• Establish a new or existing business in Australia, or make a designated investment with an Australian State or Territory government.
  • Travel in and out of Australia multiple times.
  • Have your family accompany you to Australia; they will have access to work and study rights.
  • Establish a pathway to permanent residence.

Business Innovation and Investment (permanent) visa (subclass 888)

  • Own and work in a new or existing business in Australia.
  • Travel in and out of Australia multiple times.
  • Study in Australia.
  • Have your family accompany you to Australia; they will have the same entitlements as you.
  • Live and work in Australia on a permanent basis.

The visa has four streams.

  • The Business Innovation stream is for people who want to own and manage a new or existing business in Australia.
  • The Investor stream is for people who want to make a designated investment in an Australian state or territory and want to maintain business and investment activity in Australia after the original investment has matured.
  • The Significant Investor stream is for people who are willing to invest at least AUD5million into complying investments in Australia and want to maintain business and investment activity in Australia after the original investment has matured.
  • 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.

You can apply under the Business Innovation stream if:

  • you have been nominated by a state of territory government
  • you have received an invitation to apply for this visa.

If you are in the Business Innovation stream, you must:

  • be younger than 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 relevant region
  • score at least 65 on the Innovation Points test
  • have a total annual turnover of at least AUD500 000 (in one or more of your main businesses) in at least two of the four fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply
  • own at least one of the following percentages of that main business (or two main businesses):
  • 51 per cent of a business with a turnover of less than AUD400 000 per annum
  • 30 per cent of a business with a turnover of more than AUD400 000 per annum
  • 10 per cent of a publicly-listed company
  • have managed a business, in which you spent less than half your time on professional (such as a doctor or lawyer), technical or trade services
  • have a genuine desire to own and maintain a management role in a business in Australia.

You (or your partner, or you and your partner combined) must also:

  • have total assets of at least AUD800 000 that have been legally acquired and able to be legally transferred to Australia within two years of the visa being granted
  • have an overall successful business career with no involvement in unacceptable business activities.

You can apply under the Investor stream, if you are:

  • younger than 55 years of age, although a state or territory can waive this requirement if your proposed business or investment activity will be of exceptional economic benefit to the relevant region.
  • score at least 65 on the Innovation Points test
  • have a high level of management skill in relation to eligible investments or qualifying business activity
  • have at least three years’ experience of direct involvement in managing one or more qualifying businesses or eligible investments
  • have a genuine and realistic commitment to continuing your business and investment activity in Australia after the original investment has matured.

You (or your partner, or you and your partner combined) must also:

  • have a total assets of at least AUD2.25 million for the two fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply. These assets must have been legally acquired and able to be legally transferred to Australia within two years of the visa being granted
  • have an overall successful record of eligible investment or qualifying business activity with no involvement in unacceptable activities
  • be prepared to make your government-approved designated investment of AUD1.5 million using funds you have accumulated from your direct involvement, for at least one of the five fiscal years before you are invited to apply, in one of the following activities:
  • managing your eligible investments that total at least AUD1.5 million
  • managing a qualifying business in which you owned at least 10 per cent of the total value of the business.

To apply under the Significant Investor stream

Visa applicants must:

  • submit an expression of interest in SkillSelect
  • be nominated by a State or Territory government
  • make investments of at least five million Australian dollars into complying investments.

Visa applicants do not need to satisfy the innovation points test and there are no upper age limits. The visa stream features a residence requirement of 160 days spent in Australia over four years while holding the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) (Subclass 188) visa.

Visa holders can extend their visa term if they would like to given that they satisfy the extension requirements. They will be allowed to extend their provisional visa by an additional two years, with a maximum of two extensions permitted.

If you apply for the Significant Investor stream, you must be prepared to invest at least AUD5 million solely in ‘complying investments’, namely:

  • Commonwealth, state or territory government bonds
  • Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) regulated managed funds that are open to the general public and have a mandate for investing in one of the following Australian assets:
  • infrastructure projects in Australia;
  • cash held by Australian deposit taking institutions;
  • bonds issued by the Commonwealth Government or a State or Territory government;
  • bonds, equity, hybrids or other corporate debt in Australian companies and trusts listed on any Australian Stock Exchange;
  • bonds or term deposits issued by Australian financial institutions;
  • real estate in Australia;
  • Australian Agribusiness; and
  • other ASIC regulated managed funds that invest in the above list of investments.
  • direct investment into private Australian companies not listed on any Australian stock exchange. You must obtain an ownership interest in the company. The company must:
    • genuinely operate a qualifying business in Australia
    • be registered with ASIC
    • have an Australian Business Number (ABN).

From 1 July 2015 there are  new requirements for the Significant Investor stream, applicants will be required to invest at least $5 million over four years in complying investments, which must now include:

  • At least $500,000 in eligible Australian venture capital or growth private equity fund(s) investing in start-up and small private companies. The Government expects to increase this to $1 million for new applications within two years as the market responds;
  • At least $1.5 million in an eligible managed fund(s) or Listed Investment Companies (LICs) that invest in emerging companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX); and
  • A ‘balancing investment’ of up to $3 million in managed fund(s) or LICs that invest in a combination of eligible assets that include other ASX listed companies, eligible corporate bonds or notes, annuities and real property (subject to the 10 per cent limit on residential real estate).

You must also:

  • have a genuine and realistic commitment to continue your business and investment activity in Australia after the complying investment has been held continuously for the life of your provisional visa
  • have a genuine and realistic commitment to reside in the state or territory that provided nomination for your application.

In addition, you (or your partner, or you and your partner combined) must:

  • have assets of at least AUD5 million that have been legally acquired, are unencumbered, and are available to be used to make the ‘complying investment’ in Australia
  • not have a history of involvement in unacceptable business or investment activities
  • agree not to take legal action against the Commonwealth for any loss of capital arising from your complying investment.

To apply under the Premium Investor Stream

Visa applicants must:

  • submit an expression of interest in SkillSelect
  • be nominated by a State or Territory government
  • make investments of at least fifteen million Australian dollars into complying investments.

The Premium Investor stream is by invitation 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.​​