Business Innovation and Investment (provisional) Visa (Subclass 188)
The Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa SC188 is for overseas business owners and investors. It allows successful applicants to own and manage a new or existing business in Australia, or to simply “invest” in Australia. You must be nominated by a state or territory government or Australian agency to be eligible to apply. There are specific requirements regarding personal assets, business assets, annual turnover, minimum investment amounts in Australia, stay periods in Australia, etc.
This Visa involves a two-stage application process.
- Applying for a provisional visa (subclass 188)
- When applicants meet certain criteria, they then apply for a permanent visa (subclass 888)
- Applicants must be less than 55 years of age (unless state and territory government waive this requirement if the proposed business is of exceptional economic benefit to the relevant region)
- Applicants must also be nominated by an Australian state or territory government by submitting a detailed business proposal with their application
- Applicants must lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) and receive an invitation from Department of Immigration to apply for this visa
- Applicants must score at least 65 points on the Innovation points test. Points are awarded the following factors:
- English language ability
- Experience in business or investment
- Net personal and business assets
- Business turnover
- State or territory nomination – special endorsement
There are two streams to The Business Innovation Visa, they are;
- Business Innovation stream (Subclass 188A) which is for people who own and manage a new / existing business within (Australia or Overseas)
To be eligible for Business Innovation stream, an applicant (or the applicant and their spouse combined) must:
- have total assets of at least AUD1,250 000
- have a total annual turnover of at least AUD750 000 (in one or more of their main businesses) in at least 2 of the four fiscal years immediately before they are invited to apply
- own at least one of the following percentages of that main business (or two main businesses):
- 51 percent of a business with a turnover of less than AUD750 000 per annum
- 30 percent of a business with a turnover of more than AUD800 000 or more per annum
- 10 percent of a publicly-listed company
- Have an overall successful business career with no involvement in unacceptable business activities.
- have managed a business, in which they have spent less than half of their time on professional (e.g. doctor or lawyer), technical or trade services
- have a genuine desire to own and maintain a management role in a business in Australia.
- Investor stream (Subclass 188B) is for people who want to make a substantial investment in an Australian state or territory and want to maintain business and investment activity in Australia.
To be eligible to apply for the Investor stream, an applicant (or the applicant and their spouse combined) must:
- have a total asset of at least AUD2.5 million for the two fiscal years immediately before they are invited to apply
- have a high level of management skill about eligible investments or qualifying business activity
- have an overall successful record of eligible investment or qualifying business activity with no involvement in unacceptable activities
- have at least three years' experience of direct involvement in managing one or more qualifying businesses or eligible investments
- for at least 1 of the five fiscal years before they are invited to apply, they have either:
- directly involved in managing an eligible investment that totalled at least AUD1.5 million
- Directly involved managing a qualifying business in which they owned at least 10 percent of the total value of the business.
- Have a genuine and realistic commitment to continuing their business and investment activity in Australia after the original investment has matured.
- must be prepared to make an investment of AUD2.5 million in a prescribed Australian State or Territory bonds before the grant of the visa
Why apply for The Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa
Subclass 188 visa is a temporary visa valid for up to 4 years and permits the applicant to own (or part own) an Australian business. Immediate family members (such as a spouse and dependent children) included on the application are also entitled to live, work and study in Australia. This visa also establishes a pathway to permanent residence, upon satisfying certain requirements.
When an applicant has applied for the Business Innovation stream, a 2-year extension is possible in certain circumstances.