Business Visas for Australia

Business Innovation and Investment (provisional) visa subclass 188

The following visas are for successful business people who can demonstrate a high level of management skills as a business owner or investor. Applicants generally must be under 55 years of age, be nominated by a state or territory government and score at least 65 on the points test.

Business Innovation Stream

  • Intend to participate in a new or existing business in Australia
  • Minimum annual turn over of A$750,000 in current business for 2 of the last 4 fiscal years
  • Assets of at least A$1,250,000 available for transfer to Australia within 2 years
  • Evidence an active management role within the business

The Investor Stream

You must have at least 3 years' experience demonstrating a high level of skill in successfully managing one or more qualifying businesses or eligible investments.

For at least 1 of the 5 fiscal years immediately before being invited to apply, you must have directly managed a qualifying business in which you had at least 10% ownership interest or an eligible investment of at least AUD1.500.000.

For the 2 fiscal years immediately before being invited to apply you must have personal and business/investment assets of AUD2.500.000 which 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 AUD750,000 in approved managed funds. The managed funds must invest in emerging companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.

A 'balancing investment' of at least AUD1.250.000 in managed funds.

The managed funds can invest in a range of assets, including companies listed on the Australian Stock exchange, Australian corporate bonds or notes, annuities and commercial real estate.

 Points Test

Points are awarded in the Business and investor stream for - Age, English, qualifications, the number of years experience in business or investment, transferable assets, Annual Turn Over, Innovation and special endorsement by a state or territory government.

Services provided by Concept Australia

Applying for a business visa requires extensive evidence such as audited accounts and tax records as well as proof of active management of your company or investment portfolio.

  • An initial discussion to assess your business and investment career
  • Advice and assistance with the preparation of your assets and liabilities portfolio
  • Advice and assistance with research and the structure of business statements and proposals
  • Liaising with your Accountant to obtain relevant financial documents
  • Applying to a state or territory government in Australia for nomination approval
  • Lodging your Expression of Interest and submitting your application to the Department of Home Affairs

Why should I only use an agent registered with MARA?

The Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA) is managed by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) who is responsible for monitoring the conduct of registered migration agents both in and outside Australia. MARA approves continuing professional development activities of all registered agents to ensure they maintain up-to-date knowledge of migration law and procedure so that only the highest level of advice and assistance is provided to prospective applicants.

The DHA strongly advise that if you need assistance with the visa process that you should only appoint an agent who is registered with the MARA. A person who is not registered cannot offer you legal protection and you run the risk of being exposed to migration fraud by someone who has limited knowledge on immigration procedures and who is not accountable for his/her actions.

Want to know more

If you have started to research your Business visa options for Australia and would like to know more about how we can help you please telephone 0208 315 6700 and ask for Grahame Igglesden or click on the Enquiry form below and submit your details to us.


> Make an Enquiry

What visa options are there?

Choose the best option for you:



What is SkillSelect?

SkillSelect is an online Expression of Interest (EOI) service for people who are interested in migrating to Australia. When your details are recorded onto the SkillSelect database you have the potential to be invited by the Australian Government to apply for a visa once you have been nominated by a state or territory government.


What is the points test?

If you apply for a Business Innovation and Investment visa you will need generate at least 65 points in order to receive an invitation to apply for a visa. The points test is used to help Australia select business people with a proven record of business and/or investment activity and will take into consideration your age, English language ability, qualifications, experience in business or Investment, net personal and business assets, business turnover and Innovation. The nominating state or territory governments may, on a limited basis, award 10 points where they have determined that your proposed business is of exceptional economic benefit to that state or territory.


Can I count the value of my own residence for investment purposes?

No, but the net assets held in your property can be used to fund the additional A$750,000 or towards the required assets if you are applying as a business investor visa for Australia.


What is an Expression of Interest and invitation?

An Expression of Interest (EOI) is an online form in SkillSelect which enables you to record specific information about your personal circumstances including business and investment career. This information has the potential to lead to an invitation to lodge a Business Innovation and Investment visa application.


Do I need to sit an English language test?

If you have a passport issued by the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada, New Zealand or the Republic of Ireland you are not required to present evidence of your English language skills and will be awarded 5 points for vocational English.

If you do not hold a passport from one of the above countries you will need to sit an IELTS test and score five for each of the four test components of speaking, reading, writing and listening in order to demonstrate vocational English and be awarded five points. In order to claim 10 points for proficient English (regardless of the county of your passport) you must have an IELTS test score of at least 7 for each of the four test components of speaking, reading, writing and listening.

How long is my visa valid for?

Business Innovation and Investor applicants are granted provisional visas and must generally enter Australia to validate their visas within 12 months of health and character checks (whichever were sooner). Once initial entry has been made the visa then converts into a multiple-entry visa valid for a period of 4 years from when the initial entry date expires. Please note that by this date you must have either applied within Australia for permanent residence or another visa, or have departed Australia.


When should I apply for permanent residence?

In order to qualify for a permanent Business Innovation visa (subclass 888) you will need to provide evidence that you have actively participated in a business in Australia for at least 2 years and prove the value of net personal and business assets held in Australia, Annual Turn Over, and number of employees in the 12 months before you apply.

If you are applying for a permanent Business Investment visa you will need to provide evidence that you have held a designated investment of AUD1.5 million for four years with an Australian Treasury Corporation plus outline your future plans to maintain your investment in Australia or proposed business activities.

What are the benefits of using a MARA registered migration agent?

The decision to engage a migration agent is a personal choice which will depend on the complexity of your visa application and whether you are confident that you have fully understood all the rules and regulations which will be applied to your case.

If you do need assistance with the visa process, the Department of Home Affairs strongly recommend that you appoint an agent who is registered with the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA). A registered migration agent must satisfy a strict code of conduct and:

  • maintain current knowledge of migration law and procedure
  • keep a professional library with direct access to migration regulations via Legend
  • undertake continuous professional development in order to maintain knowledge of migration regulations and policy


An agent who is not registered with MARA cannot offer you any legal protection and is not accountable for his/her actions and therefore might:

  • make false claims about your chances of success
  • give you incorrect advice
  • have limited knowledge about current Australian visa legislation and procedures
  • increase your risk of being exposed to migration fraud
  • charge fees which are unreasonable and excessive.
How long will it take to process a Business Innovation and Investment visa?

The average processing timetable for deciding applications at the Adelaide Business Skills Centre for Business innovation (subclass 188 applicants is 15 months. Once you have been granted your visa you will need to enter Australia by a specified date (usually 12 months from the date of health and character checks - whichever were sooner).


Business Innovation and Investment Enquiry Form

If you are considering applying for a Business Innovation and Investment visa for Australia, please complete and submit the form below. The information you provide will be treated in confidence and will not be stored onto a data-base or distributed to third parties.

Concept Australia will contact you to discuss your circumstances and to explain the visa process together with costs for submitting an application for a Business Innovation and Investment visa for Australia.



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