The current Business Innovation and Investment Program commenced in 2012 and significant changes have been introduced in July 2021 to increase entry requirements. For the current 2021/2022 program year (to June 2022) the program planning levels have been doubled and an intention expressed to decrease processing times and attract overseas business skills.
There are three types of visas – Business: where the applicant has a history of owning and managing a business before applying – Investment: where the applicant has sufficient funds to invest in Australia, and Entrepreneur: where the applicant intends to under an entrepreneurial and innovative activity in Australia. All visas require nomination by a government authority either at state / territory or national level.
For applicants who don't own a business or don't meet the minimum business requirements, talk to us as we can help with alternative strategies to obtain residence.
Business, Investor and Entrepreneur Visas
There are three types of visas (Business, Investor and Entrepreneur).
For applicants with business experience, funds to invest or interested in entrepreneur options (which can range from limited or no experience up to experienced professionals or business managers), talk to our team for a detailed consultation to understand the current circumstnaces, explain the available options with the relevant pros and cons, and make personalised recommendations to more forward. Consultations are provided without any obligation or cost and all information provided is confidential. Further information about the pathways is included below.
All of these types and pathways are under either the Subclass 188 visa.
The Subclass 188 is a provisional (temporary) visa for up to 5 years (minimum time of 3 years required) and the first of a two stage pathway to residence. After the 188 visa has been granted, the applicant is required to meet specific requirements in Australia to qualify for the second stage, the permanent residence under the Subclass 888 visa.
Business Innovation (Subclass 188, or 188A)
Applicants must be able to demonstrate a history of owning a managing a business with a turnover equivalent to at least AUD $750,000 for at least 2 years. It is possible to combine the turnover of up to two main businesses. The first stage will be a temporary residence visa for up to 5 years (min of 3 years) – during this period the applicant will need to own and manage a business in Australia for at least 2 years including at least 1 year of stay in Australia. The business in Australia will be required to reach a turnover of AUD $300,000. An application can then be made for permanent residence.
Investor (Subclass 188, or 188B)
The lowest investment pathway requires applicants to make a complying structured investment in Australia for at least 3 years of A$2,500,000. The investment funds must be sourced for earnings from recognised business or investment activity only. The first stage will be a temporary residence visa for up to 5 years (min of 3 years) – during this period the applicant will need to stay in Australia for at least 2 years. Investments are in commercial funds and must be made through a licensed fund manager.
Significant Investor (Subclass 188, or 188C / SIV)
A streamlined pathway with many requirements reduced or waived that allows applicants to make a complying structured investment in Australia for at least 3 years. A minimal stay requirement of 120 days over the 3 years is favourable to applicants who have affairs overseas and wish to minimise the time spent in Australia. Investments are commercial and the potential exists for higher returns than government bonds.
Entrepreneur (Subclass 188, or 188E)
Applicants must have an innovative idea for a startup business or entrepreneurial activity. The previous funding requirement of A$200,000 has been removed and is no longer required. Instead applicants must secure a special endorsement for their intended activities in Australia.
Contact us to discuss, review eligibility or just have a chat to understand more about the visas.