Business Innovation and Investment Visa (Subclass 188)

This visa enables you to own and manage a business in Australia, engage in business and investment activities in Australia, or engage in entrepreneurial activity in Australia. There are also different visa categories depending on whether you already own a business, want to start a business in South Australia, or want to invest in the state. It also serves as a first step towards being eligible for a permanent Business Skills visa.

Eligibility Criteria

  • You must be under the age of 55.
  • Be nominated by a state or territory government in Australia
  • Submit an Expression of Interest and you will be contacted by the Department of Home Affairs to apply.
  • Have your health checked within 12 months of applying for the visa.
  • Have a police certificate from each country where you have lived for 12 months or more in the last ten years to demonstrate your character.
  • Sign an Australian Values Declaration (if the age is 18 or older)
  • Have no outstanding debts to the Australian government


(i) Business Innovation Stream (188A)


To be eligible for an 188 visa under the business innovation stream, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Have less than 55 years of age
  • At least 65 points on the point test
  • Have a genuine desire to work in a management position in an Australian company.
  • Have at least AUD 800,000 in total net business and personal assets available for legal transfer to Australia.
  • Have had ownership interest in an established business or a business with a turnover of AUD500,000 for at least two of the last four fiscal years (at the time of invitation to apply for visa)
  • Own at least a certain percentage of the nominated main business:
    • 51% if the company's annual revenue is less than AUD 400,000.
    • 30% if the company has a turnover of $400,000 or more.
    • 10% if the business is publicly traded.

(ii) Investor Stream (188B)


  • You must be under the age of 55. (this requirement can be waived if the proposed investment provides outstanding economic benefit to the nominating state or territory).
  • To engage in a qualifying business activity, you must have a high level of management skills.
  • Have a genuine intention to stay in the state or territory where the designated investment was made for at least two years.
  • Have a combined ownership interest of at least 10% (with your partner) in a qualifying business OR an eligible investment of at least AUD 1.5 million in at least one of the five fiscal years.
  • Have legally acquired at least AUD 2.25 million in investment, net business, and personal assets for legal transfer to Australia within two years of visa approval.
  • Pass the point-test with a score of at least 65.
  • Once the initial investment has matured, be committed to continuing business and investment in Australia.
  • Have been directly involved in managing one or more qualifying businesses or eligible investments for at least three years.
  • Invest at least AUD 1.5 million in a state or territory government for at least four years from the date of issue. In Australia, I have not participated in or been associated with any unacceptable activities.

(iii) Significant Investor Stream (188C)


  • Continue to reside in the nominated state or territory.
  • Maintain your business and investment activities in Australia even after your provisional visa expires.
  • You, your partner, or both have net assets of at least AUD5 million that were legally acquired and are available for use in making the required investment in Australia.
  • You must not have been associated with or involved in unethical business or investment practises.
  • You and all dependent members of your family unit (over the age of 18) must provide assurance that you will not sue the Commonwealth if any loss occurs as a result of the complying investment.
  • Under Australian taxation law, all income earned from compliant investments in Australia must be taxed.

(iv) Premium Investor Stream (188D)


  • Bonds or notes issued by the Australian government or semi-government
  • To engage in a qualifying business activity, you must have a high level of management skills.
  • State or territory-approved charitable contribution
  • An AFS licenced debt rating agency issued corporate bonds or investment graded bonds to an Australian exchange listed entity.
  • You must have a genuine intention to continue doing business and investing in Australia after your 188 visa expires.
  • You and your partner must not have engaged in illegal business or investment activities with Australian proprietary limited companies.
  • Assets listed on the Australian Securities Exchange
  • Australian registered life companies offer deferred annuities.
  • All income earned from the complying investment in Australia must be taxed under Australian taxation law.
  • Both applicant and partner, or both must have at least AUD15 million in combined net assets that are lawfully acquired and available to use to make the complying investment in Australia.
  • Both applicant and partner, as well as any dependent family members (over the age of 18), must provide assurance that you will not sue the Commonwealth for any loss resulting from the complying investment.

(v) Entrepreneur Stream (188E)


  • Age should be under 55 years
  • Proven evidence of English proficiency at the time of visa application
  • Should be a genuine entrepreneur with the intent to conduct legitimate business.
  • In Australia, the complying entrepreneurial entity should be involved in residential real estate, hiring labour, or purchasing existing businesses.
  • The professional business must have obtained or be in the process of obtaining a legitimate agreement for funding of at least AUD 200,000 from one of the approved entities - Publicly Funded Research Organisation, State or Territory Government, Commonwealth Government Agency, Registered investor with Early State Venture Capital Limited Partnership or an Australian Venture Capital Limited Partnership, Specified Higher Education Provider
  • Within 12 months of beginning business operations in Australia, the entrepreneur must provide proof of a 10% investment in the new venture.
  • A minimum 30% ownership of the entrepreneurial entity at the time the agreement is signed
  • A viable plan or novel idea for leading the commercialization of a product or service or the development of a business in Australia.
  • Maintain an ongoing relationship with the government of the nominating state or territory.

Need more information ?

Kindly share us your contact details below for further assistance.

Fix an Appointment