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Business Innovation and Investment Visa subclass 188 - To run or invest in a business in Australia

business innovation and investment visa (subclass 188)The Business Innovation and Investment visa (subclass 188) is a provisional four-year visa. You can apply for it when you want to any of the following:

  • Set up and run a business in Australia.
  • Own and run an existing Australian business.
  • Invest in an Australian state or territory.

This visa is also the first step towards qualifying for permanent residency via the Business Innovation and Investment visa (subclass 888).

The different streams under the Business Innovation and Investment visa (subclass 188)

You can make applications under one of three streams, each with its own qualifying criteria:

  1. Business Innovation stream: You want to establish, develop and manage a new or existing business in Australia.
  2. Investor stream: You want to make a designated investment of at least AU$1.5 million in an Australian state or territory, and maintain business and investment activity in Australia.
  3. Significant Investor stream: You are willing to invest at least AU$5 million into complying investments in Australia, and maintain business and investment activity in Australia.

Qualifying criteria - Business innovation stream

The basic criteria includes:

  • You must be under the age of 55.
  • You must score 65 points in the Business Innovation and Investment points test.
  • An invitation to apply from the minister and the proposed business must be of 'exceptional' economic benefit to the its state or territory.
  • Proof that you need to be in Australia to establish or run the proposed business.
  • You must meet the public criteria as well as the nominating state or territory's criteria.

The financial criteria:

  • You must have had ownership in one or more businesses that had an annual turnover of at least AU$500,000 in at least two of the last 4 years.
  • You and any partner must have a net value of at least AU$800,000 in personal or business assets.
  • The sponsoring state or territory must be satisfied that you and your partner's assets are enough to support you.

Qualifying criteria - Investor stream

The basic criteria includes:

  • You must be under the age of 55.
  • You must score 65 points in the Business Innovation and Investment points test.
  • An invitation to apply from the minister and the proposed business must be of 'exceptional' economic benefit to the its state or territory.
  • You must have a successful record of eligible investment activity, as well as a total of at least three years' experience, with direct involvement in managing one or more qualifying businesses or eligible investments.
  • You or your partner must have had ownership of at least 10% of the business or have had direct involvemnet in managing eligible investments with a net worth of at least AUD 1,500,00.
  • You meet the public criteria as well as the nominating state or territory's criteria.

The financial criteria:

  • You and any partner must have had a net value of at least AUD ?? in the two previous fiscal years.
  • You must have made a designated appropriate investment of at least AU$1,500,000 in the applicable state or territory.

Qualifying criteria - Significant investor stream

The main requirement here is that you keep a AU$5 million investment in either of the following for four years:

  • Commonwealth, state or territory government bonds; or
  • Eligible managed funds; or
  • Direct investment into private Australian companies, in which you have an ownership interest.

You must also:

  • Live in Australia for at least 160 cumulative days over the four-year period while holding your provisional visa.
  • Continue your business and investment activity in Australia after your complying investment matures.
  • Have a genuine and realistic commitment to reside in the state or territory where you were nominated; and

Unlike with the other streams, you do not have to have a points test done or meet any English requirements.

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