Business Visa

Visa Subclass 188 – Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional)

This visa is for people who want to own and manage a new or existing business in Australia, or to invest in  Australia.

Subclass 188 visa is a temporary visa valid for up to 4 years and permits you to own (or part own) an Australian business. Partner and dependent children can be included on the application and are entitled to live, work and study in Australia.

This visa also establishes a pathway to permanent residence, upon satisfying certain requirements. If you have applied for the Business Innovation stream, a 2-year extension is possible once you have held the subclass 188 visa for 3 years, giving you 6 years from the date of grant of the original visa.

The visa includes three streams as below:

1. Business Innovation stream: for people with business skills who want to establish, develop and manage a new or existing business in Australia. Applicants must be nominated by a state or territory government.

  • Are less than 55 years of age
  • Nominated by an Australian state or territory government by submitting a detailed business proposal with your application
  • Lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) and wait for an invitation to apply for this visa
  • Score at least 65 points on the Innovation points test
  • You (or your partner, or you and your partner combined) must:
    • Have total assets of at least AUD$800,000
    • Have a total annual turnover of at least AUD$500,000 (in one or more of your main businesses) in at least 2 of the 4 fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply
    • Own at least one of the following percentages of the main business (or two main businesses):
      • 51% of a business with a turnover of less than AUD$400,000 per annum
      • 30% of a business with a turnover of more than AUD$400,000 per annum
      • 10% of a publicly-listed company
  • Have an overall successful business career with no involvement in unacceptable business activities
  • Have managed a business, in which you spent less than half your time on professional (such as a doctor or lawyer), technical or trade services
  • Have a genuine desire to own and maintain a management role in a business in Australia.

2. Investor stream: for people who want to make a designated investment of at least AUD1.5million in an Australian state or territory and maintain business and investment activity in Australia. Applicants must be nominated by a state or territory government.

  • Are less than 55 years of age
  • Nominated by an Australian state or territory government by submitting a detailed business proposal with your application
  • Lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) and wait for an invitation to apply for this visa
  • Score at least 65 points on the Innovation points test
  • You (or your partner, or you and your partner combined) must:
    • Have a total assets of at least AUD$2.25 million for the two fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply
    • Have a high level of management skill in relation to eligible investments or qualifying business activity
    • Have an overall successful record of eligible investment or qualifying business activity with no involvement in unacceptable activities
    • Have at least 3 years’ experience of direct involvement in managing one or more qualifying businesses or eligible investments
    • For at least 1 of the 5 fiscal years before you are invited to apply, you have either:
      • Directly involved in managing an eligible investments that total at least AUD$1.5 million
      • Directly involved managing a qualifying business in which you owned at least 10 per cent of the total value of the business.
    • Have a genuine and realistic commitment to continuing your business and investment activity in Australia after the original investment has matured
    • Must be prepared to make an investment of AUD$1.5 million in Australian State or Territory bonds prior to grant of the visa

3. Significant Investor stream: for people who are willing to invest at least AUD5million into complying significant investments in Australia and want to maintain business and investment activity in Australia. Applicants can be nominated by a state or territory government or Austrade on behalf of the Australian government.

  • No age restriction
  • No English requirement
  • Reduced residency requirement of 160 days over 4 years
  • No requirement to meet the Business Innovation and Investment points test
  • Processing time is approximately 6 months.

Visa Subclass 888 – Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent)

This visa allows you to:

  • continue to own and manage a business in Australia (the Business Innovation stream)
  • continue business and investment activity in Australia (the Investor stream, the Significant Investor stream and the Premium Investor stream).

You can apply for this 888 permanent visa after holding the 188 provisional visa either for 2 years in the Business Innovation Stream or 4 years in the Investor Stream and you have met all prescribed criteria.

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