Overview

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

You must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through Skill Select and be nominated by a state or territory government before being invited to apply for this visa.

The visa includes three streams:
  • Business Innovation stream: for people with business skills who want to establish, develop and manage a new or existing business in Australia.
  • 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.
  • Significant Investor stream: for people who are willing to invest at least AUD5million into complying investments in Australia and want to maintain business and investment activity in Australia.

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

Business Innovation stream

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
  • 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
  • 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

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.

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:

  • reside in the state or territory whose government agency nominated you
  • continue your business and investment activity in Australia after your complying investment matures
  • live in Australia for at least 160 cumulative days over the period while holding 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.​​

For all business visas:

  • You have not been engaged in a business where the provision of professional or technical or trade services took up more than 50% of your time
  • Neither you or your spouse have a history of involvement in a business or investment activities not a nature not generally acceptable in Australia
  • You have a genuine and realistic commitment to establish or participate actively in a qualifying business in Australia and to maintain and hold a substantial ownership level.
  • You have demonstrated that there is a need to be temporarily in Australia to conduct or establish the proposed business activity

 

Business Owner (PR)

Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888) 

 
Business Innovation stream
If you are applying for the Business Innovation stream, you must have been in Australia and held for at least one year in the two years immediately before you apply for one of the following:

  1. a Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) in the Business Innovation stream or the Business Innovation Extension stream
  2. a Special Category visa (subclass 444)
  3. a Business (Long Stay) visa (subclass 457IE).

In addition, you must be able to show ongoing business involvement, meet certain financial requirements, and have a history of employing Australian workers.

Ongoing business involvement

You must be able to show that you (or you and your partner together) have:

  • Had an ownership interest (and continue to have an ownership interest) and a direct and continuous management role in an actively operating main business (or main businesses) in Australia for the two years immediately before you apply.
  • Had an annual turnover of at least AUD300 000 from the main business (or businesses) in the 12 months before you apply. (A nominating state or territory might agree to waive the requirement to show an annual turnover of AUD300 000 if you live and operate business in a specified regional area of Australia)
  • owned at least one of the following percentages of the main business (or main businesses) in Australia in the year immediately before you apply:
    • 51 per cent of a business with a turnover of less than AUD400 000 per year
    • 30 per cent of a business with a turnover of AUD400 000 or more per year
    • 10 per cent of a publicly listed company
  • obtained an Australian Business Number for each of your main businesses
  • submitted Business Activity Statements to the Australian Taxation Office for the two years immediately before you apply
  • not acquired the ownership in your main business (or two main businesses) from a person who was an applicant for, or a holder of, a permanent Business Innovation and Investment visa (subclass 888) or a permanent business skills visa (in subclasses 890, 891, 892 or 893), unless you and that person had a joint interest in the main business for at least one year before you lodge your application for this visa.

You (or your partner, or you and your partner together) must also demonstrate that you have achieved at least two of the following requirements:

  • a net value of business assets of at least AUD200 000 in your nominated main business (or two main businesses) in Australia throughout the year immediately before you apply
  • a net value of personal and business assets of at least AUD600 000 in Australia throughout the year immediately before you apply
  • employed at least the equivalent of two full-time employees in your main business (or main businesses), throughout the year immediately before you apply who are:
  • Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents, or holders of valid New Zealand passports
    not your family members.

You have not been engaged in a business where the provision of professional or technical or trade services took up more than 50% of your time

Neither you nor your spouse has a history of involvement in a business or investment activities not a nature not generally acceptable in Australia

You have been in Australia as the holder of one of the qualifying visas for a total of at least one year in the two years immediately before application is made.

For this Australian business owner visa, register into your Client Area at the top-right, and we can fully assess your options for an Australian business owner visa.

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