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Business Innovation and Investment Visa (188 Visa)

The Business Innovation and Investment visa (subclass 188) is a temporary visa that allows you to invest and live in Australia for four years. It is part of the Business Innovation and Investment Program.

The Business Innovation and Investment Visa Streams

You must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect and be nominated by an eligible government organisation before being invited to apply for this visa.

What type of Business I can open in Australia?

For visa holders under Business Innovation Stream – subclass 188A, one of the fundamental criteria for a permanent visa application under s/c 888A stream is that the applicant has been in Australia with an ownership interest in at least one actively operating main business in Australia during the 2 years immediately before the permanent visa application is made.

Each state government has different requirements in the type of business the s/c 188A visa holders can operation, for example:

New South Wales state government has removed the ‘excluded industry sectors’ criteria from NSW business visa nomination requirements that were in place prior to 1st January 2016. This indicates the New South Wales state government welcomes all business migrants to do business in Sydney/NSW territory and makes it easier for migrants in their permanent business visa application process.

Whilst New South Wales government lifted all the restrictions, Victorian state government still exclude some business activities for business nomination purpose, unless otherwise agreed to in writing:

As stated above, each state government has different criteria in assessing the nomination application for migrants.

Processing Standards for subclass 188

Processing time varies depending on the number of applications in the system and the number of new applications submitted.

As of November 2018, the Department has published the following processing information for business subclass 188 visa under different streams:

Business visa subclass 188 under Significant Investor, Premium Investor and Entrepreneur streams are currently unavailable due to a low volume of applications.

For visa under 188A business innovation stream, the processing time can take up to 18-20 months; for a visa under 188B investor stream, the processing time can take up to 19-23 months before a decision can be made.

Obligations of 188 visa subclass holders

There are no specific visa conditions for Subclass 188A, 188B visa holders; however, the visa holders will need to work through the visa validity and meet the permanent visa requirements;

There are, however, specific requirements for visa holders under significant investor and premium investor stream, which require the visa holders to hold the complying investment for the whole of the visa period.

What can you and your family can do whilst on a 188 Visa?

Apart from undertaking business/investment activities in Australia, the applicant and family members are free to undertake studies, multiple travels within the validity of the visa.

Would you like to know more about your prospects for a visa?

Eligibility is the most important step in determining whether a person may meet the legal criteria for a visa application and one consultation could save you money.

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