Business Innovation and Investment (188 Visa)

The 188A visa is only available to applicants who are nominated by an Australian State or Territory government and meet the points test for this visa. To be nominated, the applicant must lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) through the SkillSelect system.

This is a 4-year temporary visa, for people who want to own and manage a new or existing business in Australia. Once established an ownership interest in an Australian business, the applicant can apply for permanent residence through the Business Innovation & Investment (Residence) Subclass 888 visa. A 2-year extension is possible once the applicant has held the subclass 188 visa for 3 years, giving 6 years from the date of grant of the original Visa.

The applicants can either be in Australia or overseas to lodge this visa.

If the applicant is in Australia:

·         Must hold a Substantive Visa or a Bridging A, B or C visa.

188A The Business Innovation Stream

General 188 Visa Requirements: ·         Ownership of a business with turnover of at least AUD 500,000 for at least 2 of the last 4 fiscal years; and

·         Net personal and business assets of at least AUD 800,000; and

·         Under 55 years of age, unless the nominating state or territory certifies that the applicant will make an exceptional economic benefit; and

·         Meet the pass mark in the Business innovation and investment Points test (currently 65 points)

·         Have an overall successful career in business

Subclass 888 Visa Requirements: ·         The applicant has been in Australia on subclass 188A visa for at least 12 months, within the 2 years prior to lodgement

·         Owned and operated a business in Australia for at least 2 years prior to the application with annual turnover of at least $300,000 for the 2 of last 4 years

·         You and/or your partner must meet two of the following three criteria for the 12 months:

  • Assets of at least 200,000
  • Net personal and business assets of at least $600,000 in Australia
  • Employed at least two Australian full-time employees in your business in Australia

You must score at least 65 points (the pass mark) in the points test to be eligible to apply for a Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) in the Business Innovation stream or the Investor stream.

The points test does not apply to you if you are applying in the Significant Investor stream, the Premium Investor stream, or the Business Innovation Extension stream or the Significant Investor Extension stream.

The test gives points for various elements of human capital and business innovation and includes objective measures of business performance.

Points are awarded for:

  • age
  • English language ability
  • qualifications
  • experience in business or investment
  • net personal and business assets
  • business turnover
  • innovation.

Points are awarded on the basis of the factors listed in the following table. All factors are assessed as at the time you are invited to apply for this visa, unless otherwise noted.

Factor Description Points
Age 18–24 years 20
25–32 years 30
33–39 years 25
40–44 years 20
45–54 years 15
55 and older 0
English language ability Vocational English (IELTS 6) 5
Proficient English (IELTS 7) 10
Qualifications Australian trade certificate, diploma or bachelor degree by an Australian education institute; or

a bachelor qualification recognised by an education institution of a recognised standard

5
Bachelor degree in business, science or technology by an Australian institution; or a bachelor qualification by an education institution of a recognised standard 10
Special endorsement The nominating state or territory government agency could decide that your proposed business is of unique and important benefit to the state or territory where the nominating government agency is located 10
Financial assets Net business and personal assets of you, your partner or you and your partner combined in each of the preceding two years of at least:
AUD800 000 5
AUD1.3 million 15
AUD1.8 million 25
AUD2.25 million 35
Business turnover Annual turnover in your main business during a period of at least two years of the preceding four fiscal years of at least:
AUD500 000 5
AUD1 million 15
AUD1.5 million 25
AUD2 million 35
Business Innovation stream only

Business experience

You have held one or more businesses before you were invited to apply for the visa for:
Not less than four years within the preceding five years 10
Not less than seven years within the preceding eight years 15
Investor stream only

Investor experience

Eligible investment of at least AUD100 000 held for:
At least four years before the time of invitation to apply for the visa 10
At least seven years before the time of invitation to apply for the visa 15
Business innovation qualifications

At the time of invitation to apply for the visa:

Evidence of registered patents or registered designs 15
Evidence of registered trademarks 10
Evidence of formal joint venture agreements 5
Evidence of export trade 15
Evidence of ownership interest in a gazelle business 10
Evidence of receipt of grants or venture capital funding 10
State or territory nomination Special endorsement (limited places) 10

Age

You can receive up to 30 points based on your age on the day you were invited to apply.

For the Business Innovation stream or Investor stream, if you are aged 55 years or you are not eligible for points for your age under the points test.

English language ability

You can receive 10 points for proficient English and 5 points for vocational English.

The IELTS, PTE Academic and TOEFL iBT band score for the four components must be demonstrated in one test taken within the three years before you are invited to apply for this visa. The Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) test band score for the four components must be demonstrated in one test taken on or after 1 January 2015 and before you are invited to apply for this visa. We will not accept separate test scores for each component for these English language tests.

There are two IELTS tests—an academic test and a general training test. You need to take only the general test unless otherwise advised by your skills assessing authority.

The OET test must have been taken within the three years before you are invited to apply for this visa.

Qualifications

You can receive up to 10 points for your educational qualifications at the time you were invited to apply if you have met the requirements for:

  • a trade qualification, diploma or bachelor degree from an Australian educational institution (5 points)
  • a bachelor degree from another educational institution that the minister is satisfied meets a recognised standard (5 points)
  • a bachelor degree in business, science or technology from an Australian educational institution (10 points)
  • a bachelor degree in business, science or technology from another educational institution that the minister is satisfied meets a recognised standard (10 points).

If you have a higher degree in business, science or technology (such as Masters in Science), but have no bachelor degree in one of those fields, you do not qualify for the award of 10 points.

Experience in business or investment

You can receive up to 15 points if you have a demonstrated history of relevant business or investment experience for a specified amount of time in the period before you are invited to apply:

  • Business Innovation stream: experience of
    • at least four years in the preceding five years (10 points)
    • at least seven years in the preceding eight years (15 points)
  • Investor stream: a minimum of AUD100 000 in eligible investments for
    • at least the preceding four years (10 points)
    • at least the preceding seven years (15 points).

Net personal and business assets

To be awarded points for your assets, in each of the two fiscal years before you are invited to apply, you, your partner or you and your partner combined must have held net business and personal assets of at least:

  • AUD800 000 (5 points)
  • AUD1.3 million (15 points)
  • AUD1.8 million (25 points)
  • AUD2.25 million (35 points).

Business turnover

You can be awarded points on the basis of the turnover of your nominated main business in at least two of the four fiscal years before you are invited to apply:

  • AUD500 000 (5 points)
  • AUD1.0 million (15 points)
  • AUD1.5 million (25 points)
  • AUD2.0 million (35 points).

There is no business turnover requirement for the Investor stream.

Business innovation

For the Business Innovation stream, this component of the points test gives points for evidence of the following attributes at the time you are invited to apply for this visa. You can be awarded points for more than one attribute, but only once for each of them.

  • Registered patents or registered designs (15 points)
    • The patent or design must have been registered at least one year.
    • It must have been used in the day-to-day activities of your nominated main business.
  • Registered trademarks (10 points)
    • The trademark must have been registered at least one year.
    • It must have been used in the day-to-day activities of your main business.
  • Joint venture agreements (5 points)
    • The agreement must be a formal agreement that has been in force for at least one year.
    • You must have been involved at a senior level in day-to-day management and decision-making for the venture.
  • Export trade (15 points)
    • One or more of your nominated main businesses must have derived at least 50 per cent of annual turnover from export trade for at least two of the preceding four fiscal years.
  • Gazelle businesses (newly established businesses experiencing rapid growth during a short period) (10 points)
    • Your nominated main business must have been registered for no more than five years.
    • The average annualised growth in turnover of the business must have been greater than 20 per cent each year for a continuous period of three fiscal years.
    • The business must have had 10 or more full-time employees for at least one fiscal year in the three-year period.
  • Receipt of grants or venture capital funding for an innovative business idea (10 points)
    • This funding must have been for the early-phase start-up of a business, product commercialisation, business development or business expansion.
    • Grants: You must have received a grant of at least AUD10 000 under specified conditions from a government body in your home country within the preceding four years.
    • Venture capital funding: You must have received venture capital funding of at least AUD100 000 within the preceding four years.

Special endorsement

In a limited number of cases, a nominating state or territory government could determine that your proposed business or investment is of unique and important benefit to the state or territory. In these circumstances, you can be awarded 10 points.

Other points:

  • Validity of the visa: 4 years and 3 months
  • A subclass 188 Business Innovation visa holder may be able to apply for one extension (2 years) only if certain conditions are met.

Other 188 Visa eligibility streams:

Note that business migration can be extremely complex, and even determining whether you have a good chance of qualifying can be difficult. In addition, you may be able to qualify in a number of different business migration categories.

Contact us today for a commitment free briefing with our Registered Migration Agents in Melbourne to find more about your visa options.