Business Innovation & Investment (Temporary) Visas (188)

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

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

The visa includes four streams:

  • Business Innovation Stream (Subclass 188A)
  • Investor Stream (Subclass 188B)
  • Significant Investor Stream (Subclass 188C)
  • Entrepreneur Stream (Subclass 188E)

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

To be able to apply for this visa, you must first submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) and then be invited through SkillSelect to apply.

You may then be nominated before being invited to apply.

Your EOI must specify:

  • Which stream you intend to apply under
  • Which state or territory you wish to seek nomination from, or if you are seeking nomination from the Australian government (where possible).

 

Business Innovation stream visa – Subclass 188A

The Business Innovation Stream is designed for business owners with overall successful business career who intend to establish business operations in Australia.  They will need to meet at least the following specific requirements:

  • Age – 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.
  • You must score at least 65 on the points test.
  • For two out of the four fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply, you have had an ownership interest in an established business or businesses that had at least AUD750 000 turnover in each of those years.
  • You own at least one of the following percentages 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.
  • You have an overall successful business career.
  • You 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 AUD 1,250, 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 visa – Subclass 188B

This stream is designed for successful investors and business people who are willing to invest at least AUD1.5 million in Australian State or Territory Government bonds.  Key criteria include:

  • Age – 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
  • You score at least 65 on the points test.
  • You have a high level of management skill in relation to the eligible investment or qualifying business activity.
  • You have at least three years’ experience of direct involvement in managing one or more qualifying businesses or eligible investments.
  • You have an overall successful record of eligible investment or qualifying business activity.
  • You have a genuine and realistic commitment to continuing your business and investment activity in Australia after the original investment has matured.
  • You 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 AUD 2.5million.
  • during the two fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply, have legally acquired net business, investment and personal assets of at least AUD 2.5 million that are available for legal transfer to Australia within two years of the visa being granted
  • make a designated investment of at least AUD 2.5 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 visa – Subclass 188C

Unlike other business migration categories, there is no upper age limit for this type of visa.

For grant of the visa, applicants must make an investment of at least AUD 5 million in a “complying investment”.  A “complying investment” for the purposes of the Significant Investor Visa must be made up of:

  • At least $500,000 in venture capital and growth private equity funds which invest in start-ups and small private companies
  • At least $1.5 million in approved managed funds investing in emerging companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange
  • A “balancing investment” of up to $3 million in managed funds that may invest in a range of assets, including ASX-listed companies, Australian corporate bonds or notes, annuities and commercial real estate.

Entrepreneur stream visa – Subclass 188E

  • Age – under 55 of age or of exceptional economic benefit to Australia
  • Have “Competent English” (6.0 or more in each of the four components in IELTS or equivalent or hold an eligible passport).
  • Must be nominated by a State or Territory Government
  • Propose to undertake a complying entrepreneur activity
    • Must be an innovative idea
    • Must not be in Residential Real Estate, Labour Hire, or Purchase of an Existing Enterprise or a Franchise in Australia
  • Secure one or more legally enforceable agreements to receive funding with a total of at least $200,000 from:
    • Commonwealth or State or Territory Government
    • Publicly Funded Research Organisation
    • Registered Australian Venture Capital Limited Partnership (VCLP) or Early State Venture Capital Limited Partnership (ESVCLP)
    • Higher Education Provider
  • Must hold at least 30% interest in the Entrepreneurial Entity
  • 10% of the funding must be paid within twelve months of the day the activity starts
  • Must provide a satisfactory business plan for the entrepreneurial activity noting how the Innovation Idea will lead to the commercialisation of the product or service
  • Maximum of three applicants can apply under the same entity
  • Meeting other health and character criteria
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