Business Visa

Subclass 188 Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visas

Business Innovation & Investment Subclass 188 visas are suited for investors and business owners who wish to establish or expand business operations in Australia. The provisional visa is valid for 4 years and 3 months.
There are 5 streams under this Subclass:

However, for all streams, applicants must also pass the health and character requirements. It is also important to note that income that is earned from any complying investment in Australia is subject to tax under the Australian taxation law.

Do I have to apply in Australia or Overseas?
This visa can be applied together with all the other streams, can be lodged either be in Australia or overseas.
However, If you are lodging in Australia, you must hold a substantive visa or a Bridging A, B or C visa.
A) Business Innovation – for business owners seeking to establish business operations in Australia
B) Investor – for people who are willing to invest at least $1.5 million in an Australian State or Territory bonds
C) Signifiant Investor – for people willing to invest at least $5 million into complying investments in Australia
D) Premium Investor – for people with significant funds who are willing to invest at least $15 million into complying premium investments in Australia.
E) Entrepreneur – for people who have a funding agreement from a third party for AUD200 000 minimum to undertake a complying entrepreneur activity

A) Business Innovation Stream 188

Conditions
Once an ownership interest in an Australian business has been established, you can apply for permanent residence through the Business Innovation & Investment (Residence) Subclass 888 visa.

In this stream, a 2 year extension can be applied for and if granted, it would be a total of 6 years from the date of grant from the original visa.

Visa Criteria
The Business Innovation Stream requires you to have owned a business and to have intent to establish business operations in Australia. These requirements need to be met:
• Ownership of a business with turnover of at least AUD 500,000 for at least 2 of the last 4 fiscal years; and
• Net personal and business assets of at least AUD 800,000; and
• Under 55 years of age, unless the nominating state or territory certifies that you will make an exceptional economic benefit; and
• Meet the pass mark in the Business Innovation and Investment Points test (currently 65)
• Have an overall successful career in business and genuine desire to maintain a management role in a business in Australia.
Own at least one of the following percentage of the nominated main business:
a) 51% – if the turnover of the business is less than AUD$400,000 per year
b) 30%. – if the turnover of the business is more than AUD$400,000 per year
c) 10% – if the business is a Public Listed Company

State/Territory Nomination
This visa is available to applicants who are nominated by an Australian State or Territory government. To be nominated, you must lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) through the SkillSelect system.

Eligibility for Permanent Residence
To qualify for a permanent Business Innovation & Investment (Residence) Subclass 888 visa, the following criteria must be met:
• You have been in Australia on your subclass 188 (Business and Innovation Stream) visa for at least 12 months, in 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

B) Investor Stream 188

Conditions
Once an investment in Australia has been obtained for 4 years, you can apply for permanent residence through the Business Innovation & Investment (Residence) Subclass 888 visa.

Visa Criteria
This stream is one that requires you to have either managed investments or have owned a business, and to be willing to invest AUD 1.5 million in Australian State or Territory Government bonds. The criteria are as follows:
• You have had business and personal net assets of at least AUD 2.25 million for the last 2 fiscal years, before the invitation to apply.
• Need to be under 55 years of age, unless the nominating state or territory certifies that you will make an exceptional economic benefit; and
• Meet the pass mark in the Business Innovation and Investment Points test (currently 65)
• You must make an investment of AUD 1.5 million in Australian State or Territory bonds prior to grant of the visa. Investment must be held for at least 4 years from the date of issue of nominating state or territory.
Have a high level of management skill in relation to the eligible investment or qualifying business activity.
Have a genuine commitment to continuing business investment activity in Australia even after the original investment activity has matured.
• You have 3 years of experience either managing a qualifying business or “eligible investments”, and have showed a high level of management skill.
• For at least 1 of the last 5 fiscal years, you have either:
• Managed a business in which you hold a 10% shareholding; or
• Managed “eligible investments” of at least AUD 1.5 million
“Eligible investments” for the purposes of the Investor Stream are defined as follows:
• Ownership interests in a business
• Cash on deposit
• Stocks or bonds
• Real estate
• Gold or bullion
• Loan to a business

State/Territory Nomination
This visa is only available to applicants who get nominated by an Australian State or Territory government. In order to be nominated, you must lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) through the SkillSelect system.

Eligibility for Permanent Residence
To qualify for a permanent Business Innovation & Investment (Residence) Subclass 888 visa, the following criteria need to be met:
• You have been in Australia on your subclass 188 (Investor stream) visa for at least 2 years, within the 4 years prior to lodgement
• Maintained your investment in Australian State or Territory bonds for the last 4 years.

C) Significant Investor Subclass 188 Visas

The Significant Investor visa is a temporary visa for people willing to make an AUD 5 million investment in Australia.

Conditions
This visa allows you to, once you have maintained an investment in Australia for 4 years, apply for permanent residence through the Business Innovation & Investment (Residence) Subclass 888 visa.

For this particular stream, a 2-year extension is possible as well as the possibility of an extension up to 2 times, giving an extra 4 years to this visa stream.

Eligibility for Permanent Residence
To qualify for the permanent Subclass 888 visa, the following need to be met:
You need to be in Australia for at least 40 days per year (calculated cumulatively) on the provisional Significant Investor visa for the 4 years and be sponsored by a state or territory government to qualify for a permanent subclass 888 visa.
Reside in the state/territory in which you were nominated by
State/Territory/AusTrade Nomination
This visa is only available to applicants who get nominated by an Australian State or Territory government or by AusTrade.

Visa Requirements
In this stream, there is no upper age limit for this type of visa.
To be the visa in this stream, applicants must make an investment of at least AUD 5 million in a “complying investment” over four years in the following breakdown:
• A minimum of at least $500,000 in venture capital and growth private equity funds which invest in start-ups and small private companies
• At least $1.5 million in approved managed funds investing in emerging companies listed on the ASX (Australian Stock Exchange).
• A ‘balancing investment’ of up to $3 million in managed funds that could be invested in a range of assets, which includes ASX-listed companies, Australian corporate bonds or notes, annuities as well as commercial real estate.
A complying investment is defined as the following:
Commonwealth, State or territory government bonds
Eligible Managed Funds
Direct investment into private Australian companies that has ownership interest.

D) Premium Investor Subclass 188 Visas

The Premium Investor visa, like the other streams, is a 4 year provisional visa. This stream is suited for people willing to make an AUD 15 million investment in Australia.

Conditions
This temporary visa allows you to have maintained an investment in Australia for at least 1 year, before able to apply for permanent residence through the Business Innovation & Investment (Residence) Subclass 888 visa.

Nomination by AusTrade
Austrade needs to nominate the applicants of this particular stream.

Visa Criteria
Just like the Significant Investor Stream, there is no upper age limit for this type of visa.
Applicants must make an investment of at least AUD 15 million in a “premium investment” prior to grant of the visa. A “premium investment”is considered, to include:
• 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 (Australian Financial Services) licensed 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

E) Entrepreneur Subclass 188 Visas

The Entrepreneur visa is a visa for people who have investor funding to develop an enterprise or a business in Australia.

Conditions
Once business operations in Australia has been established, you can apply for permanent residence through the Business Innovation & Investment (Residence) Subclass 888 visa.
To qualify for the permanent visa, you will need to spend a minimum of at least 2 years in Australia on your Entrepreneur Visa, and be sponsored by a state or territory government.

State/Territory Nomination
This visa is only available to applicants who get nominated by an Australian State or Territory government.

Visa Criteria
All applicants must meet the following criteria:
• Nomination by a state or territory government
Be undertaking or propose to undertake a complying entrepreneur activity in Australia and have a genuine intention to continue the activity.
• Competent English
• Must be under 55 years of age, unless a State or Territory Government nominates you as providing an “exceptional economic benefit” to the state or territory
• Funding agreement in place for at least $200,000 from one of the following to establish a venture in Australia
a) Commonwealth Government Agency
b) Publicly Funded Research Organisation
c) Investor registered as an Australian Venture Capital Ltd
d) Specified higher education provider
• An ownership interest of at least 30% in the venture

Acceptable Business Activities
The proposed venture would need to lead to:
• Commercialisation of a product or service in Australia; or
• Development of an enterprise or business in Australia
Certain activities which are not considered sufficiently innovative will be excluded. These are include:
• Purchase of an existing business or franchise
• Real estate activities
• Labour hire activities

Eligible funding
To apply for the Entrepreneur stream, you will need to have an agreement with one or more of the following sources for at least $200,000 in funding:
• Commonwealth agencies
• State and territory governments
• Publicly funded research organisations
• Investors registered as Venture Capital Limited Partnerships or Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnerships
The funding agreement must involve the transfer of at least 10% of the funds within 12 months of the start of the activity in Australia.

Please note that business migration can be very complicated, and even determining whether you have a good chance of qualifying can be difficult. On the other hand, you may qualify in a number of different business streams.

If you would like your eligibility for business migration or require assistance with your business visa application, please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your options further.

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