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 fou