BUSINESS INNOVATION AND INVESTMENT (188 VISA) - Australian Migration agents | Immigration Lawyers in Melbourne & Canberra | Global Vision Migration


The 188A visa is only accessible to applicants who have been nominated by an Australian State or Territory government and have passed the visa’s points test. The applicant must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) using the SkillSelect system in order to be considered for nomination. 

This is a four-year temporary visa for persons who desire to start or run a business in Australia. The candidate can apply for permanent residence through the Business Innovation & Investment (Residence) Subclass 888 visa once they have acquired an ownership interest in an Australian business. Once the application has had the subclass 188 visa for three years, a two-year extension is possible, giving the applicant a total of six years from the date of award of the original visa. 

To apply for this visa, the applicants can be in Australia or abroad. 

If the applicant is in Australia: 

  • Must hold a Substantive Visa or a Bridging A, B, or C visa.
General 188 Visa Requirements: 
  • Ownership of a firm with at least AUD 500,000 in turnover for at least two of the previous four fiscal years; and net personal and business assets of at least AUD 800,000; and 
  • Unless the nominating state or territory certifies that the application would offer an exceptional economic benefit, the candidate must be under 55 years old.  
  • Obtain a passing score on the Business Innovation and Investment Points test (currently 65 points) 
  • Have a long and prosperous business career 
Subclass 888 Visa Requirements: 
  • The applicant has spent at least 12 months in Australia on a subclass 188A visa in the two years prior to lodgement. 
  • For the two of the last four years, you must have owned and operated a business in Australia for at least two years before the application, with annual revenue of at least $300,000.   
  • For the next 12 months, you and/or your partner must meet two of the following three criteria:   
  • At least $200,000 in assets 
  • In Australia, net personal and commercial assets of at least $600,000 are required.   
  • Employed at least two full-time Australian employees in your Australian firm 


Points are awarded for: 

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

The factors indicated in the following table are used to give points. Unless otherwise stated, all considerations are evaluated at the time you are asked to apply for this visa. 

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  A bachelor qualification recognized by an educational institution of a recognized quality; or an Australian trade certificate, diploma, or bachelor degree by an Australian education establishment.  5 
A bachelor’s degree in business, science, or technology from an Australian institution; or a bachelor’s qualification from a recognized educational institution.  10 
Special endorsement  The nominating state or territory government agency may determine that your proposed business will provide a distinct and significant 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  In each of the prior two years, you, your partner, or you and your partner combined have net business and personal assets of at least:   
AUD500 000  5 
AUD1 million  15 
AUD1.5 million  25 
AUD2 million  35 
Business Innovation stream only business experience  You previously owned or operated one or more enterprises before being invited to apply for a visa for:   
Within the previous five years, you must have worked for at least four years.  10 
Within the previous eight years, you must have worked for at least seven years. 


Investor stream only investor experience  A minimum investment of AUD100,000 is required to be retained for the following purposes:   
To apply for a visa, you must have waited at least four years before being invited. 


At least seven years prior to the date of the invitation to apply for a visa.  15 
Business innovation qualifications at the time of invitation to apply for the visa:  Evidence of patents or designs that have been registered  15 
Proof of registered trademarks  10 
Proof of formal joint venture agreements  5 
Proof of export trade  15 
Proof of ownership interest in a gazelle business  10 
Proof of receipt of grants or venture capital funding  10 
State or territory nomination  Special endorsement (limited places)  10 



Based on your age on the day you were invited to apply can get you up to 30 points. 

 If you are 55 years old or older, you are not eligible for points under the points test for the Business Innovation or Investor streams. 

English language ability:  

You can get 10 points if you can use English proficiently  and 5 points for vocational English  

 The band scores for the four components of IELTS, PTE Academic, and TOEFL iBT must be demonstrated in one test conducted within the last three years before you are invited to apply for this visa. Before you are invited to apply for this visa, you must demonstrate the Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) exam band score for all four components in one test conducted on or after January 1, 2015. For these English language assessments, we will not accept individual test results for each component. 

There are two types of IELTS tests: academic and general training. Unless your skills assessment authority advises differently, you must only take the general test. 

Before you are invited to apply for this visa, you must have taken the OET test within the previous three years. 


you can obtain up to 10 points for your academic qualifications at the time you were invited to apply if you meet the requirements for : 

  • an Australian educational institution’s trade certification, diploma, or bachelor’s degree (5 points) 
  • a bachelor’s degree from another educational institution that satisfies a recognized standard, as determined by the minister (5 points) 
  • a bachelor’s degree from an Australian university in business, science, or technology (10 points) 
  • a bachelor’s degree in business, science, or technology from another educational institution that satisfies a recognized standard, as determined by the minister (10 points). 

You do not qualify for the granting of 10 points if you hold a higher degree in business, science, or technology (such as a Masters in Science) but no bachelor’s degree in one of those subjects. 

Business or investing experience: 

If you have a demonstrated history of relevant business or investment experience for a specific amount of time in the period before you are invited to apply, you can gain up to 15 points: 

 Business Innovation stream:  

  • at least four years of experience in the previous five years (10 points) 
  • a minimum of seven years in the previous eight years (15 points) 

Investor stream:  

  •  AUD100,000 in eligible investments for at least the last four years (10 points) and 
  • at least the last seven years (15 points). 

Personal and corporate net worth 

To be eligible for asset points, you, your partner, or you and your partner combined must have had net business and personal assets  in each of the two fiscal years prior to being invited to apply of at least: 

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

Turnover in the business 

Before you are requested to apply, you can be given points based on the turnover of your chosen principal business in at least two of the four fiscal years: 

  • 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 

This component of the points test for the Business Innovation stream awards points for demonstrating the following characteristics at the time you are invited to apply for this visa. You can get points for multiple attributes, but only once for each of them. 


Patents or designs that have been registered (15 points) 

  •  At least one year must have passed since the patent or design was registered. 
  • It had to have been used in your nominated major business’s day-to-day operations. 

 Trademarks that have been registered (10 points) 

  •  At least one year must have passed since the trademark was registered. 
  • It had to have been used in your core business’s day-to-day operations. 

 Agreements on joint ventures (5 points) 

  •  The agreement must be in writing and have been in effect for at least a year. 
  • You must have had a key role in the venture’s day-to-day management and decision-making. 

 Export trade  (15 points) 

  • For at least two of the preceding four fiscal years, one or more of your nominated principal enterprises must have earned at least 50% of annual turnover from export trade. 

 Firms are known as gazelles (newly created businesses that have seen significant development in a short period of time) (10 points) 

  •  Your principal business must have been registered for a maximum of five years. 
  • For a continuous period of three fiscal years, the business’s average annualised growth in turnover had to be greater than 20% each year. 
  • During the three-year period, the company must have had at least 10 full-time employees for at least one fiscal year. 

Grants or venture capital investment for a creative company concept (10 points) 

  • This money had to be used for a business’s early stages of development, product commercialization, business development, or growth. 
  • Grants: Within the last four years, you must have received a grant of at least AUD10,000 from a government body in your native country, subject to certain criteria. 
  • Venture capital funding: You must have obtained at least AUD100,000 in venture capital funding in the previous four years. 

Exceptional recommendation 

A nominating state or territory government may determine that your planned enterprise or investment is of unique and significant benefit to the state or territory in a limited number of instances. In certain cases, you may receive a bonus of ten points. 

Other considerations: 

  •  The visa is valid for 4 years and 3 months. 
  • A holder of a subclass 188 Business Innovation visa may be eligible for one 2-year extension if certain conditions are met. 

I’m in Australia and will be staying there during  COVID-19. 

A Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa allows you to stay in Australia for a limited time (subclass 188). 

 You must apply for a new visa before your existing visa expires if you intend to stay longer. 

 You might be eligible for a bridging visa. You will be able to stay until: 

  • You either have a new visa or 
  •  have made plans to leave. 

Book a consultation to discuss your alternatives if your visa has expired or is about to expire. 

Departing from Australia 

  • You may not be able to return to Australia if you leave. 
  • Current travel limitations must be followed by all visa holders. 

I’m currently in another country and would like to visit Australia during COVID-19. 

  •  Travel to Australia is permitted for holders of a Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188). 
  • The majority of other visa holders are required to adhere to the present travel limitations. 
  • Please schedule a consultation if you have any questions about your general visa requirements. 

Exemption from travel restrictions: 

  •  You can request an exemption if you believe you have a compassionate or compelling cause to visit Australia. 
  • Do not travel to Australia unless we have given you permission. 
  • You will not be able to travel to Australia if you do not receive an exemption. 
  • All travelers who want to apply for an exception must do so online. 

Other 188 Visa Streams of Eligibility: 

  • The 188A Business Innovation visa: for owners of businesses looking for establishing business operations in Australia  
  • Investor visa 188B: for those ready to invest $1.5 million in Australian State or Territory bonds. 
  • The significant Investor visa (subclass 188C): for people ready to invest $5 million in complying with Australian investments. 
  • 188D Premium Investor Visa: for wealthy individuals ready to invest at least $15 million in complying premium investments in Australia. 
  • 188E Entrepreneur visa: for those who have received a financial arrangement from a third party for at least AUD200 000 to carry out a complying entrepreneur activity. 

Costs of a Business Visa Application (SC188 and SC132- Australia Immigration) 

It’s important to remember that company migration is complicated, and evaluating whether or not you’ll qualify can be challenging. Additionally, you may be eligible for a variety of company migration categories. 

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