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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Heathcote

Australian Visa for Business Owners with a proven business career

Business Skills

The provisional Business Innovation & Investment visa provides a pathway to permanent residency for business people who want to own and manage a business in Australia, or make an investment here. If you wish to apply for this visa, which is valid for up to four years and three months, you must first lodge an Expression of Interest. If this is successful, and you are nominated by a State or Territory, you will be invited to lodge an application for this visa.

The minimum requirements for the Business Innovation stream of this visa are set out below:


For applicants who have experience in managing a business or investments, and wish to establish or develop a business in Australia.


At the time that you are invited to apply for this visa, you must:

· be under 55 years of age

· score at least 65 on the innovation points test (which takes into account your age, English competency, qualifications, experience, turnover and assets, amongst other factors)

· be nominated by an Australian State or Territory government agency, and genuinely intend to live for at least two years in that State or Territory

Eligibility Conditions

Applicants for the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) Business Innovation stream must meet several eligibility requirements for their visa to be granted. The applicant must have:

  • A nomination from an Australian state or territory government

  • Ownership in one more business for at least 2 of the previous 4 financial years, which must have had an annual turnover of at least AUD$500,000 in those years

  • Ownership of one of the following:

  • At least 51% of a business with an annual turnover of less than AUD$400,000

  • At least 30% of a business with an annual turnover of more than AUD$400,000

  • At least 10% ownership of a publicly listed company

  • A total of AUD$800,000 in business and/or personal assets, which must have been acquired legally and must be able to be transferred to Australia within 2 years of the visa start date. Your partner or spouse's assets count towards this sum.

  • If the business nominated to meet the conditions above provides services of a professional, technical, or trade nature you must have spent a maximum of 50% of your time providing those services personally, and a minimum of 50% of your time managing the business.

Applicants must normally be 55 or younger to qualify for this visa, but the age requirement can be waived at the discretion of the nominating state or territory if the proposed business will benefit the state or territory's economy greatly.

Eligibility for Permanent Residence

To qualify for a permanent Business Innovation & Investment (Residence) Subclass 888 visa, you would need to meet the following criteria:

• You have been in Australia on your subclass 188A visa for at least 12 months, within the 2 years prior to lodgement

• Owned and operated a business in Australia for at least 2 years prior to the application with annual turnover of at least $300,000 for the 2 of the last 4 years.

• You and/or your partner must meet two of the following three criteria for the last 12 months:

• Assets of at least $200,000 in the business

• Net personal and business assets of at least $600,000 in Australia

• Employed at least two Australian full-time employees in your business in Australia

NOTE: Some State/regions have additional criteria over and above the general requirements listed above.

If you would like us to check your likely eligibility for business migration or if you would like us to assist you with your application, you can complete an assessment (Select "Own a Business" in dropdown). We will then provide you with a preliminary assessment of your likely eligibility for business migration, and can discuss with you the best way to proceed with your application.


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