Subclass 188E:
Entrepreneur Visa

This entrepreneur stream is for individuals who have secured funding from an approved entity to continue carrying out a complying entrepreneurial activity in Australia. The number of applications under this stream is limited.

Primary Criteria

To qualify under this stream, a primary applicant must satisfy all of the following:
  • Applicant was invited in writing, by the Minister, to apply for the visa;
  • Applicant has not turned 55 at the time of invitation. Otherwise, applicant is proposing to establish or participate in business or investment activity that the nominating State or Territory government authority has determined is of exceptional economic benefit to the State or Territory in which the authority is located;
  • Applicant has at least competent English;
  • Applicant is undertaking, or proposing to undertake, a complying entrepreneur activity. They must have a genuine intention to undertake, and continue to undertake, the complying entrepreneur activity in Australia. This is in accordance with the funding agreement from an approved entity;
  • Applicant has at least 30% ownership interest in the entrepreneurial entity from when the funding agreement was entered into; and
  • Applicant’s net value of the business and personal assets is sufficient to enable settlement in Australia.
  • Invitation

    The applicant needs to submit an expression of interest which is reviewed by a State or Territory Government authority. Their decision to nominate the applicant is communicated to the Department, who will then issue an invitation to apply for the visa in the Entrepreneur stream. The nomination must continue to be valid for the visa to be granted.


    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 afford waiver where the applicant’s Australian business is deemed to be of significant economic benefit to said State or Territory.

    The discretion of States and Territories to accept age-restricted applicants on the grounds of “exceptional economic benefit” is largely unfettered. Policy supports deference to the recommendation of State or Territory authorities, which in turn affords these authorities enormous discretion in the exercise of this power. The State and Territory authorities provide minimal guidance on when they will recommend waiver of age restrictions.

    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).
  • Complying Entrepreneur Activity

    An activity that an applicant for a visa is undertaking, or proposing to undertake, is a complying entrepreneur activity if all the following requirements are met:
  • The activity relates to an innovative idea that is proposed to lead to commercialisation of a product or services in Australia, or development of an enterprise or business in Australia;
  • The activity does not relate to residential real estate, labour hire, or purchase of an existing enterprise or a franchise in Australia.
  • If the applicant is not the entrepreneurial entity, the applicant personally held, at the time the agreement or each agreement was entered into, at least a 30% share in the ownership of the entrepreneurial entity;
  • Funding is provided under one or more legally enforceable agreements in effect between the entrepreneurial entity and one or more approved entities. Approved entities include:
  • All agencies of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory;
  • Bodies that undertake publicly funded research or innovation initiatives and are established under a law of the Commonwealth, a State or a Territory;
  • Investors registered or conditionally registered as venture capital limited partnerships or early stage venture capital limited partnerships under Part 2 of the Venture Capital Act 2002;
  • Higher education providers listed under Part 2-1 of the Higher Education Support Act 2003.
  • The total amount of the funding provided or to be provided under the agreement or agreements is at least $200,000;
  • Under the agreement or each agreement, at least 10% of the funding is to be paid to the entrepreneurial entity within 12 months of the day the activity starts to be undertaken in Australia;
  • There is in place a business plan for the entrepreneurial entity that the Minister considers to be appropriately formulated to lead to:
  • Commercialisation of a product or services in Australia; or
  • Development of an enterprise or business in Australia.
  • Application Charges

    Subclass 188 is payable in 2 instalments.

    First instalment:

  • 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 instalment:

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