This article analyses the impact of a change in Australia's immigration policy, introduced in the mid‐1990s, on migrants' probability of becoming entrepreneurs. The policy change consists of stricter entry requirements and restrictions to welfare entitlements. The results indicate that those who entered under more stringent conditions – the second cohort – have a higher probability of becoming self‐employed, than those in the first cohort. We also find significant time and region effects. Contrary to some existing evidence, time spent in Australia positively affects the probability to become self‐employed. We discuss the intuitions for the results and their policy implications.