Business and Investment Visas

Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Subclass 188 Visas

This visa allows investors and entrepreneurs to establish business operations in Australia.

Duration and Conditions

This is a 4 year temporary visa. If you maintain an investment in Australia for 4 years or establish an ownership interest in an Australian business, you can apply for permanent residence through the Business Innovation & Investment (Residence) Subclass 888 visa. You can apply for a 2-year extension once you have held the subclass 188 visa for 3 years, giving you a total of 6 years from the date of grant of the original visa.

Common Criteria

All applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Nomination by a state or territory government
  • Invitation to apply through Skill Select
  • Under 55 years of age, unless the nominating state or territory certifies that you will make an exceptional economic benefit
  • Meet the pass mark in the Business Innovation and Investment Points test (currently 65)
  • Have an overall successful career in business or investment.

Business Innovation Stream Requirements

This option requires you to have owned a business and to be intending to establish business operations in Australia. You need to meet the following requirements:

  • Ownership of a business with turnover of at least AUD 500,000 for 2 of the last 4 fiscal years.
  • Net personal and business assets of at least AUD 800,000.

Investor Stream Requirements

This option requires you to have managed investments or owned a business, and to be willing to invest AUD 1.5 million in Australian State or Territory Government bonds. You need to meet the following requirements:

  • You have had business and personal net assets of at least AUD 2.25 million for the last 2 fiscal years
  • You must make an investment of AUD 1.5 million in Australian State or Territory bonds prior to grant of the visa
  • You have 3 years of experience either managing a qualifying business or "eligible investments", and have showed a high level of management skill

For at least 1 of the last 5 fiscal years, you have either:

  • Managed a business in which you hold a 10% shareholding; or
  • Managed "eligible investments" of at least AUD 1.5 million

"Eligible investments" for the purposes of the Investor Stream include:

  • Ownership interests in a business
  • Cash on deposit
  • Stocks or bonds
  • Real estate
  • Gold or bullion
  • Loan to a business

Significant Investor (Subclass 188) Visas (SIV)

This is a 4 year visa for people willing to make an AUD 5 million investment in Australia. It is one of the streams within the Subclass 188 Business Innovation and Investment visa.

Duration and Conditions

This is a 4 year temporary visa. Once you have maintained an investment in Australia for 4 years, you can apply for permanent residence through the Business Innovation & Investment (Residence) Subclass 888 visa. You can apply for a 2-year extension once you have held the subclass 188 visa for 3 years, giving you 6 years from the date of grant of the original visa.

Visa Criteria

All applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Nomination by a state or territory government
  • Invitation to apply through SkillSelect
  • An investment of at least AUD 5 million in a "complying investment".

A "complying investment" for the purposes of the Significant Investor Visa includes:

  • State/Territory government bonds; or
  • ASIC regulated managed funds making investments in Australian assets, i.e.
    • infrastructure projects
    • cash held by Australian deposit taking institutions;
    • bonds issued by the Commonwealth Government or a State or Territory government;
    • bonds, equity, hybrids or other corporate debt in Australian companies and trusts listed on any Australian Stock Exchange;
    • bonds or term deposits issued by Australian financial institutions;
    • real estate;
    • Agribusiness; and
    • other ASIC regulated managed funds that invest in the above list of investments.
  • Direct investment into unlisted Australian companies

Unlike other business migration categories, the advantages are:

  1. No upper age limit
  2. No English requirement
  3. Minimal residency requirement - you only need to spend at least 160 days in 4 years in Australia

B) Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) Subclass 888 visas

This is the permanent stage for the Business Innovation and Investment visa (Subclass 188) visa. There are two streams depending on which stream was applied for at the provisional visa stage:

  • Business Innovation Stream: requires you to have established a business in Australia which meets certain asset and turnover requirements
  • Investor Stream: you must have held an investment in Australia bonds for 4 years

Common Criteria

All applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be nominated by the State or Territory Government who nominated you for the subclass 188 visa, unless you have obtained permission to change State or Territory
  • You have a genuine commitment to maintain your business or investment activities in Australia
  • You have a satisfactory compliance with applicable Australian Commonwealth, State and Territory laws

Business Innovation Stream Requirements

This option requires you to have owned a business and to be intending to establish business operations in Australia. You will need to meet the following if you are applying through the Business Innovation Stream:

  • Residence Requirement: you must have been in Australia for at least 1 of the 2 years prior to application
  • You have had an ownership interest in an Australian business for the last 2 years
  • Your business has an ABN and has lodged the necessary Business Activity Statements (BAS) for the last 2 years
  • The business has had turnover of at least AUD 300,000 for the last 12 months. Exception: if you reside in a regional area, operate a business there and the State or Territory Government has indicated there are exceptional circumstances
  • You must meet 2 of the following 3 criteria for the 12 months prior to application:
    1. Net assets in the business of at least AUD 200,000
    2. 2 Full Time Equivalent employees working in the business - these employees must not be relatives, and must be Australian permanent residents, citizens or NZ passport holders
    3. Net personal assets of at least AUD 600,000

Investor Stream Requirements

For this option, you must hold an Investment Stream Subclass 188 provisional visa, and meet the following criteria:

  • Residence Requirement: you must have been in Australia for at least 2 of the last 4 years
  • You must have maintained the designated investment of AUD 1.5 million with the Australian State or Territory for a continuous period of 4 years

Visitor Visa (Subclass 600)

The Visitor visa (subclass 600) is for people who want to travel Australia as tourists, for business or to visit family. Eligibility includes but is not limited to;

  • Applicant must meet health and character requirements
  • have enough money to support yourself during your stay in Australia
  • Genuinely intend to do the activities in the stream you are applying for.