Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Subclass 188 Visa

This is a 4-year provisional visa available to business owners and investors. There are 5 different streams which include Business innovation, Investor, Significant Investor, Premium Investor and Entrepreneur.

Business Innovation

This stream is 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.

Under this stream, you will receive a 4-year temporary visa. After you have maintained an ownership interest in an Australian business for at least 12 months and meet the certain criteria, you can then apply for permanent residency through the Business Innovation & Investment (Residence) Subclass 888 visa (Please check the subclass 888 page for more information relating to the transition process).

To meet the visa criteria for this stream, you have to have owned a business and have an intention to establish a business in Australia. You must meet the following requirements:

  • Ownership of a business with turnover of at least AUD 500,000 for at least two of the last four fiscal years; and
  • Net personal and business assets of at least AUD 800,000; and
  • Under 55 years of age, unless the nominating state or territory certifies that you will make an exceptional economic benefit; and
  • Meet the pass mark (65 points) in the Business Points test Receive relevant State/Territory Nomination approval

Investor

This stream is for people who want to make a designated investment of at least AUD 1.5million in an Australian state or territory and maintain business and investment activity in Australia. Applicants must be nominated by a state or territory government.

Under this stream, you will receive a 4-year temporary visa. Once you’ve maintained an investment in Australia for 4 years, you can then apply for permanent residency through the Business Innovation & Investment (Residence) Subclass 888 visa. (Please check the subclass 888 page for more information relating to the transition process).

For this stream, you must have managed investments or owned a business, and to be willing to invest AUD 1.5 million in Australian State or Territory government bonds. You must meet the additional following requirements.

  1. For the two years immediately before the application is made, the net value of your (or your and your spouse’s) assets was at least AUD $2.25 million
  2. Under 55 years of age, unless the nominating state or territory certifies that you will make an exceptional economic benefit; and
  3. meet the pass mark (65 points) in the Business Points Test
  4. You have at least three years’ experience either managing a qualifying business or eligible investments, and have showed a high level of management skill
  5. At the time of decision, you have made a designated investment of AUD 1.5 million in Australian State or Territory bonds
  6. For at least one of the last give fiscal years, you have either:

    • Managed a business in which you hold a 10% shareholding; or
    • Managed eligible investments of at least AUD 1.5 million
  7. Receive relevant State/Territory nomination approval

Significant Investor

This stream is 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.

Under this stream, you will hold a 4-year temporary visa. you will be able to apply for permanent residency through the Business Innovation & Investment (Residence) Subclass 888 visa, after you have maintained an investment in Australia for 4 years. (Please check the subclass 888 page for more information relating to the transition process).

Complying significant investments may include:

  • At least AUD500,000 in eligible Australian venture capital or growth private equity fund(s) investing in start-up and small private companies. Note the Government expects to increase this to $1million for new applications within two years as the market responds;
  • At least AUD1.5 million in an eligible managed fund(s) or Listed Investment Companies (LICs) that invest in emerging companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX); and,
  • A 'balancing investment' of up to AUD3 million in fund(s) or LICs that invest in a combination of eligible assets that include other ASX listed companies, eligible Australian corporate bonds or notes, annuities and real property in Australia (subject to the 10% limit on residential real estate).

Applicants can be nominated by a state or territory government or AusTrade on behalf of the Australian government.

You must be nominated by an Australian State or Territory government or by AusTrade before you can apply. You will also need to meet the following additional requirements.

  • You must demonstrate that you have at least A$5 million in assets that are unencumbered, lawfully acquired and readily available for transfer to the complying investment in Australia.
  • You must reside in the state or Territory government that nominated you,
  • You must spend at least 40 days per year in Australia on your Significant Investor visa for the last 4 years, or your spouse to live for at least 180 days per year on the said visa.

Premium Investor

This stream is for people who are willing to invest at least AUD15 million into complying premium investments in Australia and want to maintain business and investment activity in Australia.

Austrade will make the initial contact with suitable candidates for nomination on behalf of the Australian government. Note: this visa is only available to applicants who are nominated by AusTrade.

Under this stream, you will obtain a 4-year temporary visa, and once you have established an investment in Australia for a period of 1 year, you may then apply for permanent residency through the Business Innovation & Investment (Residence) Subclass 888 visa. (Please check the subclass 888 page for more information relating to the transition process).

You must demonstrate that you have at least A$15 million in assets that are unencumbered, lawfully acquired and readily available for transfer to the premium investment.

Premium investment may include:

  • Australian securities exchange listed assets
  • Australian government or semi-government bonds or notes
  • Corporate bonds or notes issued by an Australian exchange listed entity (or wholly owned subsidiary of the Australian listed entity) or investment grade rated Australian corporate bonds or notes rated by an AFS licenced debt rating agency
  • Australian proprietary limited companies
  • Real property in Australia excluding residential property
  • Deferred annuities issued by Australian registered life companies
  • State or territory government approved philanthropic contribution

Entrepreneur

This stream is for people who have a funding agreement from a third party* for at least AUD200 000 to undertake a complying entrepreneur activity that is proposed to lead to either the commercialisation of a product or service in Australia or the development of a business in Australia. Applicants must be nominated by a state or territory government.

Under this stream, you will obtain a 4-year temporary visa, and once you have spent at least 2 years in Australia on this visa, you may then apply for permanent residency through the Business Innovation & Investment (Residence) Subclass 888 visa. (Please check the subclass 888 page for more information relating to the transition process).

You will also need to meet the following additional requirements.

  • Be under 55 years of age, unless a State or Territory Government nominates you as providing an "exceptional economic benefit" to the state or territory
  • Nomination by a state or territory government
  • Have competent English and be able to provide evidence of this at the time of invitation to apply for the visa
  • Have ownership interest of at least 30% in the venture
  • Have a funding agreement from a third party of at least AUD $200,000 to undertake a complying entrepreneur activity
  • Provide a comprehensive company business plan, demonstrating an entrepreneurial activity which relates to an innovative idea that is proposed to lead to the commercialisation of a new or improved product or service or the development of a new enterprise of business

Please note: this activity must not relate to any of the following excluded categories:

  • Residential real estate
  • Labour hire
  • Purchase of an existing enterprise or a franchisee in Australia.

Please note: *Third Party definition

  • Commonwealth Government agency
  • State or Territory Government
  • Publicly Funded Research Organisation
  • Investor registered as an Australian Venture Capital Limited Partnership or Early State Venture Capital Limited Partnership
  • Specified Higher Education Provider

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