Business Visas

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

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 or Austrade on behalf of the Australian government before being invited to apply for this visa.

You might be able to get this visa if:

  • you are nominated by a state or territory government or Austrade on behalf of the Australian government
  • you are invited to apply
  • you (and all your family members) meet certain health and character requirements
  • you meet the additional requirements for the stream in which you apply.

The visa includes five streams:

Business Innovation stream: for people with business skills who want to establish, develop and manage a new or existing business in Australia. Applicants must be nominated by a state or territory government.
our obligations
You must:

  • be under 55 years of age, although a state or territory can waive this requirement if your proposed business will be of exceptional economic benefit to the nominating state or territory.
  • score at least 65 on the points test. Please see the Points test tab on this webpage for further information.
  • for two out of the four fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply, have had an ownership interest in an established business or businesses that had at least AUD500 000 turnover in each of those years
  • own at least one of the following percentage of your nominated main business:
    • 51 per cent, if the business has a turnover of less than AUD400 000 per year
    • 30 per cent, if the business has a turnover of AUD400 000 or more per year
    • 10 per cent, if the business is a publicly listed company
  • have an overall successful business career
  • have a genuine desire to continuously own and maintain a management role in a business in Australia.

If your nominated main business provides professional, technical or trade services, you must have spent no more than half your time providing those services, as opposed to general management of the business.

At the time of invitation, you, your partner, or you and your partner combined must have total net business and personal assets of at least AUD800 000 that are lawfully acquired and available for legal transfer to Australia within two years of the visa being granted.

You and your partner must have had no involvement in unacceptable business or investment activities.

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. Applicants must be nominated by a state or territory government.

You must:

  • be under 55 years of age, although a state or territory can waive this requirement if your proposed investment will be of exceptional economic benefit to the nominating state or territory
  • score at least 65 on the points test. Please see the Points test tab on this webpage for further information.
  • have a high level of management skill in relation to the eligible investment or qualifying business activity
  • have at least three years' experience of direct involvement in managing one or more qualifying businesses or eligible investments
  • have an overall successful record of eligible investment or qualifying business activity
  • have a genuine and realistic commitment to continuing your business and investment activity in Australia after the original investment has matured
  • have a genuine intention to live for at least two years in the state or territory in which you have made a designated investment.

You, your partner, or you and your partner combined must:

  • for at least one of the five fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply, have directly managed one of the following:
    • a qualifying business in which you, your partner or you and your partner combined had at least 10 per cent ownership interest, or
    • eligible investments owned by you, your partner or you and your partner combined of at least AUD1.5million.
  • during the two fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply, have legally acquired net business, investment and personal assets of at least AUD2.25 million that are available for legal transfer to Australia within two years of the visa being granted
  • make a designated investment of at least AUD1.5 million in a state or territory government security using unencumbered funds accumulated from qualifying businesses or eligible investments and be prepared to hold that investment for at least four years from date of issue in your nominating state or territory
  • have had no involvement in unacceptable activities.

Significant Investor stream: for people who are willing to invest at least AUD5million into complying significant investments in Australia and want to maintain business and investment activity in Australia. Applicants can be nominated by a state or territory government or Austrade on behalf of the Australian government.

Please note that the rules that were in force at the time that you applied for your Significant Investor visa will continue to apply for the duration of your provisional visa, including any Extension stream visas you apply for that relate to that provisional visa.

You must have a genuine and realistic commitment to:

  • reside in the state or territory whose government agency nominated you,
  • continue your business and investment activity in Australia after the conclusion of your provisional visa,
  • live in Australia for at least 40 days per year (calculated cumulatively) for the duration of your provisional visa, or your spouse to live for at least 180 days per year (calculated cumulatively) for the duration of your provisional visa.

You, your partner, or you and your partner combined must have net assets of at least AUD5 million that are legally acquired, unencumbered, and available to be used to make the complying investment in Australia.

You and your partner must not have been involved in unacceptable business or investment activities.

You, your partner and other family members aged at least 18 must agree not to bring any action against the Commonwealth for any loss relating to your complying investment.

Income that you earn from your complying investment in Australia is subject to tax under Australian taxation law.

You must also make a complying investment or a complying significant investment of at least AUD5 million over four years.

Important: You might want to seek independent legal advice in relation to ensuring that an investment made for the purpose of this stream is a ‘complying significant investment’. It is your responsibility to ensure your investment options comply.

Complying Significant Investments for applications made after 1 July 2015
If you applied for a Significant Investor visa prior to 1 July 2015, see the rules below, which will continue to apply to you.

For applications made after July 2015 you must make a complying significant investment of at least AUD5 million over four years in the following proportions:

  • At least AUD500 000 in venture capital and growth private equity funds which invest in start-ups and small private companies.
  • At least AUD1.5 million in approved managed funds investing in emerging companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.
  • A ‘balancing investment’ of at least AUD3 million in managed funds that may invest in a range of assets, including ASX-listed companies, Australian corporate bonds or notes, annuities and commercial real estate.

Direct investment in residential real estate continues to be prohibited and indirect investment in residential property through managed funds is now strictly limited.

Investments must not be used as security or collateral for a loan. More detailed information about complying significant investments is available at Austrade.

Premium Investor stream: for people who are willing to invest at least AUD15million into complying premium investments in Australia and want to maintain business and investment activity in Australia. Applicants must be nominated by Austrade on behalf of the Australian government.

The Premium Investor stream is by nomination of Austrade on behalf of the Australian government only. You must make a complying investment of at least AUD15 million in any of the following options:

  • Australian securities exchange listed assets.
  • Australian government or semi-government bonds or notes.
  • Corporate bonds or notes issued by an Australian exchange listed entity (or wholly owned subsidiary of the Australian listed entity) or investment grade rated Australian corporate bonds or notes rated by an AFS licenced debt rating agency.
  • Australian proprietary limited companies.
  • Real property in Australia excluding residential property.
  • Deferred annuities issued by Australian registered life companies.
  • State or territory government approved philanthropic contribution.

Income that you earn from your complying investment in Australia is subject to tax under Australian taxation law.

You must also have a genuine and realistic commitment to continue your business and investment activity in Australia after the conclusion of your provisional visa.

You, your partner (spouse or de facto), or you and your partner combined must have net assets of at least AUD15 million that are legally acquired, unencumbered, and available to be used to make the complying investment in Australia.

You and your partner must not have been involved in unacceptable business or investment activities.

You, your partner and other family members aged at least 18 must agree not to bring any action against the Commonwealth for any loss relating to your complying investment.

Entrepreneur stream: for people who have a funding agreement from a third party for at least AUD200 000 to undertake a complying entrepreneur activity that is proposed to lead to either the commercialisation of a product or service in Australia or the development of a business in Australia. Applicants must be nominated by a state or territory government.

You must:

  • be under 55 years of age, although a state or territory can waive this requirement if your proposed complying entrepreneur activity will be of exceptional economic benefit to the nominating state or territory
  • have competent English and be able to provide evidence of this at the time you are invited to apply for the visa
  • be undertaking or proposing to undertake a complying entrepreneur activity in Australia and have a genuine intention to continue this activity

A Complying Entrepreneur Activity is an activity that relates to an innovative idea that will lead to the commercialisation of a product or service in Australia, or the development of an enterprise or business in Australia.

This activity must not relate to any of the following excluded categories:

  • Residential real estate
  • Labour hire
  • Purchase of an existing enterprise or a franchise in Australia.

An activity is a complying entrepreneur activity if all of the following requirements are met:

  • you have one or more legally enforceable agreements to receive funding with a total of at least AUD200 000 from one of the following entitites:
    • Commonwealth Government agency
    • State or Territory Government
    • Publicly Funded Research Organisation
    • Investor registered as an Australian Venture Capital Limited Partnership or Early State Venture Capital Limited Partnership
    • Specified Higher Education Provider
  • under the agreement at least 10 per cent of the funding must be payable to the entrepreneurial entity within 12 months of the day the activity starts to be undertaken in Australia;
  • You held at least 30 per cent interest in your entrepreneurial entity when you entered into the agreement.
  • You have a business plan for the entrepreneurial entity noting how your innovative idea will lead to the commercialisation of a product or service in Australia, or the development of an enterprise or business in Australia.

Holding this visa is the first stage before becoming eligible to qualify for a Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888).

You must score at least 65 points (the pass mark) in the points test to be eligible to apply for a 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, the Entrepreneur stream, the Business Innovation Extension stream, or 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 5
Proficient English 10
Qualifications

Australian trade certificate, diploma or bachelor degree by an Australian education institute; or

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
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Brian, CEO and Managing Director

Level 2, Suite 206-210,
227 Collins St, Melbourne
Victoria, Australia
Mobile No : 0414 907705
Email : nikeegroup@eftel.net.au