What is a Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188)?
The business innovation and investment (provisional) visa (subclass 188) is a provisional visa designed for businessmen and entrepreneurs. This visa allows them to come to Australia to take over an existing business or start a new business. It aims to increase business activity and lead to the economic growth of the country. This is done by attracting skilled businessmen and entrepreneurs from around the world.
The businessmen can travel and work without restriction for the duration of this visa. They can also bring their eligible family members with them. The duration of their stay and their eligibility are decided by the stream that they apply under.
Different types of visas for business ventures to Australia:
1. 188 business visa:
Here are the different types of subclass 188 business visas:
Business Innovation stream: If you are taking over an existing business or starting a new business, you can apply for a business innovation visa. The visa allows a stay of up to 5 years, providing ample time to establish and expand ventures. You will need a nomination by the federal or regional government before you can lodge your visa application. To obtain this visa:
- Should be less than 55 years of age when you apply
- Have ownership in one or two businesses meeting specific turnover criteria for at least 2 out of the last 4 fiscal years
- Depending on the business turnover, you need to own a certain percentage: 51% for businesses with less than AUD 400,000 turnover, 30% for businesses with AUD 400,000 or more turnover, or 10% for publicly listed companies.
- Must possess net assets of at least AUD 1.25 million (post-July 2021) or AUD 800,000 (pre-July 2021) to qualify for the visa
- Must score a minimum of 65 points test
Investor stream: Another popular category of visa for businessmen is the business investment visa. As the name suggests, you need to invest in an existing business to become eligible for this visa. To get this visa:
- You have managed a qualifying business or eligible investments for at least 1 of the last 5 fiscal years before the invitation. For post-July 2021 invitations, investments must be at least AUD2.5 million.
- Hold assets with a net value of at least AUD2.5 million (post-July 2021) or AUD2.25 million (pre-July 2021) for 2 fiscal years before the invitation.
- You have at least 3 years’ experience managing businesses or investments, demonstrating a high level of management skill
- You have a genuine intention to reside for at least 2 years in the State or Territory
- You need a nomination by the Australian government or territorial government agency
Significant Investor stream: You need to make a substantial investment in a business to apply for this visa. This stream facilitates a stay of up to 5 years. Other important features of this visa category are:
- You need to invest a minimum of AUD 5 million in an existing business
- The investment must include AUD1 million in venture capital, AUD1.5 million in approved managed funds focusing on emerging companies, and a ‘balancing investment’ of AUD2.5 million in various assets.
- Direct investment in residential real estate is not allowed. Limited indirect investments in residential property via managed funds are permitted.
- You need to provide evidence of your complying investment and compliance with relevant laws. Investments cannot be used as security for a loan.
- You need a nomination by the territorial government agency or the Australian government
Premium Investor Stream: The Premium Investor Stream opens doors to a 4-year and 3-month stay. This stream blends investment with social impact, creating a harmonious business environment.
- You must be nominated by Austrade, and you need to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) for consideration.
- You must make a complying premium investment of at least AUD15 million
- Your net assets must amount to at least AUD15 million, legally acquired and unencumbered.
Entrepreneur stream: The Entrepreneur stream caters to innovative entrepreneurs with a funding agreement from a third party. These are the important features of the entrepreneurvisa for businessmen:
- You are an early-stage entrepreneurwith a start-up
- You should have an AUD200,000 funding agreement with a third party
- You should be nominated by the Australian government or territorial government agency
- You must ensure a clean history of business and investment activities for you and your partner.
2. 888 Visa – Business Innovation and Investment on a permanent basis:
It is a business investment and innovation visa and leads towards permanent residency in Australia. If an individual has 188 provisional visas, then they can be eligible for this visa.
The eligibility is a time of 4 years in the investment stream and for the Business Innovation stream two years.
3. 132 visa:
You can apply for a 132 visa if you are a successful and experienced business owner. It is a permanent visa design available for existing owners.
The willingness, genuinity , and commitment of an individual are assessed to find if he/she is suitable for doing business in Australia.
Eligibility Requirements for the Business Innovation and Investment Visa
Here are the important eligibility requirements for the business innovation and investment visa for Australia:
- You must be under the age of 55 years when you file for this visa
- You need nomination by the Australian government or the state government
- You need to obtain the health and character certificate
- You require to submit an EOI (Expression of interest)
- You can apply only after obtaining the invitation to apply
- You should not have any outstanding debt to the Australian government
- You need to sign the Australian Values Statement
Please note that these are only general eligibility requirements and are subject to change or update. To find out your visa-specific eligibility conditions, check the Department of Home Affairs website or consult with your visa agent.
Duration and Conditions of Business Innovation and Investment Visa
Australia offers various streams of Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visas, each with its own duration and conditions. The Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) is valid for up to 5 years. During this period, visa holders are allowed to travel to and from Australia as many times as they want. They can also bring eligible family members to Australia.
However, holders of the subclass 188 visa may have a pathway to permanent residency through the Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) Visa (subclass 888) if they meet certain requirements. The subclass 888 visa is the permanent counterpart to the subclass 188 visa and provides long-term residency rights in Australia.
The visa allows holders to establish a new or existing business, engage in entrepreneurial activities, or undertake investment activities in Australia. It also provides a pathway to permanent residency through the Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888) after meeting certain requirements.
Benefits of This Visa:
The Subclass 188 Visa Categories in Australia offer several benefits, tailored to diverse investment and entrepreneurial needs:
- Travel to, enter and exit Australia without restriction
- Live and work freely for the duration of the visa
- Establish or manage a business in Australia
- Access healthcare and social security benefits (subject to eligibility)
- Bring your eligible family members with you to Australia
- Apply for the permanent visa under the eligible stream, if you met the conditions
Processing Times of 188 Visa Australia and other Business visas
Processing times for business visas can vary based on multiple factors. The Department of Home Affairs provides indicative processing times, but the actual processing time can differ based on the completeness of your application and how promptly you respond to any queries. To check the likely processing time for your application, you may consult your visa agent. Here are the typical processing times: authorities.
||25% of applications
||50% of applications
||75% of applications
||90% of applications
|Business Innovation stream
|Significant Investor stream
Procedure To Get An Australian Business Visa
Here are the basic steps to process your visa application.
Explore the type of visa apt for your business needs
Collect all important documents before filling out the form including health certificates that may be required. Ensure that you have an ID card, merits, and other residence proofs.
To apply online, you can create an Immiaccount.
In the end, you have to wait for the proceeding of your application. After all the formalities, the Australian government will provide you with a written form.
What Are The Documents Required For A Business Visa For Australia?
If you want a business visa in Australia, you need to collect all the essential documents:
- National ID cards and passports are mandatory
- Proof of name change (If applicable)
- A Territory or State must nominate you. Also, you need to be invited to apply for a visa.
- Provide an EOI (Expression of Interest) before applying
- Documents to prove net assets of 800,000 AUD
- Points test documents
- Character documents
- Business documents
- Health check documents (approved by an authorised doctor)
- English language documents
- Partner documents (if you have)
- Proof of your lender or someone helping you
- Dependents documents (over 18 if applicable)