Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188)

Australia is a world-class innovation destination, with solid foundations of modern ICT infrastructure, high levels of investment, generous R&D tax incentives for businesses and strong intellectual property protection. There is strong support for R&D in Australia, with significant funding from public and private sector organisations and a generous R&D tax incentive.

·         As an innovative economy, Australia supports:

·         high-quality research outcomes

·         rapid growth in business expenditure on R&D

·         expenditure on R&D similar to that of other leading innovative countries, such as the USA, Japan and France

·         growth in gross expenditure on R&D at twice the OECD average

·         some of the world’s best academic and research institutions.

Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) is for people who want to own and manage a new or existing business in Australia, or to invest in an Australian state or territory.​​ The visa is valid for 4 years and only available to the applicants who are nominated by an Australian State or Territory government.

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 SkillSelect and be nominated by a state or territory government before being invited to apply for this visa.

The visa includes three streams:

  • Business Innovation stream: for people with business skills who want to establish, develop and manage a new or existing business in Australia.
  • Investor stream: for people who want to make a designated investment of at least AUD1.5million in an Australian state or territory and maintain business and investment activity in Australia.
  • Significant Investor stream: for people who are willing to invest at least AUD5million into complying investments in Australia and want to maintain business and investment activity in Australia.

Basic Requirements

  • You Should have a nomination by a state or territory government
  • Invitation to apply through SkillSelect
  • You should be under 55 years of age, unless the nominating state or territory certifies that you will make an exceptional economic benefit.
  • Meet the pass mark in the Business Innovation and Investment Points test (currently 65)
  • Have an overall successful career in business or investment

 

Business Innovation Stream Requirements

This option requires you to have owned a business and to be intending to establish business operations in Australia. You will need to meet the following if you are applying through the Business Innovation Stream:

  • You should have a total annual turnover of at least AUD500 000 (in one or more of your main businesses) in at least two of the four fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply
  • You should own at least one of the following percentages of that main business (or two main businesses):
    • 51 per cent of a business with a turnover of less than AUD400 000 per annum
    • 30 per cent of a business with a turnover of more than AUD400 000 per annum
    • 10 per cent of a publicly-listed company
    • You have managed a business, in which you spent less than half your time on professional (such as a doctor or lawyer), technical or trade services
    • You have a genuine desire to own and maintain a management role in a business in Australia.

You (or your partner, or you and your partner combined) must also:

  • have total assets of at least AUD800 000 that have been legally acquired and able to be legally transferred to Australia within two years of the visa being granted
  • have an overall successful business career with no involvement in unacceptable business activities.

Investor Stream Requirements

This option requires you to have managed eligible investments or owned the qualified business, and to be willing to invest AUD 1.5 million in Australian State or Territory Government bonds. If you are applying for the Investor Stream, the requirements are as follows:

  • You have had business and personal net assets of at least AUD 2.25 million for the last 2 fiscal years
  • You must make an investment of AUD 1.5 million in Australian State or Territory bonds prior to grant of the visa
  • You have 3 years of experience either managing the qualifying business or “eligible investments”, and have showed a high level of management skill

For at least 1 of the last 5 fiscal years, you have either:

  • Managed a business in which you hold a 10% shareholding; or
  • Managed “eligible investments” of at least AUD 1.5 million

“Eligible investments” for the purposes of the Investor Stream include:

  • Ownership interests in a business
  • Cash on deposit
  • Stocks or bonds
  • Real estate
  • Gold or bullion
  • Loan to a business
  • Significant Investor Stream

A new stream for the subclass 188 visa is introduced in November 2012. This “Significant Investor” stream will require an investment of at least AUD 5 million into:

  • Commonwealth, state or territory government bonds
  • Certain managed funds that have a mandate for investing in one of the following Australian assets:
    • infrastructure projects in Australia;
    • cash held by Australian deposit taking institutions;
    • bonds issued by the Commonwealth Government or a State or Territory government;
    • bonds, equity, hybrids or other corporate debt in Australian companies and trusts listed on any Australian Stock Exchange;
    • bonds or term deposits issued by Australian financial institutions;
    • real estate in Australia;
    • Australian Agribusiness; and
    • other ASIC regulated managed funds that invest in the above list of investments.
  • Direct investment into private Australian companies not listed on any Australian stock exchange. You must obtain an ownership interest in the company. The company must:
    • genuinely operate a qualifying business in Australia
    • be registered with ASIC
    • have an Australian Business Number (ABN).

Significant investors will have concessions on the residence requirement when applying for their permanent business visas.

 

Entitlements of the Business Innovation Visa – Subclass 188

  • This visa will allow the business owner(s) to hold a temporary visa for up to four (4) years.
  • Your immediate family members will be able to accompany you to Australia, and will have study rights and access to work.
  • You and your family will be able to travel in and out of Australia as many times as you want, as long as the visa is valid.
  • After holding this temporary visa for two (2) years, and satisfying certain requirements under this visa, you will be entitled to apply for permanent residence under the Business Innovation and Investment Visa subclass 888.