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How does an Australian business visa work? What is required?

Are you looking to establish your business or take ownership of an existing business in Australia? Australia’s Business Innovation and Investment Programme allows you to apply for an Australian Business Visa that is specially targeted at successful entrepreneurs like you!


There are three ways that you can apply for a business visa for Australia:


Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188)


The 188 visa allows holders to establish and run a business in Australia (Business Innovation Stream), or to invest funds in an Australian business (Investor Stream, Significant Investor Stream or Premium Investor Stream). In order to be considered for this business migration stream, applicants must demonstrate that they have funds in excess of AUD 1.5 million to invest. All streams require sponsorship from a State government or Austrade – the Federal trade and investment commission. You can apply for sponsorship for this visa by lodging an Expression of Interest.


The Business Innovation Stream is the most common, with visas starting from AUD 585 with an average processing time of 15 months. The Australian business visa allows holders to operate a business in Australia for a period of 4 years and 3 months from the date of issue. In order to be eligible under this stream, applicants must pass an online points test that will assess factors such as age, qualifications and English proficiency. As well as this, the points test will also require business owners to demonstrate:


  • at least four years prior experience in running a business;
  • net business and personal assets of AUD 800,000;
  • an annual business turnover of AUD $500,000; and
  • any evidence of patents, designs, trade marks or other proof of business innovation.


You must lodge all necessary documentation to prove the above when submitting your Expression of Interest. If successful, you will be invited to formally apply for the visa.


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


A current holder of a 188 visa, or New Zealand applicants on a 444 visa, can submit an Expression of Interest for an 888 visa. Business owners must demonstrate that they have operated a business in Australia for a period of two years (Business Innovation Stream). Alternatively, investors must show that they have held a complying investment of more than AUD 1.5 million for 4 years (Investor Steam or Significant Investor Stream), or a complying investment or more than AUD 15 million for 1 year (Premium Investor Stream).


The 888 visa builds on the 188 visa and has the added advantage of being an Australian permanent residency visa.

Business Talent (Permanent) visa (subclass 132)


Business owners that can demonstrate exceptional success in their business career can apply directly for a 132 visa, which grants permanent residency status from the date of issue. In order to apply for this visa you must demonstrate:


  • net and personal assets of at least AUD 1.5 million;
  • an annual business turnover of at least AUD 3 million; and
  • if the company is publically listed, ownership of at least 10% of that company; (Significant History Stream) or
  • that you have received AUD 1 million in funding from an Australian firm that are a member of AVCAL (Venture Capital Entrepreneur Stream).


Australian business migration requirements change frequently and note the above information is current as of the 14 August 2017. If you have any questions in relation to Australia’s Business Innovation and Investment Program, contact Pathway Lawyers & Migration Agents now for cost-effective and timely legal advice.


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