Business Innovation and Investment – Subclass 188

What is the 188 Visa?

The Business Innovation and Investment visas are a group of temporary Skilled visas which are designed to allow successful business owners to invest in a new or existing business in Australia.

The Government established five streams under the subclass 188 visa program, each suiting varying levels of contributions to the countries economy. These include the Business Innovation stream, Investor stream, Significant Investor stream, Premium Investor stream, and the Entrepreneur stream.

This class of visas are points test based visa and is only open to applicants upon being nominated by a state or territory government, or Austrade on behalf of the Australian Government, and receiving an invitation by the Department once the Expression of Interest has been lodged.

 

Which stream should I apply under?

While visa applications are open for nominated investors and business owners who wish to establish a business in Australia, the stream in which one decides to apply under varies in terms of business operations. Please see below for an overview of which stream best suits your circumstances:

  • These include the Business Innovation stream – applicants who wish to establish, develop and manage a new or existing business in Australia
  • Investor stream– applicants who aim to maintain business and investment activity and invest at least $1.5 million in a given Australian State or Territory
  • Significant Investor stream – in addition to maintaining business and investment activity in the country, applicants qualifying for this stream must wish to invest a $5 million into complying significant investments in Australia
  • Premium Investor stream – while also maintain business and investment activity in the country, applicants must also invest at least $15 million into complying premium investments in Australia
  • Entrepreneur stream – applicants must have a funding agreement of at least $200,000 from a third party to undertake complying entrepreneur activities leading to commercialisation of a product or service, or the development of a business in Australia

 

Am I Eligible for a 188 Visa?

In order to qualify for any stream in the 188 visa program, you will need to demonstrate that you meet the following minimum eligibility requirements:

  • You will need to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) before you lodge your visa application and be invited to apply;
  • Be nominated by a State or territory, or Austrade on behalf of the Australian Government;
  • If you are over the age of 18, you will be required to sign an Australian Values Statement; and
  • You and all of your family members listed on your application meet Australian health and character requirements

 

Business Innovation Stream

Under the Business Innovation stream you will need to also satisfy the following requirements:

  • Total annual turnover of at least $500,000 in at least two of the four l years immediately before you are invited to apply
  • You must be less than 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 nominated State or Territory.
  • Have a strong desire to own and maintain a management role in a business in Australia
  • Managed a business, in which you spent no more than half your time on professional, technical or trade services; and
  • An overall successful business career with no involvement in any unacceptable business or investment activities.
  • Owned at least
    • 51% of a business with turnover of less than $400,000 per annum, or
    • 30% of a business with turnover of more than $400,000 per annum, or
    • 10% of a publicly-listed company
  • You must score at least 65 on the Innovation Points test. Points are awarded for:
    • Age
    • English language proficiency
    • Qualifications
    • Experience in business or investments
    • Net personal and business assets
    • Business turnover
    • Innovation.
  • You (or your partner, or you and your partner combined) must also have total assets of at least $800,000

 

Business Investor Stream

Additional requirements for the Business Investor stream are as follows:

  • You must be less than 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 nominated State or Territory.
  • You must score at least 65 on the Innovation Points test. Points are awarded for:
    • Age
    • English language proficiency
    • Qualifications
    • Experience in business or investments
    • Net personal and business assets
    • Business turnover
    • Innovation
  • Have a high level of management skill in relation to eligible investments and/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 with no involvement in any unacceptable activities
  • 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 nominated to make your investment.
  • You (or your partner, or you and your partner combined) must also have:
    • Direct involvement in managing your eligible investments that total at least $1.5 million for at least one of the five years before you are invited to apply, or direct involvement in managing a qualifying business in which you owned at least 10% of the total value of the business;
    • Make a nominated investment of at least $1.5 million in a State or Territory Government security using available funds accumulated from eligible investments or qualifying businesses, and be willing to hold that investment for at least four years; and
    • Have investment and personal assets of at least $2.25 million that are available for legal transfer to Australia within two (years immediately before you are invited to apply

 

Significant Investor Stream

Applicants must fulfil the criteria to be eligible for the Significant Investor stream:

  • Have a genuine and realistic commitment to reside in the State or Territory whose government nominated you, continue your business and investment activity in Australia after your 188 visa has expired, and live in Australia for 40 days per year of your provisional visa, or have your spouse live in Australia for 180 days per year of your visa
  • You, your partner or you and your partner combined have assets of $5 million
  • Applicants are required to have at least $5 million complying investments for a minimum of four years. These include State or Territory bonds, Commonwealth, direct investments into Australian proprietary companies, or Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) regulated managed funds.
  • Have at least $1.5 million in managed funds in emerging companies in the Australian Stock exchange
  • Have a ‘balancing investment’ in managed funds of at least $3 million.
  • Applicants do not need to qualify for a points test and age requirement for their SIV application.
  • SIV application does not include an English language threshold, but applicants and their dependents must demonstrate Functional English ability to avoid the additional payment for the second instalment of their visa application charge.

 

Premium Investor Stream

To satisfy the requirements of the Premium Investor Stream applicants must only be nominated by Austrade on behalf of the Australian government. They must also

  • Have a genuine and realistic commitment to continue your business and investment activities after the expiry of your provisional visa,
  • Make a complying investment of at least $15 million in either
    • 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.
  • You, your partner or your partner combined must also have total assets of at least $15 million
  • Applicants do not need to qualify for a points test and age requirement for their SIV application.
  • SIV application does not include an English language threshold, but applicants and their dependents must demonstrate Functional English ability to avoid the additional payment for the second instalment of their visa application charge.

 

Entrepreneur Stream

The additional requirements for the Entrepreneur stream include:

  • You must be less than 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 nominated State or Territory.
  • Have at least competent English.
  • Must be undertaking, or at least proposing to undertake, a complying entrepreneur activity.
  • Have at least $200,000 in funding from a specific entity under a legally binding agreement.
  • At the time of the agreement, have held at least 30% interest in the activity.
  • Have a business plan in place stating how the idea will lead to the commercialisation of the product or service, or development of an enterprise in Australia.
  • Applicants do not need to qualify for a points test and age requirement for their SIV application.

 

188 Visa Checklist

 

How Long Does it Take?

As assessment of eligibility occurs on a case-by-case basis and vary on the applicant’s circumstances, the time it takes for the Department to process you application will vary.

 

It is understandable that there are circumstances that impact the processing time of your visa applications which are out of your control. These include the time for external agencies, namely health and police services, and the Government to conduct checks and provide supporting information.

 

While the above circumstances are unavoidable, there are some factors which will ensure you a faster processing time. These include:

  • Lodging a complete application, attached with all of the necessary supporting documents.
  • Being prompt in responding to any additional information the Department requests.

 

Fees & Costs

The cost of this visa is from $585. Please note this is only the flat rate and you may be asked to pay additional costs to cover requirements such as health assessments, police certificates and biometrics.

 

If you wish to add additional family members to your application, an extra fee will be imposed upon your visa application.

 

Please note that members of your family who are added after your visa has been granted will be subjected to pay for an additional full visa application.

 

What Steps Should I Take to apply for a 188 Visa?

Unlike other Migration law firms, Results Migration makes the process of applying for visas straightforward. Our team of expert lawyers will work with you every step of the way and has devised a step-by-step process to ensure your application is processed as fast as possible.

 

  1. Come in for a free consultation where our team of expert lawyers will assess and advise you on the Australian visa option that best suits your needs.

 

  1. If applying under the Business Innovation or Investor stream, we will need to conduct a Points Test. In order to be invited to apply, you will need to score at least 65 points in the Points Test.

 

  1. We will prepare and submit your expression of interest for you through SkillSelect for you.

 

At this stage, we will gather and prepare all of the documentation as well as perform any additional checks that are required to lodge a visa application. Please ensure that you notify us if you have a ‘No further stay’ condition attached to your current visa so we can arrange for this condition to be waived.

 

  1. After receiving your invitation to apply from the Department, we will then begin to prepare and then lodge your application in a timely manner.

 

In the meantime, if you are an onshore applicant you will be granted a bridging visa until your current visa expires. This will give you the right to stay in Australia until the outcome of your 188 visa is decided.

 

  1. Finally, we will notify you of the outcome. If granted, you will receive the rights listed below.

 

 

Entitlements of the Business Innovation and Investment Visa

Through holding a Business Innovation and Investment Visa, you and your family will receive various benefits relating to working, living and studying in Australia. These include:

  • This visa will allow the business owner(s) to hold a temporary visa for up to four years and three months.
  • 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 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.

 

188 Visa FAQs

How can I turn my temporary 188 visa into a permanent 888 visa?

The 188 visa is the first stage towards gaining permanent residency through the Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888)

visa. In order to seek permanent residence through the 888 visa there is an additional set of criteria you must meet. These are dependant upon the 188 stream you initially applied for.

 

Please see our Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) Visa Subclass 888 for further details on how to apply.

 

Do I have workplace rights in Australia?

All workers in Australia, including working visa holders, have rights under Australian workplace law.

 

Can I include my family members on my application?

Upon lodging your application you may include your partner, child, step-child or your partner’s child or step child on your application. You will need to provide evidence of their relationship to you in your application and they must meet the relevant health and character requirements. If your family members are not included on your application and your visa has been granted, they will need to lodge a separate application under the Business Innovation and Investment (Subsequent Entrant) Visa.

 

Where do I have to be when my visa is granted?

When you and any family member included in your application apply and when your visa is granted, you may be in or outside of Australia.

Australian Business Visas: What You Need To Know

October 14th, 2015|0 Comments

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