Individuals and Travellers

Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188)

Features

This visa allows you to:

  • own and manage a business in Australia (the Business Innovation stream)
  • conduct business and investment activity in Australia (the Investor stream, the Significant Investor stream and the Premium Investor stream).
  • undertake an entrepreneurial activity in Australia (Entrepreneur stream).

Requirements

You might be able to get this visa if you are nominated by a state or territory government or Australian agency and are invited to apply by the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection.

About this visa

The Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) is part of the Business Innovation and Investment Programme.

You must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect and be nominated by a state or territory government or Austrade on behalf of the Australian government before being invited to apply for this visa.

The visa includes five streams:

  • Business Innovation stream: for people with business skills who want to establish, develop and manage a new or existing business in Australia. Applicants must be nominated by a state or territory government.
  • Investor stream: for people who want to make a designated investment of at least AUD1.5million in an Australian state or territory and maintain business and investment activity in Australia. Applicants must be nominated by a state or territory government.
  • Significant Investor stream: for people who are willing to invest at least AUD5million into complying significant investments in Australia and want to maintain business and investment activity in Australia. Applicants can be nominated by a state or territory government or Austrade on behalf of the Australian government.
  • Premium Investor stream: for people who are willing to invest at least AUD15million into complying premium investments in Australia and want to maintain business and investment activity in Australia. Applicants must be nominated by Austrade on behalf of the Australian government.
  • Entrepreneur stream: for people who have a funding agreement from a third party for at least AUD200 000 to undertake a complying entrepreneur activity that is proposed to lead to either the commercialisation of a product or service in Australia or the development of a business in Australia. Applicants must be nominated by a state or territory government.

Holding this visa is the first stage before becoming eligible to qualify for a Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888).

What this visa lets you do

  • establish a new or develop an existing business and/or invest in Australia, make a designated investment with an Australian state or territory government, make and maintain complying investments in Australia or participate in a complying entrepreneurial activity in Australia
  • travel in and out of Australia for the life of your visa
  • bring family members with you to Australia
  • seek permanent residence by applying for a Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888).

Before you apply

To be able to apply for this visa, you must first submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) and then be invited through SkillSelect to apply.

You may then be nominated before being invited to apply.

Your EOI must specify:

  • which stream you intend to apply under
  • which state or territory you wish to seek nomination from, or if you are seeking nomination from the Australian government (where possible).

When you have submitted your EOI, a state or territory government or Austrade on behalf of the Australian government could view it and decide whether to nominate you to apply for a visa. Government nominators have their own criteria for deciding who to nominate. In some cases, the authority might contact you before you are nominated to discuss business and investment possibilities. In others, the authority will wait for you to contact it.

If you receive an invitation, you will have 60 days to apply online for the visa. During that time, you cannot change the information in your EOI. If your first invitation expires, you do not have to submit a new EOI. Your EOI will be automatically reverted to 'submitted' status in SkillSelect. Government nominators can access and review your EOI and nominate you again if they wish. You will receive a second invitation upon being nominated again. If you receive a second invitation to apply for a visa and you do not lodge an application, your EOI will be removed from SkillSelect. If you still want to apply for the visa, you will need to submit a new EOI.

Although you do not need to provide supporting documents with an EOI, your visa application is likely to need extensive supporting documentation, as listed in the document checklist. Start compiling your documents early in the process, so you can respond within the 60 days if you receive an invitation.

Information about nomination requirements, business and employment in various states and territories is available on their websites:

Information about state and territory treasury corporations offering designated investments for the Investor stream is available on their websites:

Your passport

You need a valid passport or other travel document for this visa. If you plan to get a new passport, you should do so before applying for your visa. If you get a new passport after you have lodged your application, give the details of your new passport to one of our offices.

You might be able to update your passport details using ImmiAccount.

Cost

The visa application charges are listed in Fees and charges.

Other costs

You might have to pay other costs, such as the costs of health assessments, police certificates, or any other certificates or tests. You are responsible for making the necessary arrangements.

Visa applicants

This information tells you what you need to do to apply for a Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) after you have received your invitation.

Who could get this visa

You might be able to get this visa if:

  • you are nominated by a state or territory government or Austrade on behalf of the Australian government
  • you are invited to apply
  • you (and all your family members) meet certain health and character requirements
  • you meet the additional requirements for the stream in which you apply.

Health requirements

You must meet certain health requirements. The results are usually valid for 12 months.

This also applies to all dependent family members included in your application, whether they are migrating or not.

Character requirements

You must meet certain character requirements. You must be prepared to provide a police certificate from each country you have lived in for 12 months or more during the past 10 years after you turned 16 years of age. Do not arrange for police certificates until we ask you to.

This applies to you and all the dependent family members listed in your application, whether they are migrating or not.

For each person included in the application aged 16 years or older you will need to complete:

If you have served in the armed forces of any country, provide certified copies of military service record or discharge papers.

See: Character and Penal Clearance Requirements

Sign the Australian values statement

If you are 18 years of age or older, you must sign an Australian Values Statement to confirm that you will respect the Australian way of life and obey Australian laws. The statement is included in the visa application form. You must have read, or had explained to you, the Life in Australia book before you sign the statement.

Debts to the Australian Government

You must have no outstanding debts to the Australian Government or have arranged to repay any outstanding debts to the Australian Government before this visa can be granted.

Business Innovation stream

Your obligations

You must:

  • be under 55 years of age, although a state or territory can waive this requirement if your proposed business will be of exceptional economic benefit to the nominating state or territory.
  • score at least 65 on the points test. Please see the Points test tab on this webpage for further information.
  • for two out of the four fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply, have had an ownership interest in an established business or businesses that had at least AUD500 000 turnover in each of those years
  • own at least one of the following percentage of your nominated main business:
    • 51 per cent, if the business has a turnover of less than AUD400 000 per year
    • 30 per cent, if the business has a turnover of AUD400 000 or more per year
    • 10 per cent, if the business is a publicly listed company
  • have an overall successful business career
  • have a genuine desire to continuously own and maintain a management role in a business in Australia.

If your nominated main business provides professional, technical or trade services, you must have spent no more than half your time providing those services, as opposed to general management of the business.

At the time of invitation, you, your partner, or you and your partner combined must have total net business and personal assets of at least AUD800 000 that are lawfully acquired and available for legal transfer to Australia within two years of the visa being granted.

You and your partner must have had no involvement in unacceptable business or investment activities.

Investor stream

You must:

  • be under 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 nominating state or territory
  • score at least 65 on the points test. Please see the Points test tab on this webpage for further information.
  • have a high level of management skill in relation to the eligible investment or qualifying business activity
  • have at least three years' experience of direct involvement in managing one or more qualifying businesses or eligible investments
  • have an overall successful record of eligible investment or qualifying business activity
  • have a genuine and realistic commitment to continuing your business and investment activity in Australia after the original investment has matured
  • have a genuine intention to live for at least two years in the state or territory in which you have made a designated investment.

You, your partner, or you and your partner combined must:

  • for at least one of the five fiscal years immediately before you are invited 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 per cent ownership interest, or
    • eligible investments owned by you, your partner or you and your partner combined of at least AUD1.5million.
  • during the two fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply, have legally acquired net business, investment and personal assets of at least AUD2.25 million that are available for legal transfer to Australia within two years of the visa being granted
  • make a designated investment of at least AUD1.5 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
  • have had no involvement in unacceptable activities.

Income that you earn from your designated investment in Australia is subject to tax under Australian taxation law.

Significant Investor stream

Please note that the rules that were in force at the time that you applied for your Significant Investor visa will continue to apply for the duration of your provisional visa, including any Extension stream visas you apply for that relate to that provisional visa.

You must have a genuine and realistic commitment to:

  • reside in the state or territory whose government agency nominated you,
  • continue your business and investment activity in Australia after the conclusion of your provisional visa,
  • live in Australia for at least 40 days per year (calculated cumulatively) for the duration of your provisional visa, or your spouse to live for at least 180 days per year (calculated cumulatively) for the duration of your provisional visa.

You, your partner, or you and your partner combined must have net assets of at least AUD5 million that are legally acquired, unencumbered, and available to be used to make the complying investment in Australia.

You and your partner must not have been involved in unacceptable business or investment activities.

You, your partner and other family members aged at least 18 must agree not to bring any action against the Commonwealth for any loss relating to your complying investment.​​

Income that you earn from your complying investment in Australia is subject to tax under Australian taxation law.

You must also make a complying investment or a complying significant investment of at least AUD5 million over four years.

Important: You might want to seek independent legal advice in relation to ensuring that an investment made for the purpose of this stream is a ‘complying significant investment’. It is your responsibility to ensure your investment options comply.

Complying Significant Investments for applications made after 1 July 2015

If you applied for a Significant Investor visa prior to 1 July 2015, see the rules below, which will continue to apply to you.

For applications made after July 2015 you must make a complying significant investment of at least AUD5 million over four years 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 investing in emerging companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.
  • A ‘balancing investment’ of at least AUD3 million in managed funds that may invest in a range of assets, including ASX-listed companies, Australian corporate bonds or notes, annuities and commercial real estate.

Direct investment in residential real estate continues to be prohibited and indirect investment in residential property through managed funds is now strictly limited.

Investments must not be used as security or collateral for a loan.

More detailed information about complying significant investments is available at Austrade.

Complying Investments for applications made prior to 1 July 2015

You must make a complying investment of at least AUD5 million in any of the following options, in any proportion, and hold that investment continuously for at least four years:

  • Commonwealth, state or territory government bonds
  • Eligible managed funds - that are limited to investing in any or all of the following Australian assets: 
    • infrastructure projects in Australia
    • 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 companies and trusts listed or expected to be listed within 12 months on any Australian stock exchange
    • bonds or term deposits issued by Australian financial institutions
    • real property in Australia
    • Australian agribusiness
    • annuities issued by an Australian registered life company in accordance with section 9 or 12A of the Life Insurance Act 1995
    • loans secured by mortgages over the investments listed above
    • derivatives used for portfolio management and non-speculative purposes which constitute no more than 20 per cent of the total value of the managed fund
    • other managed funds that invest in the investments listed above
  • direct investment into private Australian companies - in which you have an ownership interest.  The company needs to operate a qualifying business if you intend to apply for and meet the criteria for a Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888) in the Significant Investor stream.

Premium Investor Stream

The Premium Investor stream is by nomination of Austrade on behalf of the Australian government only. You must make a complying investment of at least AUD15 million in any of the following options:

  • Australian securities exchange listed assets.
  • Australian government or semi-government bonds or notes.
  • Corporate bonds or notes issued by an Australian exchange listed entity (or wholly owned subsidiary of the Australian listed entity) or investment grade rated Australian corporate bonds or notes rated by an AFS licenced debt rating agency.
  • Australian proprietary limited companies.
  • Real property in Australia excluding residential property.
  • Deferred annuities issued by Australian registered life companies.
  • State or territory government approved philanthropic contribution.

Income that you earn from your complying investment in Australia is subject to tax under Australian taxation law.

You must also have a genuine and realistic commitment to continue your business and investment activity in Australia after the conclusion of your provisional visa.

You, your partner (spouse or de facto), or you and your partner combined must have net assets of at least AUD15 million that are legally acquired, unencumbered, and available to be used to make the complying investment in Australia.

You and your partner must not have been involved in unacceptable business or investment activities.

You, your partner and other family members aged at least 18 must agree not to bring any action against the Commonwealth for any loss relating to your complying investment.​​​

Entrepreneur stream

You must:

  • ​ be under 55 years of age, although a state or territory can waive this requirement if your proposed  complying entrepreneur activity will be of exceptional economic benefit to the nominating state or territory
  • have competent English and be able to provide evidence of this at the time you are invited to apply for the visa
  • be undertaking or proposing to undertake a complying entrepreneur activity in Australia and have a genuine intention to continue this activity

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 entitites:
    • Commonwealth Government agency
    • State or Territory Government
    • Publicly Funded Research Organisation
    • Investor registered as an Australian Venture Capital Limited Partnership or Early State 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.
  • You have a business plan for the entrepreneurial entity noting how your innovative idea will lead to the commercialisation of a product or service in Australia, or the development of an enterprise or business in Australia. 

Including family in your application

You can include the following people in your visa application at the time of lodgement:

  • your partner (married or de facto)
  • your or your partner’s dependent children
  • other dependent relatives.
​​

These members of your family unit must meet the requirements for including family members in your application. The application must include documentary evidence of their relationship to you.

Members of your family unit must be able to show that they meet health and character requirements.

After you have applied for this visa but before a decision is made, only your or your partner's dependent children (including newborns) can be added to your application.

After you are granted this visa, if your partner, your or your partner's dependent children or eligible dependent relatives want to apply for the same visa, they must lodge a separate online application as subsequent entrants using:

How to apply

This information explains what you need to do to apply for a Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) (subclass 188) visa.

You and anyone included in your application can be in or outside Australia when you apply and when the visa is granted.

You must be invited to apply. Your invitation letter will tell you how to lodge your application online using SkillSelect.

Note: for the Entrepreneur stream temporary arrangements will be in place until November 2016. Once you have been nominated by a state or territory government, you will be contacted by email with instructions on how to lodge your visa application. 

Prepare your documents

You need to provide documents to prove the claims you make in the application. The documents are listed in the Document checklist.

Some documents could take some time to obtain. You should have them ready when you lodge the application to reduce any delays in processing.

Lodge your application online

Pay the visa application charge by credit card when you apply. You also need to send your supporting documents:

  • If you live in the People's Republic of China (PRC), Hong Kong (SAR), Macau (SAR) or Taiwan: send your documents to the Australian Consulate General Hong Kong.
  • If you live elsewhere: send your documents by registered post to the Adelaide office in South Australia - attention the Adelaide Business Skills Processing Centre.
  • If you are applying under the Entrepreneur stream you will be able to upload your supporting documents electronically with your visa application.

More information

Please refer to preparing your application, for information on certifying and translating documents into English, communicating with us, using a migration agent, authorising another person to receive information from us, and receiving assistance with your application.​​​​

You can also contact your case officer at our office for advice about your individual circumstances.

After you have applied

After you have lodged your application and documents, we will acknowledge that we have received your information.

You can track and manage your application using ImmiAccount.

Wait for a decision

We have visa processing times for each visa.

Your application could take longer if you need character or health checks (including x-rays), if you need to provide more information, or if your application is incomplete.

Outside Australia:
If you apply for this visa from outside Australia, do not make arrangements to travel to Australia until you are advised in writing that you have been granted a visa. Wait for a decision from us before you leave your job, sell your home or book your travel.

In Australia:
If you apply for this visa in Australia, you could be eligible for a Bridging visa that allows you to stay in the country lawfully while your application is processed. If you are given a Bridging visa A, you can apply for a Bridging visa B (BVB) to travel outside Australia while you wait for a decision.

Make your required investment

If you applied under the Investor stream, the Significant Investor stream or the Premium Investor stream, you must make your designated investment, complying significant investment or complying premium investment before being granted a visa. You must make the investment when we invite you in writing to do so. The invitation includes information on how to make the required investment and how to provide evidence that you have made the investment. If you are applying for a Significant Investor or Premium Investor stream visa, your investment must be made after the time of application for your subclass 188 visa.

Income that you earn from your investment in Australia is subject to Australian taxation law.

Provide more information

You can provide more information to us, at any time until a decision is made on the application. If you want to correct information you provided, use:

We could also ask you for more information. You will have to respond by a set date. After that date, we can make a decision about your application using the information that we have.

If another person gives us information that could result in you being refused a visa, we will usually give you the opportunity to comment on the information.

You might also be interviewed. If you are asked to attend an interview in person, bring your passport or other identification and any requested documents to the interview.

Report changes in your circumstances

You must tell us if your circumstances change. This includes a new residential address, a new passport, or a pregnancy, birth, divorce, separation, marriage, de facto relationship or death in your family.

Please report changes in your circumstances via ImmiAccount. If you are not able to use ImmiAccount, you can use the following forms:

If you do not provide us with the details of any new passport issued to you, you could experience significant delays at the airport and may be denied permission to board your plane.​​

You might be able to update your address and passport details using ImmiAccount.

Withdrawing your application

​You can withdraw the application at any time before we make a decision about it. To do this, send us a letter or email to ask for the withdrawal. Your request must include your full name and date of birth. You should also include your file reference number, client ID, or a Transaction Reference Number.

​​​All applicants 18 years of age or older, wishing to withdraw, must sign the request for withdrawal.​​​​​​

Visa decision

If the visa is granted, we will let you know:

  • when you can use the visa
  • the visa grant number
  • any conditions attached to the visa.​

If the visa is not granted, we will let you know:

  • why the visa was refused
  • your review rights (if any). Where applicable, your sponsor can apply for the decision to be reviewed
  • the time limit for lodging an appeal.

Document checklist

You must provide documents to support your application for this visa.

Use the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) document checklist​​ to make sure your application is complete.

If you are applying from China, Macau, Hong Kong or Taiwan please use the document checklist from the Australian Consulate General Hong Kong.

Visa holders

Apply for a subsequent entry

Apply for an extension

Workers in Australia – including visa holders with permission to work – have rights under Australian workplace law.

The Fair Work Ombudsman’s Pay and Conditions Tool (PACT) provides information on pay rates, shift calculations, leave arrangements and notice and redundancy entitlements.

See also: Workplace rights for all visa holders working in Australia

This information is for people who have already been granted a Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188). It explains your rights and obligations.

You can use Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) for free to check your visa details and entitlements.

You and your family members who hold visas must comply with all visa conditions and Australian laws.

How long your visa lasts

Your visa is valid for four years and three months from the date it is granted.

Note: If you applied for a subclass 188 visa in any stream prior to 1 July 2015, your visa will be valid for four years. If this applies to you and you hold a visa in the investor stream or the significant investor stream you will be eligible to apply for a subclass 888 permanent visa after 3 years and 11 months.

You might be able to extend your stay under an extension stream if you hold this visa under the Business Innovation stream or the Significant Investor stream and need extra time to meet the criteria for a permanent (subclass 888) visa. If you hold this visa under the Investor stream or Premium Investor stream, you cannot apply for an extension stream under this visa.

Provisional visa holders in the Business Innovation stream can apply for one extension for an additional two years so your visa can last up to six years.

Provisional visa holders in the Significant Investor stream can apply for up to two extensions for a total of additional four years so your visa can last up to eight years.

Each extension stream lets you stay in Australia for another two years.

Your obligations

Business Innovation stream

Your obligations

You need to provide valuable input into the Australian economy. You must:

  • obtain and maintain substantial ownership interest in a business in Australia
  • p​articipate, at a senior level, in the day-to-day management and decision-making of that business.

In the business, it is expected that you will do at least one of the following:

  • develop business links with international markets
  • create or maintain employment in Australia
  • export Australian goods​
  • produce goods or services that would otherwise be imported
  • introduce new or improved technology
  • add to commercial activity and competitiveness within the Australian economy.

We might ask you to complete a monitoring survey about your business activities in Australia.

Extend your stay: the Business Innovation Extension stream

You can apply to extend your stay for an extra two years under a Business Innovation Extension stream.

To be eligible for this extension stream:

  • you must already hold a visa in the Business Innovation stream, and have had it for at least three years
  • you must demonstrate a need for you to be resident in Australia to operate the main business
  • you must have a current nomination from a state or territory government agency
  • you must have maintained an ownership interest in your nominated main business, which must have been operating actively in Australia for at least two years
  • you must have maintained your commitment to stay directly involved in the day-to-day management and decision-making of the business.

You cannot apply for this stream if you have held more than one subclass Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188).

If another visa is granted, it will be valid for another two years from the date your first visa is granted (six years in all). The extra time gives you time to qualify for a Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888).

To apply for this visa under the Business Innovation Extension stream, complete:

Provide your supporting documents and pay the visa application charge by credit card when you apply.

Investor st​ream

Your obli​gations

You must maintain your designated investment for at least four years.

Extend your stay: the Investor stream

There is no Extension stream for this visa.

Significant Investor stream

Your obligations

You must hold complying investments continuously for the life of your provisional visa.

You can switch between complying investments or between complying significant investments provided that:

  • funds you withdraw from an investment are reinvested into other complying investments within 30 days
  • the sum withdrawn corresponds with the sum reinvested (irrespective of any gains and losses due to market exposures).

Funds reinvested into a complying investment within 30 days are taken to have been held continuously from the original investment date.

Funds withdrawn from venture capital or emerging companies must be reinvested into venture capital or emerging companies. Funds withdrawn from the ‘balancing investment’ category of investments can be reinvested into another balancing investment, venture capital or emerging companies.

If funds are withdrawn from venture capital because the venture capital investment has been realised, those funds must be reinvested, but can be reinvested in any eligible complying significant investment.

Extend your stay: the Significant Investor stream

You can apply to extend your stay for an extra two years under a Significant Investor Extension stream. You can apply for this extension stream twice, giving you a maximum of eight years on this provisional visa.

To be eligible for this extension stream:

  • you must already hold a visa in the Significant Investor stream, and either:
    • have had it for at least three years, or
    • have not held more than one visa in the Significant Investor Extension stream
  • you must have a current nomination from a state or territory government agency
  • you must have a genuine intention to live in the nominating state or territory
  • you must have continuously maintained your complying investment or complying significant investment in accordance with complying investment framework in place at the time you applied for your original subclass 188 visa.

You are responsible for the investment decisions that you make. You must submit:

You and each other applicant aged 18 years or older must sign the form, in which you acknowledge that you are responsible for your financial and legal affairs and decide not to sue or incur any liabilities to the Australian Government in relation to any loss relating to the complying investment.

If you applied prior to 1 July 2015 and your complying investment was made through or switched into a managed fund, you must have submitted:

The form must be signed by a fund manager for each complying investment made through or switched into a managed fund, and state that investments made via the managed fund are limited to certain prescribed categories.

If your complying investment was made directly in an Australian private company, the company must be registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and you must have an ownership interest in the company.

You must also ensure that:

  • if the period of your direct investment was less than two years, the company operated a qualifying business for the entire time
  • if the period of the direct investment was more than two years, the company was a qualifying business for at least two years.

To apply for this visa under the Significant Investor Extension stream, complete:

Entrepreneur stream

Your obli​gations
  • You must maintain an ongoing relationship with your nominating State or Territory government.
  • The funding party must pay your entrepreneurial entity at least 10 per cent of AUD200 000 within 12 months of the day you start the entrepreneurial activity in Australia and you must utilise this funding in accordance with your funding agreement. 
Extend your stay: the Entrepreneur stream

There is no Extension stream for this visa.

What this visa lets you do

This visa allows you to:

  • establish a new or develop an existing business in Australia, make a designated investment with an Australian state or territory government, make and maintain complying investments in Australia or undertake an entrepreneurial activity in Australia.
  • travel in and out of Australia for the life of your visa
  • bring family members with you to Australia
  • seek permanent residence by applying for a Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888).

You might be eligible to be granted a Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888) if:

  • you have been in Australia on a subclass 188 visa in the Business Innovation stream or Business Innovation Extension stream for a total of at least one year in the two years immediately before lodging your application
  • you have been in Australia on a subclass 188 visa in the Investor stream for a total of at least two years in the four years immediately before lodging your application
  • when you apply for a subclass 888 visa, you:
    • held a subclass 188 visa in the Significant Investor stream and/or the Significant Investor Extension stream for a continuous period of at least four years (or three years and 11 months if you applied for your original subclass 188 visa prior to 1 July 2015); and
    • have been in Australia on this visa for a minimum of 40 days per year the visa was held or your partner (spouse or de facto) has been in Australia on this visa for a minimum of 180 days per year.
  • You have been in Australia on a subclass 188 visa in the Premium Investor stream for a minimum of one year.
  • You have been in Australia on a subclass 188 visa in the Entrepreneur stream for a total of at least two years in the four years immediately before lodging your application.

You must also have met all the obligations of your Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) and all the requirements for the grant of the permanent visa (subclass 888).

Your family

Your family members who have been granted this visa are eligible to study and work in Australia.

After you are granted this visa, if your partner, your or your partner's dependent children or eligible dependent relatives want to apply for the same visa, they must lodge a separate online application as subsequent entrants using:

They must pay the full visa application charge by credit card when they apply.

Family members can be in or outside Australia when they apply for this visa.

Costs

Family members who apply after a visa has been granted to you must pay the full visa application charge.

Documents

Family members who apply after a visa has been granted to you must provide the documents listed under 'Personal documents' in the Document checklist.

Report changes in circumstances

You must tell us if your circumstances change.  This includes a new residential address, a new passport, or a pregnancy, birth, divorce, separation, marriage, de facto relationship or death in your family.

Please report changes in your circumstances via ImmiAccount.  If you are not able to use ImmiAccount, you can use the following forms:

If you do not provide us with the details of any new passport issued to you, you could experience significant delays at the airport and may be denied permission to board your plane.
​​​​​

You might be able to update your address and passport details using ImmiAccount.

Every time you change address (even to a location outside Australia), you must send a new form to us within 28 days of the move.

Points test

You must score at least 65 points (the pass mark) in the points test to be eligible to apply for a Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) in the Business Innovation stream or the Investor stream.

The points test does not apply to you if you are applying in the Significant Investor stream, the Premium Investor stream, the Entrepreneur stream, the​ Business Innovation Extension stream, or Significant Investor Extension stream.

The test gives points for various elements of human capital and business innovation and includes objective measures of business performance.

Points are awarded for:

  • age
  • English language ability
  • qualifications
  • experience in business or investment
  • net personal and business assets
  • business turnover
  • innovation.

Points are awarded on the basis of the factors listed in the following table. All factors are assessed as at the time you are invited to apply for this visa, unless otherwise noted.

Factor

Description

Points

Age

18–24 years

20

25–32 years

30

33–39 years

25

40–44 years

20

45–54 years

15

55 and older

0

English language ability

Vocational English

5

Proficient English

10

Qualifications

Australian trade certificate, diploma or bachelor degree by an Australian education institute; or

a bachelor qualification recognised by an education institution of a recognised standard

5

Bachelor degree in business, science or technology by an Australian institution; or a bachelor qualification by an education institution of a recognised standard

10

Special endorsement

The nominating state or territory government agency could decide that your proposed business is of unique and important benefit to the state or territory where the nominating government agency is located

10

Financial assets

Net business and personal assets of you, your partner or you and your partner combined in each of the preceding two years of at least:

 

AUD800 000

5

AUD1.3 million

15

AUD1.8 million

25

AUD2.25 million

35

Business turnover

Annual turnover in your main business during a period of at least two years of the preceding four fiscal years of at least:

 

AUD500 000

5

AUD1 million

15

AUD1.5 million

25

AUD2 million

35

Business Innovation stream only

Business experience

You have held one or more businesses before you were invited to apply for the visa for:

 

Not less than four years within the preceding five years

10

Not less than seven years within the preceding eight years

15

Investor stream only

Investor experience

Eligible investment of at least AUD100 000 held for:

 

At least four years before the time of invitation to apply for the visa

10

At least seven years before the time of invitation to apply for the visa

15

Business innovation qualifications

At the time of invitation to apply for the visa:

Evidence of registered patents or registered designs

15

Evidence of registered trademarks

10

Evidence of formal joint venture agreements

5

Evidence of export trade

15

Evidence of ownership interest in a gazelle business

10

Evidence of receipt of grants or venture capital funding

10

State or territory nominationSpecial endorsement (limited places)

10

Age

You can receive up to 30 points based on your age on the day you were invited to apply.

For the Business Innovation stream or Investor stream, if you are aged 55 years or you are not eligible for points for your age under the points test.

English language ability

You can receive 10 points for proficient English and 5 points for vocational English.

The IELTS, PTE Academic and TOEFL iBT band score for the four components must be demonstrated in one test taken within the three years before you are invited to apply for this visa. The Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test band score for the four components must be demonstrated in one test taken on or after 1 January 2015 and before you are invited to apply for this visa. We will not accept separate test scores for each component for these English language tests.

There are two IELTS tests—an academic test and a general training test. You need to take only the general test unless otherwise advised by your skills assessing authority.

The OET test must have been taken within the three years before you are invited to apply for this visa.

Qualifications

You can receive up to 10 points for your educational qualifications at the time you were invited to apply if you have met the requirements for:

  • a trade qualification, diploma or bachelor degree from an Australian educational institution (5 points)
  • a bachelor degree from another educational institution that the minister is satisfied meets a recognised standard (5 points)
  • a bachelor degree in business, science or technology from an Australian educational institution (10 points)
  • a bachelor degree in business, science or technology from another educational institution that the minister is satisfied meets a recognised standard (10 points).

If you have a higher degree in business, science or technology (such as Masters in Science), but have no bachelor degree in one of those fields, you do not qualify for the award of 10 points.

Experience in business or investment

You can receive up to 15 points if you have a demonstrated history of relevant business or investment experience for a specified amount of time in the period before you are invited to apply:

  • Business Innovation stream: experience of
    • at least four years in the preceding five years (10 points)
    • at least seven years in the preceding eight years (15 points)
  • Investor stream: a minimum of AUD100 000 in eligible investments for
    • at least the preceding four years (10 points)
    • at least the preceding seven years (15 points).

Net personal and business assets

To be awarded points for your assets, in each of the two fiscal years before you are invited to apply, you, your partner or you and your partner combined must have held net business and personal assets of at least:

  • AUD800 000 (5 points)
  • AUD1.3 million (15 points)
  • AUD1.8 million (25 points)
  • AUD2.25 million (35 points).

Business turnover

You can be awarded points on the basis of the turnover of your nominated main business in at least two of the four fiscal years before you are invited to apply:

  • AUD500 000 (5 points)
  • AUD1.0 million (15 points)
  • AUD1.5 million (25 points)
  • AUD2.0 million (35 points).

There is no business turnover requirement for the Investor stream.

Business innovation

For the Business Innovation stream, this component of the points test gives points for evidence of the following attributes at the time you are invited to apply for this visa. You can be awarded points for more than one attribute, but only once for each of them.

  • Registered patents or registered designs (15 points)
    • The patent or design must have been registered at least one year.
    • It must have been used in the day-to-day activities of your nominated main business.
  • Registered trademarks (10 points)
    • The trademark must have been registered at least one year.
    • It must have been used in the day-to-day activities of your main business.
  • Joint venture agreements (5 points)
    • The agreement must be a formal agreement that has been in force for at least one year.
    • You must have been involved at a senior level in day-to-day management and decision-making for the venture.
  • Export trade (15 points)
    • One or more of your nominated main businesses must have derived at least 50 per cent of annual turnover from export trade for at least two of the preceding four fiscal years.
  • Gazelle businesses (newly established businesses experiencing rapid growth during a short period) (10 points)
    • Your nominated main business must have been registered for no more than five years.
    • The average annualised growth in turnover of the business must have been greater than 20 per cent each year for a continuous period of three fiscal years.
    • The business must have had 10 or more full-time employees for at least one fiscal year in the three-year period.
  • Receipt of grants or venture capital funding for an innovative business idea (10 points)
    • This funding must have been for the early-phase start-up of a business, product commercialisation, business development or business expansion.
    • Grants: You must have received a grant of at least AUD10 000 under specified conditions from a government body in your home country within the preceding four years.
    • Venture capital funding: You must have received venture capital funding of at least AUD100 000 within the preceding four years.

Special endorsement

In a limited number of cases, a nominating state or territory government could determine that your proposed business or investment is of unique and important benefit to the state or territory. In these circumstances, you can be awarded 10 points.

Estimate the cost of your visa

The following Visa Pricing Estimator requires you to answer the questions as accurately as possible to provide you with an estimate for lodging a visa application. The estimator does not include the second instalment of the visa application charge which is payable for some visas. Please note this is an estimate for a visa application, if you have already lodged your application and you want to change/add applicants please refer to the Visa Pricing Table. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection Visa Pricing Estimator will give you an estimate of the charges you may need to pay to lodge a visa application. This is paid after you have made your application but before the visa can be granted. Read the department's full disclaimer. The Commonwealth of Australia does not guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of any material in the Visa Pricing Estimator.