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Business Immigration to Australia

Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) (Subclass 188) Visa

The provisional Business Innovation and Investment visa is part of the Australian Business Innovation and Investment Program, which seeks to expand the country's economy.

This visa is available by invitation only. Before being invited to apply, you must first lodge an Expression of Interest.

The visa has two streams.

  • The Business Innovation stream is for people who want to own and manage a new or existing business in Australia.
  • The Investor stream is for people who want to make a designated investment in an Australian state or territory and want to maintain business and investment activity in Australia after the original investment has matured.

Requirements

Applications are by invitation only. To be invited to apply, a person must:

  • lodge an Expression of Interest
  • be nominated by a state or territory government
  • be less than 55 years of age
  • have a successful business and/or investment history
  • have adequate personal and business assets
  • score at least 65 points on the innovation points test.

You must be less than 55 years of age, although a state or territory can waive this requirement if your proposed business will be of exceptional economic benefit to the relevant region.

You must score at least 65 on the Innovation Points test. Points are awarded for:

  • age
  • English language ability
  • qualifications
  • experience in business or investments
  • net personal and business assets
  • business turnover
  • innovation.

On rare occasions, the nominating state or territory government can award you 10 points towards the test because they think your proposed business is of exceptional economic benefit to them.

Other requirements depend on whether you apply for the Business Innovation stream or the Investor stream.

Business Innovation stream

If you apply for the Business Innovation stream, you (or your partner, or you and your partner combined) must have:

  • total assets of at least AUD 800 000 that have been legally acquired and can be legally transferred to Australia within two years of the visa being granted
  • a total annual turnover of at least AUD 500 000 (in one of more of your businesses) in at least two of the four fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply
  • owned at least:
    • 51 per cent of a business with turnover of less than AUD 400 000 per annum, or
    • 30 per cent of a business with turnover of more than AUD 400 000 per annum, or
    • 10 per cent of a publicly-listed company
  • an overall successful business career with no involvement in unacceptable business activities
  • managed a business, in which you spent less than half your time on professional, technical or trade services
  • a strong desire to own and maintain a management role in a business in Australia.

Investor stream

If you apply for the Investor stream, you (or your partner, or you and your partner combined) must:

  • have a net value of at least AUD 2.25 million for the two fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply
  • have an overall successful record of eligible investment or qualifying business activity with no involvement in unacceptable activities
  • have a high level of management skill in relation to eligible investments and/or qualifying business activity
  • have at least three years' experience of direct involvement in managing one or more qualifying businesses or eligible investments
  • make your government-approved designated investment before a visa can be granted
  • have a genuine and realistic commitment to continuing your business and investment activity in Australia after the original investment has matured.

You (or your partner, or you and your partner combined) must also have had one of the following:

  • direct involvement, for at least one of the five fiscal years you are invited to apply, in managing your eligible investments that total at least AUD1.5 million, or
  • direct involvement, for at least one of the five fiscal years before you are invited to apply, in managing a qualifying business in which you owned at least 10 per cent of the total value of the business.

Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) (Subclass 888) Visa

The visa has two streams:

  • the Business Innovation stream is for people who own and manage a business in Australia
  • the Investor stream is for people who have a designated investment in an Australian state or territory and want to maintain business and/or investment activity in Australia after the original investment has matured.

Requirements

People can apply if they:

  • hold a provisional Business Innovation and Investment visa
  • have met the requirements of that visa (including the specific requirements for the stream in which they first applied)
  • are nominated by a state or territory.

This visa is the second stage of the Business Innovation and Investment visa. You can apply for it after you have fulfilled the requirements of your provisional visa.

You do not need to lodge a new Expression of Interest, but you do need to:

  • be the primary holder of a provisional Business Innovation and Investment visa (subclass 188)
  • have met all the requirements of your visa, in the stream in which you first applied
  • not have been involved in any unacceptable business or investment activities
  • be nominated by an Australian state or territory.

Other requirements are based on whether you originally applied through the Business Innovation stream or the Investor stream.

Business Innovation stream

If you are in the Business Innovation stream, you must have been in Australia and held your provisional visa for at least two of the four years immediately before you apply.

In addition, you (or your partner, or you and your partner combined) must:

  • have had and continue to have a direct and continuous management role in a main business (or two main businesses) in Australia for at least two years immediately before you apply
  • have had a turnover, in that main business (or two main businesses), of at least AUD300 000 in the year immediately before you apply
  • own at least one of the following percentages of that main business (or two main businesses):
    • 51 per cent of a business with a turnover of less than AUD400 000 per annum, or
    • 30 per cent of a business with a turnover of more than AUD400 000 per annum, or
    • 10 per cent of a publicly-listed company
  • have obtained Australian Business Numbers for each of the relevant businesses
  • have submitted all relevant Business Activity Statements to the Australian Taxation Office
  • not have acquired the ownership in your main business (or two main businesses) from a person who was an applicant for, or a holder of, a permanent Business Innovation and Investment visa (subclass 888), unless you and that person had a joint interest in the main business for at least one year before you lodge your application for this visa.

You (or your partner, or you and your partner combined) must also meet two of the following criteria:

  • the net value of your assets in the main business (or two main businesses) in Australia is at least AUD200 000 throughout the year immediately before you apply
  • the net value of your personal and business assets in Australia has been at least AUD600 000 throughout the year immediately before you apply
  • you employed, in your main business (or two main businesses), throughout the year immediately before you apply, at least the equivalent of two full-time employees who are:
    • Australian citizens, or
    • Australian permanent residents, or
    • New Zealand passport holders, and
    • not your family members.

Investor stream

If you are in the Investor stream, you (or your partner, or you and your partner combined) must have:

  • held a designated investment with an Australian state or territory for at least four years
  • a satisfactory record of complying with Australian laws, including those relating to taxation, superannuation, workplace relations and other laws relevant to your business
  • not been involved in unacceptable business or investment activities
  • a strong desire to continue your business and investment activity in Australia. 

Business Talent subclass 132

This visa has two streams.

  • The Significant Business History stream is for affluent owners or part owners of a business who want to have a major management role in a new or existing business in Australia.
  • The Venture Capital Entrepreneur stream is for people who have obtained at least AUD1 million in funding from an Australian venture capital firm.

Requirements

Applications are by invitation only. To be invited to apply, a person must lodge an Expression of Interest, be nominated by a state or territory government, be less than 55 years of age, and

  • have personal and business assets of AUD1.5 million (AUD400 000 must be net assets in the business), and have a business turnover of AUD3 million, or
  • have obtained at least AUD1 million in funding from an Australian venture capital firm for a promising high value business idea.

Go to Self Assessment - Skilled Migration
Go to Self Assessment - Business Migration

Disclaimer

Australian Immigration Law and Policy is subject to constant change. While every effort is made to ensure information on this site is current and accurate, this cannot be guaranteed. The information is provided as general guidance only and no responsibility will be accepted for any adverse consequence which may arise from any action taken on the basis of material provided in this site, regardless as to any possible error or omission. It is recommended that any and all information be verified by a registered migration agent at INBIB or The Australian Department of Immigration and Multicultural Affairs.