What is Business Innovation and Investment 188 Visa?
Business innovation and Investment 188 Visa is a provisional temporary business skills visa. The visa allows people who have a successful business or investment career to conduct business and investment activity in Australia or undertake an entrepreneurial activity in Australia.
Who can get Business Innovation and Investment 188 Visa?
General eligibility requirements:
- Is the primary holder of a Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (Subclass 188)
- Has met all the requirements of the stream in which they first applied
- Has not been involved in any unacceptable business or investment activities and have conducted their business lawfully
- Has been nominated by an Australian state or territory
- Meets all the health, age and character requirements
Other requirements may apply.
What is the Points Test for the Business Innovation & Investment visa?
The innovation points test gives points for various elements of human capital and business innovation. The test also includes objective measures of business performance. It aims to select innovative entrepreneurs who will transfer their skills to Australia and diversify the existing pool of business expertise.
The innovation points test does not apply to Significant investor, Premium investor and Entrepreneur stream.
Applicants for the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) business Innovation stream and Investor stream must score at least 65 points. This test aims to select innovative entrepreneurs who will transfer their skills to Australia and diversify our existing pool of business expertise. Applicants for the Significant Investor stream and Premium Investor stream are not subject to the points test.
Points are awarded for human capital, business innovation, and subjective measures of business performance:
- English language ability
- experience in business or investment
- net personal and business assets
- business turnover
Official link: Points Test for the Business Innovation & Investment visa
What are the Streams under Business innovation and Investment 188 visa?
The Government established five streams under the subclass 188 visa program, each contributing at varying levels to the country’s economy.
Business Innovation stream 188 visa
The Business Innovation stream 188 visa allows you to operate a new or existing business in Australia. You can hold a subclass 188A visa (Business Innovation Stream) for up to 4 years and 3 months.
- Be less than 55 years old;
- You must be nominated by an Australian State or Territory government agency, before being invited to apply for this visa;
- You have at least 65 points on the Department Points Test for the Business Innovation & Investment visa.
- For 2 out of 4 fiscal years immediately before you receive an invitation to apply, you must have had an ownership stake in 1 or 2 businesses that had at least AUD500,000 turnover in each of those 2 years. Whether you have 1 or 2 businesses, you must own at least:
- 51%, of the total value of the business if the business has a turnover of less than AUD400,000 per year
- 30%, of the total value of the business if the business has a turnover of AUD400,000 or more per year, or
- 10%, of the total value of the business if the business is operated by a publicly listed company
- If your business provides professional, technical or trade services, you must have spent less than half your time providing those services, rather than general management of the business.
- When you are invited to apply for this visa, you, your partner, or you and your partner combined must have total net business and personal assets of at least AUD800,000. Your funds must be available to transfer to Australia within 2 years of granting the visa.
- You have a realistic commitment to establish or participate in a qualifying business in Australia and maintain a substantial ownership and direct and continuous involvement in the management of that business.
- You have demonstrated that there is a need to be temporarily in Australia to conduct or establish the proposed business activity.
- Neither you nor your spouse have a history of involvement in business or investment activities that are of a nature that is not generally acceptable in Australia.
Provisional visa holders in the Business Innovation stream may be eligible to apply for an extension to their provisional visa for an additional 2 years if the extra time is needed to meet the criteria for the permanent visa, subclass 888.
Business Investor stream 188 visa
This Visa is designed for people who want to make a designated investment of at least AUD 1.5 million in an Australian State or Territory Bond and are prepared to maintain business or investment activity in Australia.
Designated investments must only be made when you are advised in writing by the department. Funds used to finance your designated investment must be personally owned and be free of other financial liability, also must have been legally accumulated as a result of your business and/or investment activities.
- You must be less than 55 years of age, although a State or Territory can waive this requirement if your proposed investment will be of exceptional economic benefit to the nominated State or Territory.
- You have at least 65 points on the department points test for the Business Innovation & Investment visa.
- 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.
- For the 2 fiscal years immediately before the department invite you to apply, you, your partner, or you and your partner together, have business and personal assets with a net value of at least AUD2.25 million. These assets must have been lawfully acquired and be available for transfer to Australia within 2 years of the visa being granted.
- You must make an investment of AUD 1.5 million in Australian State or Territory bonds prior to the grant of the visa
- You have 3 years of experience either managing a qualifying business or “eligible investments”, and have shown a high level of management skill
- For at least 1 of the 5 fiscal years immediately before the department invite you to apply, have directly managed one of the following:
- a qualifying business in which you, your partner or you and your partner combined had at least 10% ownership interest, or
- a eligible investment of at least AUD1.5 million owned by you, your partner or you and your partner combined.
Significant Investor stream 188 visa
Visa applicants do not need to satisfy the points test and there are no upper age limits. The visa stream features a residence requirement of 160 days spent in Australia over four years while holding the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) (Subclass 188) visa. The investor, or the primary visa applicant, can make the complying investment personally or together with the investor’s spouse or de facto partner.
- You must be nominated by an Australian State or Territory government agency or Austrade before being invited to apply for this visa;
- To be granted this visa, you must make (on or after the time of application for this visa), a complying significant investment of at least AUD5 million when Department of Home Affairs invite you to, and have a genuine intention to hold that investment for at least 4 years. It must be invested in the following proportions:
- at least AUD500,000 in venture capital and growth private equity funds which invest in start-ups and small private companies
- at least AUD1.5 million in approved managed funds. The managed funds must invest in emerging companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange
- a ‘balancing investment’ of at least AUD3 million in managed funds
- You and your partner must have had no history of involvement in business or investment activities that are of a nature that is not generally acceptable in Australia.
- All applicants aged 18 or over at the time of application must either have at least functional English or you will be asked to pay the second instalment of the visa application charge.
- You and any family members who apply for the visa with you must meet Australia health requirement;
Premium Investor stream 188 visa
The subclass 188D visa (Premium Investor Stream) is another investment visa that allows you to carry out a business and investment activity in Australia. You can hold a subclass 188D visa (Premium Investor Stream) for up to 4 years and 3 months. Funds used to finance your designated investment of AUD 15 million must be personally owned and unencumbered and must have been legally accumulated as a result of your business and/or investment activities. Need to provide a signed declaration listing the sources of funds for your asset portfolio, and that these funds were lawfully acquired.
The applicant must:
- receive an invitation from Austrade to apply for this visa and the make the appropriate investment
- required to make investments of AUD15 million in Australia and hold them for at least 12 months
- provide a signed declaration on your proposed method of fund transfer to make the complying significant investments.
- Provide an overview of your complying investment intentions.
Evidence to support your source of funds declaration:
- for business income, provide evidence of business ownership, performance and profit distribution. For example, company registration and shareholder records, financial statements or taxation records
- for investment income, provide evidence of investment activities and performance. For example, statements issued by stocks trading company, property purchase and sale contracts, leases or investment product contracts.
- for gifted or inherited assets, provide duly witnessed gift deeds or wills. Also provide other evidence demonstrating how the original owner accumulated the assets
- for a historical accumulation of wealth where official verifiable evidence is no longer available, provide bank records demonstrating continuous ownership of funds over a substantial period.
- for assets held in Australia, provide evidence which links the assets to the declared sources
Have a genuine commitment to continue business and investment activity in Australia after the conclusion of the provisional visa.
Entrepreneur Stream 188 visa
Applicant must be undertaking, or proposing to undertake, a complying entrepreneur activity in Australia. You must have a genuine intention to continue this activity. This visa stream requires state or territory Nomination
- be under 55 years of age
- have competent English and be able to provide evidence of this at the time you are invited to apply for the visa
- be nominated by a State or Territory government agency before being invited to apply for this visa.
- be undertaking or proposing to undertake a complying entrepreneur activity in Australia and have a genuine intention to continue this activity
- must be undertaking, or proposing to undertake, a complying entrepreneur activity in Australia
A Complying Entrepreneur Activity is an activity that relates to an innovative idea that will lead to the commercialisation of a product or service in Australia or the development of an enterprise or business in Australia.
This activity must not relate to any of the following excluded categories:
- Residential real estate
- Labour Hire
- Purchase of an existing enterprise or a franchise in Australia.
An activity is a complying entrepreneur activity if all of the following requirements are met:
- you have one or more legally enforceable agreements to receive funding with a total of at least AUD200 000 from one of the following entities:
- Commonwealth Government agency
- State or Territory Government
- Publicly Funded Research Organisation
- Investor registered as an Australian Venture Capital Limited Partnership or Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership
- Specified Higher Education Provider
- under the agreement at least 10 per cent of the funding must be payable to the entrepreneurial entity within 12 months of the day the activity starts to be undertaken in Australia;
- you held at least 30 per cent interest in your entrepreneurial entity when you entered into the agreement.
Official source: Business Innovation and Investment 188 Visa