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Subclass 188E: Entrepreneur Visa


The entrepreneur stream is for individuals who undertakes, or proposes to undertake, a ‘complying entrepreneur activity‘ in Australia and have a funding agreement of at least $200,000 to carry out the entrepreneurial activity in Australia.

Primary Criteria

  • Applicant was invited in writing by the Minister to apply for the visa;
  • Applicant has not turned 55 at the time of invitation, or is otherwise proposing to establish or participate in business or investment activities that the nominating State or Territory authority has determined is of exceptional economic benefit to the State or Territory;
  • Applicant has at least competent English;
  • Applicant is undertaking, or proposing to undertake, a complying entrepreneur activity in Australia in accordance with a funding agreement or agreements with a total amount of $200,000 from an approved entity or entities;
  • Applicant has at least 30% ownership interest in the entrepreneurial entity from the time when the funding agreement was entered into; and
  • The net value of the applicant’s business and personal assets is sufficient to enable relocation to and settlement in Australia.

Complying Entrepreneur Activity

An activity is a complying entrepreneur activity if it relates to an innovative idea that will lead to:

  • Commercialization of a product or service in Australia; or
  • Development of an enterprise or business in Australia.

It must not relate to any of the following categories:

  • Residential real estate;
  • Labour hire; or
  • Purchase of an existing enterprise or a franchise in Australia.

Funding from an approved entity

The applicant must have one or more legally enforceable agreements to receive funding with a total amount of at least $200,000. The funding must be from one of the following entities:

  • Commonwealth Government agency;
  • State or Territory Government agency;
  • Publicly funded research or innovation organisation;
  • Higher education provider specified as a Table A or Table B provider under Part 2-1 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003; or
  • Investor who is registered as an Australian Venture Capital Limited Partnership or Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership.

The agreement(s) must state that at least 10% of the funding must be payable to the entrepreneurial entity within 12 months of commencement of the activity in Australia. The entrepreneurial entity that will conduct the activity must be either an individual, a company or a partnership. The applicant must have held at least 30% interest in the entrepreneurial entity when the agreement was entered into.

Age

Generally, applicants must not have turned 55 at the time of invitation in order to qualify for the business and innovation stream. Nevertheless, State and Territory authorities reserve the discretion to issue the waiver where the proposed Australian business is deemed to be of significant economic benefit to said State or Territory.

This discretion of the State and Territory authorities in determining the economic benefit is largely unfettered. Migration policy supports deference of such decision to recommendation of the State or Territory authorities, conferring enormous discretion in the exercise of this power. The State and Territory authorities provide minimal guidance on their consideration on significant economic benefits.

Competent English

  • Applicant has scored at least 6 for each of the 4 components in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS);
  • Applicant has scored at least 50 for each of the 4 components in the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic).

Application Charges

Subclass 188 visa is payable in 2 installments.

First Installment

  • Base application charge: $5,375
  • Additional applicant charge for an applicant who is at least 18: $2,685
  • Additional applicant charge for an applicant who is less than 18: $1,345

Second Installment

  • Primary applicant without functional English: $9,795
  • Secondary applicants who do not demonstrate functional English: $4,890