Business & Investment Visas


The most widely used route for business or investment migration to Australia is to obtain provisional 188 visas with the right to apply for 888 permanent residency. This avenue is only available for individuals with a record of success in business and investment. Subclass 188 consists of 5 main streams with 2 extension streams. Each of these stream vary significantly in their prerequisites:

Eligibility Summary – Subclass 188 Visa

Age

  • 188A: Less than 55 (unless exemptions of significant economic benefit can be proven)
  • 188B: Less than 55 (unless exemptions of significant economic benefit can be proven)
  • 188C: Not applicable
  • 188D: Not applicable
  • 188C: Less than 55 (unless exemptions of significant economic benefit can be proven)

Net value of Personal and Business Assets – States may have different thresholds.

  • 188A: $800,000
  • 188B: $2,250,000
  • 188C: Not applicable
  • 188D: Not applicable
  • 188E: Not applicable

Minimum Business or Investment in Australia

  • 188A: Prescribed by the State/ Territory Government authority
  • 188B: $1,500,000 – Designated Investment
  • 188C: $5,000,000 – Complying Significant Investment
  • 188D: $15,000,000 – Complying Premium Investment
  • 188E: Not applicable

Nominating Bodies

  • 188A: State/ Territory Government authority
  • 188B: State/ Territory Government authority
  • 188C: State/ Territory Government authority, or Austrade
  • 188D: State/ Territory Government authority, or Austrade
  • 188E: $200,000 – Sourced approved by the Australian Investment Council

Applicability of Schedule 7A Points Test

  • 188A: Subject to the Points Test
  • 188B: Subject to the Points Test
  • 188C: Not subject to the Points Test
  • 188D: Not subject to the Points Test
  • 188E: Not subject to the Points Test

Irrespective of the points test, every business visa applicant must lodge an application for an invitation on Skillselect. Formal visa application can only be lodged when both the invitation and nomination have been issued.

State Nomination

Criteria for nomination vary across different States and Territories. Due to the broad discretion afforded to each authority, the grounds for nomination diverge considerably, such as:

  • Varying threshold for minimum assets or investment values;
  • Exclusion of specific businesses;
  • Concessions for undertaking business activities in regional areas;
  • Requirement to exclusively export goods produced in the nominating State;
  • Requirement to create a specified number of employment opportunities;
  • Requirement for business investment funds to be spent on particular kinds of assets.
    Additionally, State and Territory bodies may institute periodic suspensions of their respective nomination programms or require additional evidence from applicants on a case by case basis.

Schedule 7A Points Test

Age

  • 20 points: not less than 18 and under 25
  • 30 points: not less than 25 and under 33
  • 25 points: not less than 33 and under 40
  • 20 points: not less than 40 and under 45
  • 15 points: not less than 45 and under 55

English Language

  • 5 points: vocational English
  • 10 points: proficient English

Educational Qualification

  • 5 points: the award of a trade qualification, diploma or bachelor degree by an Australian educational institution.
  • 5 points: the award of a bachelor qualification by an educational institution that is of a recognized standard.
  • 10 points: the award of a bachelor degree in business, science or technology by an Australian educational institution.
  • 10 points: the award of a bachelor qualification in business, science or technology by an educational institution that is of a recognized standard.

Business Experience – Business Innovation stream only

  • 10 points: not less than 4 years in the 5 years immediately before the time of invitation to apply for the visa.
  • 15 points: not less than 7 years in the 8 years immediately before the time of invitation to apply for the visa.

Investor Experience – Investor stream only

  • 10 points: held eligible investments which had a value of not less than $100,000 for not less than 4 years immediately before the time of invitation to apply for the visa.
  • 15 points: held eligible investments which had a value of not less than $100,000 for not less than 7 years immediately before the time of invitation to apply for the visa.

Financial Assets – together with the spouse or de facto partner

  • 5 points: not less than $800,000 in each of the 2 fiscal years immediately before the time of invitation to apply for the visa.
  • 15 points: not less than $1,300,000 in each of the 2 fiscal years immediately before the time of invitation to apply for the visa.
  • 25 points: not less than $1,800,000 in each of the 2 fiscal years immediately before the time of invitation to apply for the visa.
  • 35 points: not less than $2,250,000 in each of the 2 fiscal years immediately before the time of invitation to apply for the visa.

Business Turnover

  • 5 points: not less than $500,000 in at least 2 of the 4 fiscal years immediately before the time of invitation to apply for the visa.
  • 15 points: not less than $1,000,000 in at least 2 of the 4 fiscal years immediately before the time of invitation.
  • 25 points: not less than $1,500,000 in at least 2 of the 4 fiscal years immediately before the time of invitation.
  • 35 points: not less than $2,000,000 in at least 2 of the 4 fiscal years immediately before the time of invitation.

Business Innovation

  • 15 points: the applicant, or a main business of the applicant, had either or both of the following:
    • (a) one or more patents that:
      • (i) were registered not less than 1 year before that time; and
      • (ii) were used in the day to day activities of the main business;
    • (b) one or more registered designs that:
      • (i) were registered not less than 1 year before that time; and
      • (ii) were used in the day to day activities of the main business.
  • 10 points: the applicant, or a main business of the applicant, had one or more registered trademarks that:
    • (a) were registered not less than 1 year before that time; and
    • (b) were used in the day to day activities of the main business.
  • 15 points: at least one main business held by the applicant derived not less than 50% of its annual turnover from export trade in at least 2 of the 4 fiscal years immediately before that time.
  • 5 points: each of the following apply:
    • (a) at least one main business in which the applicant held an ownership interest operated in accordance with a formal joint venture agreement entered into with another business or businesses;
    • (b) the joint venture agreement had been entered into not less than 1 year before the time of invitation to apply for the visa;
    • (c) the applicant utilized his or her skills in actively participating at a senior level in the day to day management of the business.
  • 10 points: the applicant had an ownership interest in at least one main business that:
    • (a) was established not more than 5 years before that time; and
    • (b) had an average annualised growth in turnover that was greater than 20% per annum over 3 continuous fiscal years; and
    • (c) in at least one of the 3 fiscal years mentioned in paragraph (b) employed 10 or more employees for a total number of hours that was at least the total number of hours that would have been worked by 10 full-time employees.
  • 10 points: the applicant, or at least one main business in which the applicant held an ownership interest:
    • (a) had received a grant that:
      • (i) was awarded for the purposes of early phase start up of a business, product commercialization, business development or business expansion; and
      • (ii) was at least $10,000; and
      • (iii) was awarded by a government body in the applicant’s home country; and
      • (iv) had been received not more than 4 years immediately before that time; or(b) had received venture capital funding of at least $100,000 not more than 4 years before the time of the invitation for the purposes of early phase start up of a business, product commercialisation, business development or business expansion.

Special Endorsement

  • 10 points: the nominating State or Territory government agency had determined that the business proposed by the applicant was of unique and important benefit to the State or Territory where the nominating government agency is located.

Visa Period

Subclass 188 visa permits the holder to travel to, enter and remain in Australia for 4 years and 3 months from the date of grant.

Subclass 188 – Common Criteria

  • Applicants must not have a history of involvement in unacceptable business activities or practices.
  • Applicants must be nominated by a State authority, and the nominations must not have been revoked.
  • Applicants who hold Subclass 491 or 494 visas must have held said visas for a period of no less than 3 years at the time of application.
  • Applicants must meet the health requirements.
  • Applicants must meet the character requirements.

English Language Proficiency

Whilst not strictly required for the purpose of eligibility, applicants who fail to demonstrate functional English will attract additional application fees in the form of a second instalment of the application fee. Contact us today to know more.