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Expertise

188 Visa: Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa

The Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) is for people who would like to migrate to Australia to own and manage a business, conduct business and investment activity or undertake an entrepreneurial activity.

You need to submit an expression of interest if you would like to apply for a subclass 188 visa and then if you meet all the requirements, you will be invited to apply for the subclass 188 visa.

What is the 188 visa?

The Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) is a visa that allows you to stay temporarily in Australia. The subclass 188 visa is valid for 4 years. It is designed to allow you to:

  • own and manage a business in Australia
  • conduct business and investment activity in Australia
  • undertake an entrepreneurial activity in Australia

What are the eligibility requirements for the 188 visa?

There are seven different streams of the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) and each stream has its own requirements.

Business and Innovation Stream:

  • You must be nominated by an Australian State or Territory government agency
  • You must score at least 65 on the points test
  • You must have an ownership stake of 1 or 2 businesses with turnover of at least AUD 500,000 for at least 2 of the last 4 fiscal years
  • You must own personal and business assets of at least AUD 800,000
  • You must be under 55 years of age, unless the nominating state or territory certifies that you will make an exceptional economy benefit
  • You must have an overall successful career in business

This subclass 188 visa length under this stream can be extended by making a further application under the ‘Business Innovation Extension stream’.

Investor Stream:

  • You must be nominated by an Australian State of Territory government agency
  • You must have managed a qualifying business or investments to the value of at least AUD 1.5 million
  • You must have assets of AUD 2.25 million
  • You must make an investment of AUD 1.5 million in your nominating state or territory
  • You must have at least 3 years’ experience managing one or more qualifying business activity
  • You must have a successful record of eligible investment or qualifying business activity
  • You must have demonstrated a high level of management skill in relation to the eligible investment of qualifying business activity
  • Be under 55 years of age, unless the nominating state or territory certifies that you will make an exceptional benefit to the economy

Significant Investor Stream:

  • You must be nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency or Austrade
  • You must make a complying significant investment of at least AUD 5 million
  • You must have a genuine intention to hold that investment for at least 4 years
  • The subclass 188 visa investment must be made up of:
    • at least AUD 500,000 in venture capital and growth private equity funds which invest in start-ups and small private companies
    • at least AUD 1.5 million in approved managed funds investing in emerging companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange and
    • a balancing investment of at least AUD 3 million in managed funds

This subclass 188 visa length under this stream can be extended by making a further application under the ‘Significant Investor Extension stream’.

Premium Investor Stream

  • You must be nominated by Austrade
  • You must make a complying premium investment of at least AUD 15 million
  • You must have net assets of at least AUD 1.5 million

Entrepreneur Stream:

  • You must be nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency
  • You must be under 55 years of age, unless the nominating state or territory certifies that you will make an exceptional benefit to the economy
  • You must be undertaking, or proposing to undertake, a complying entrepreneur activity in Australia
  • You must have one or more legally enforceable agreements to receive funding with a total of at least AUD 200,000

What is the processing time for the 188 visa?

There are no standard processing times for the subclass 188 visa currently. Please note that the Department of Home Affairs is not able to disclose the processing time of some of the streams of the subclass 188 visa due to the low volume of applications.

Want to learn more about visa subclass 188 and whether you or your business is eligible? Book a free 15 minute consultation with one of our immigration lawyers now. 

An experienced migration lawyer can make all the difference when you need.

Related Resources

Subclass 188 Victorian government nominations closing soon

Are you considering apply for a Business Innovation visa, an Investor visa or a Significant Investor visa (subclass 188) in Victoria? It is important to know that Victorian nominations for the subclass 188 visa will be closing soon.