give back out of what you do.

‘It’s benefiting the business and the community and the people around us, so it’s a win-win. We’re very grateful for that.’

The business migrants surveyed were assessed and initially nominated for migration to Queensland by BSMQ under the Subclass 188 Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa 2 or more years ago.

In 2019–20, they were nominated by BSMQ to transition to the Subclass 888 Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa and will be permanent Queensland residents once this visa is granted.

Article published – 16 September 2020 on the Trade and Investment Queensland website tiq.qld.gov.au