Business Innovation & Investment (188/888) Program Changes Announced

The Acting Minister for Immigration, Alan Tudge has released information regarding the proposed and upcoming changes to the Business Innovation & Investment (SC188/SC888) program that will commence as of 1 July 2021.

The updated program is designed to maintain investor trust, making minor but beneficial changes to the program to ensure Australia remains an attractive destination for those willing to migrate and invest.

The new program will be condensed into four streams instead of the current nine streams. The streams will be as follows:

  • Business Innovation Stream
  • Entrepreneur Stream
  • Investor Stream
  • Significant Investor Stream

What changes are coming into effect as of 1 July 2021?

All provisional visa holders (SC188) will have a visa validity period of five years with visa holders in all streams eligible to apply for permanent residency if they meet the requirements of the SC888 visa after three years.

Each stream will have a clear path to permanent residency and further consultation with stakeholders will be undertaken in the first half of 2021 to ensure sufficient time is provided for businesses and investors to adjust as required.

Business Innovation Stream Changes

  • Business Innovation visa holders will continue to be able to extend their provisional visas if they do not meet the business and residence thresholds in the required timeframe.
  • Business Innovation provisional visa holders can apply for a single two-year extension provided they demonstrate a realistic commitment to continuing to manage a business that has been actively operating in Australia for the previous two years.
  • Business Innovation visa holders will be required to hold increased business assets of $1.25 million (up from $800,000) and have an annual turnover of $750,000 (up from $500,000) to prove their business acumen.

Significant Investor Stream Changes

  • Significant Investor visa holders will continue to be able to extend their provisional visas if they do not meet the business and residence thresholds in the required timeframe.
  • Significant Investor provisional visa holders can apply for two x two-year extensions provided they continue to maintain their complying significant investment.

Entrepreneur Stream Changes

  • The A$200,000 funding threshold required for Entrepreneur visa applicants will be removed.
  • Entrepreneur visa applicants will need to be endorsed by an Australian State or Territory government instead of being required to secure funding of A$200,000

Streams closing 1 July 2021

As part of these changes the Premium Investor stream, Significant Business History stream and the Venture Capital Entrepreneur stream will be closed for new application from 1 July 2021. Applications that are currently being prepared will continue to be accepted by the Department until the 1 July 2021.

More information

Ethos Migration Lawyers will continue to provide updates as further information relating to the specifics of the changes are made available.

If you would like further information on the upcoming changes, what this may mean for you or your business or anything else please don’t hesitate to contact our office.

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