Business Innovation and Investment Visa (Subclass 188/888) Guide
What does the Business Innovation and Investment Visa (Subclass 188) let me do?
Individuals that have a successful business or investing career have a range of options to secure permanent residency in Australia through the Business Innovation and Investment Visa (Subclass 188).
Applicants are able to include their family members in their application, who will be given full work and study rights in Australia.
The Business Innovation and Investment (subclass 188) visa, is the first step towards permanent residency for applicants. Applicants that have continued to own and manage their business, or investment activities after holding their business innovation and investment (subclass 188) visa may be eligible to apply for this. The amount of time that the Business Innovation and Investment (subclass 188) visa must be held is dependant on the stream the applicant has applied for and has been detailed in the information below.
The visa is made up of five streams:
- Business Innovation Stream – for people with proven experience and skills in business who are seeking to establish, develop and manage a new or existing business in Australia. These applicants must be nominated by a state or territory government and have a range of requirements such as scoring at least 65 on the points test, have had an ownership or interest in an established business that has had a turnover of at least A$500,000 in two of the four fiscal years before being invited to apply for the visa, own at least 5 per cent of the business if the business has a turnover of less than A$400,000 per year, or 30 percent, if the business has a turnover of A$400,000 or more per year, or at least 10 percent if the business is a publicly listed company. Applicants must also have total net business and personal assets of at least A$800,000 that have been legally acquired and are available for transfer to Australia within two years of the visa being granted. You must own and operate the business in Australia for at least 2 years to be eligible for the Subclass 888 visa.
- Investor Stream – this is for people who make a designated investment of at least A$1.5million in an Australian state or territory and must maintain their business and investment activity in Australia. The requirements include scoring at least 65 on the points test, have a high level of management skill in relation to the eligible investment or business activity, have at least three years experience in the direct management of one or more qualifying businesses or investments, have an overall successful business or investment career, and show a genuine and realistic commitment to continuing your business and investment activity in Australia after the original investment has matured. Applicants must also provide evidence that for at least one of the five fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply, have directly managed one of the following: (a) a qualifying business in which you, your partner or you and your partner combined had at least 10% ownership interest, or (b) eligible investments owned by you, your partner or you and your partner combined of at least AUD$1.5million, during the two fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply, have legally acquired net business, investment and personal assets of at least AUD$2.25 million that are available for legal transfer to Australia within two years of the visa being granted, make a designated investment of at least AUD$1.5 million in a state or territory government security using unencumbered funds accumulated from qualifying businesses or eligible investments and be prepared to hold that investment for at least four years from date of issue in your nominating state or territory and have had no involvement in unacceptable activities. You must have held the designated investment of A$1.5million for at least 4 years to be eligible for the Subclass 888 visa.
- Significant Investor Stream – this is for people that are willing and able to invest at least A$5million into complying significant investments in Australia and want to maintain business and investment activities in Australia. Applicants are able to be nominated by a state or territory government or by Austrade on behalf of the Australian government. Applicants must have at least A$5million of net assets that have been legally acquired, unencumbered and are available for transfer to Australia. Applicants must reside in the state or territory who nominated them, continue the business and investment activity in Australia after the conclusion of the provisional visa, and live in Australia for at least 40 days per year for the duration of the provision visa, or for your spouse to live for at least 180 days per year for the duration of your provisional visa. You must have held the complying investment of A$5million for at least four years to be eligible to apply for the Subclass 888 visa.
- Premium Investor Stream – this is for people that are willing and able to make an investment of at least A$15million into complying premium investments in Australia and wish to maintain their business and investment activity in Australia. Applicants are required to be nominated by Austrade. Applicants via the Premium Investor Stream must make a complying investment of A$15million in; 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 investment grade rated Australian corporate bonds or notes rated by an AFS licensed debt rating agency, Australian propriety limited companies, Real properly in Australia excluding residential property, deferred annuities issued by Australian registered life companies, state or territory government approved philanthropic contributions. You must have held the complying premium investment of A$15million for at least one year to be eligible to apply for the Subclass 188 visa.
- Entrepreneur Stream – this is for people who have received funding from a third party for at least A$200,000 to undertake a complying entrepreneur activity that is anticipated to lead to either the commercialisation of a product or service in Australia or the development of a business in Australia. Applicants must be under 55 years of age (however in some circumstances a state or territory can waive this requirement if they believe your proposed entrepreneur activity will be of exceptional economic benefit to the nominating state or territory), have competent English, and be undertaking or proposing to undertake a complying entrepreneur activity in Australia and have a genuine intention to continue this activity. Funding must be from a Commonwealth Government agency, a State or Territory Government, a Publicly Funded Research Organisation, a Investor registered as an Australian Venture Capital Limited Partnership or Early State Venture Capital Limited Partnership, or by a Specified Higher Education Provider.
What are the benefits of the visa?
The Business Innovation and Investment Visa (Subclass 188) has a range of benefits for people considering establishing a business or investing in Australia. The Subclass 188 visa allows holders of the visa to travel in and out of Australia as much as they wish while the visa is valid, include your family members in your application to come to Australia with you whom will receive full work and study rights, and establish a clear pathway to permanent residency in Australia.
It is also possible to extend your visa for a further two years if you have applied and been granted the Subclass 188 visa under the Business Innovation stream. The renewal application allows you to continue running and managing your business in Australia until you are ready and eligible to apply for Permanent Residency in Australia.
Our team of expert Registered Migration Agents have assisted many clients secure the Business Innovation and Investment visa from all over the world. Having vast experience on the complying investments, state or territory nomination and visa requirements is a vital key when making the decision to invest in Australia.
We work with a range of business affiliates who can assist you and your family with your relocation requirements such as school and college enrolments and admissions, financial services advice, and other related services.