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).

Eligibility

You must:

  • be nominated by a state or territory government or Austrade
  • be invited to apply for the visa
  • have experience in owning and operating a business (Business Innovation stream) or
  • have at least AUD 1.5 million to invest (Investor stream) or
  • have at least AUD 5 million to invest (Significant Investor stream) or
  • have at least AUD 15 million to invest (Premium Investor stream)
  • meet additional requirements of the relevant stream.

Length of stay

Four years and three months

Cost

From AUD
585

Learn about...​

The process

Processing time

Stream75 per cent of applications processed90 per cent of applications processed
Business Innovation14 Months20 Months
Significant InvestorUnavailable due to low volume of applications.Unavailable due to low volume of applications.
InvestorUnavailable due to low volume of applications.Unavailable due to low volume of applications.
Premium InvestorUnavailable due to low volume of applications.Unavailable due to low volume of applications.
EntrepreneurUnavailable due to low volume of applications.Unavailable due to low volume of applications.

Last updated 18 September 2017 (for month ending ​31 August 2017)

Processing times vary.

For more information read Global visa and citizenship processing times

Eligibility

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 members of your family unit ) meet certain health and character requirements
  • you meet the additional requirements for the stream in which you apply.

Health

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

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

Character

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 members of your family unit listed in your application, whether they are migrating or not.

For each member of your family unit included in the application you will need to complete:

  • Form 80 - Personal particulars for assessment including character assessment (386KB PDF)

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

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 repaid, or have arranged to repay, any outstanding debts to the Australian government.

The visa

Who is this for?

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 you can do

    This visa lets you:
  • 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 members of your family unit with you to Australia
  • seek permanent residence by applying for a Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888).

Cost

From AUD 585

    You might have to pay additional costs for:
  • additional applicant 18 and over
  • additional applicant under 18
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.

Use the Visa pricing estimator to estimate the cost of your application.

Visa pricing estimator

How long the visas lasts

The 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.

Location

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

Family

    You can include the following people in your visa application at the time of lodgement:
  • your partner
  • your child/step-child or your partner’s child/step-child.

For detailed information regarding who you can include in your application see 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 members of your family unit can be added to your application.

Members of your family unit who have been granted this visa are eligible to study and work in Australia.

Costs

Members of your family unit who apply after a visa has been granted to you must pay the full visa application charge.

Documents

Members of your family unit who apply after a visa has been granted to you must provide the documents listed under 'Personal documents'.

The 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 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.

Workplace rights in Australia

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

Your 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.

Follow these steps

  1. Before you apply

    Expression of interest

    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 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.

  2. Gather documents

    Documents

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

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

    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.

  3. Apply

    Apply online

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

      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
    • receiving assistance with your application.

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

  4. After you apply

    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:

    • Form 1023 - Notification of incorrect answer(s) (99KB PDF)

    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.

    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.

    Tell us of changes

    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.

    More information is available in the Tell us of changes tab.

Tell us of changes

Changes to 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.

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.

How to tell us of changes

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

  • Form 929 - Change of address and/or passport details (86KB PDF) — if you move to a new address or change your passport
  • Form 1022 - Notification of changes in circumstances (77KB PDF) — if there are other changes in your circumstances.

Withdrawing your visa 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.

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 might 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.