188 Visa Business Innovation & Investment Provisional – Business Innovation stream

The business Innovation stream is for people with business skills. It lets you operate a new or existing business in Australia. The Business Innovation stream is intended for individuals looking to establish and operate a business in Australia. Applicants who do not wish to engage in a business should consider alternative streams or subclasses. Valid visa application under this stream prerequisites invitation through Skillselect and nomination by a State authority.

  • The right to establish a new or develop an existing business, or to invest in Australia
  • Unlimited travel in and out of Australia
  • Bring family members with you to Australia
  • Opportunity to apply for Australian citizenship
  • The opportunity to apply for permanent residence through the Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888)

Business Innovation stream for Business Visa Subclass 188

To be eligible for the Business Innovation stream:

  • score at least 65 on the points test ( see below)
  • provide proof of your business success (annual turnover, ownership stake)
  • have total net business and personal assets of at least AUD800,000
  • must operate a new or existing business in Australia.
  •  must be nominated by an Australian State or Territory government agency.

The 188A visa is available to people who are nominated by a State or Territory government and meet the points test for this visa. To be nominated, the applicant must lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) through the SkillSelect system.

This is a 5-year temporary visa, for people who want to own and manage a new or existing business in Australia. Once established an ownership interest in an Australian business, the applicant can apply for permanent residence through the Business Innovation & Investment (Residence) Subclass 888 visa. A 2-year extension is possible.

Available streams ( for details see below):

  • Business Innovation stream
    Investor stream
    Significant Investor stream
    Business Innovation Extension stream
    Significant Investor Extension stream
    Premium Investor stream
    Entrepreneur stream

The most widely used route for business or investment migration to Australia is to obtain provisional 188 visas with the right to apply for 888 permanent residency. This avenue is only available for individuals with a history of success in business and investment. Subclass 188 consists of 5 main streams with 2 extension streams. Each of these vary significantly in their prerequisites and requirements:

Include family

You can:

  • include family members in your application when you apply
  • add family members to your application after you apply but before we decide on your visa

For Fiance subclass 188 visa, family members are:

Family members who apply for the visa with you must meet our health and character requirements.

Family members who do not apply for the visa with you might also have to meet the requirements.

  • Business Innovation stream
    Investor stream
    Significant Investor stream
    Business Innovation Extension stream
    Significant Investor Extension stream
    Premium Investor stream
    Entrepreneur stream

Basic Eligibility for Business Innovation stream.

  • Applicant has achieved a minimum score of 65 on the Schedule 7A points test, and was invited, in writing, by the Minister to apply for the visa;

  • Applicant has not turned 55 at the time of invitation, or is proposing to establish or participate in business or investment activities that the nominating State or Territory authority has determined is of exceptional economic benefit to the State or Territory in which the authority is located;

  • Applicant has overall had a successful record of business career;

  • Applicant has had an ownership interest in a main business with an annual turnover of $500,000 for at least 2 of the 4 fiscal years immediately before the time of invitation;

  • Applicant has a genuine need to reside in Australia for the purpose of their proposed  Australian business;

  • Applicant has a realistic commitment to establish a qualifying business or participate in an existing qualifying business;

  • Applicant’s involvement in the business for at least 2 of the 4 fiscal years immediately before the time of invitation predominantly concerned general direction and operation of the business, as opposed to mere provision of the services, if the business was providing professional, technical or trade services;

  • Applicant had a total value of business and personal assets in a minimum sum of $800,000 at the time of invitation that can be applied to the establishment or conduct of a business in Australia within 2 years after the visa grant;

  • Applicant’s net value of the business and personal assets is sufficient to enable settlement in Australia.


Generally, applicants must not have turned 55 at the time of invitation in order to qualify for the business and innovation stream. Nevertheless, State and Territory authorities reserve the discretion to afford waiver where the applicant’s Australian business is deemed to be of significant economic benefit to said State or Territory.

The discretion of States and Territories to accept age-restricted applicants on the grounds of “exceptional economic benefit” is largely unfettered. Policy supports deference to the recommendation of State or Territory authorities, which in turn affords these authorities enormous discretion in the exercise of this power. The State and Territory authorities provide minimal guidance on when they will recommend waiver of age restrictions.

Main Business

A business is a main business in relation to an applicant for a visa if for at least 2 of the 4 fiscal years immediately before the time of invitation:

(a) Annual turnover is greater than $500,000;

(b)Applicant maintains, or has maintained, direct and continuous involvement in management of the business from day to day and in making decisions affecting the overall direction and performance of the business; and

(c)Business is or was a qualifying business; and

(d)the applicant has, or has had, an ownership interest in the business; and

(e)the applicant’s ownership interest or the total ownership interests of the applicant and the applicant’s spouse or de facto partner, in the business is or was:

Ownership Threshold

・Turnover < $400,000 per year: 51%

・Turnover > $400,000 per year: 30%

・Publicly Listed Company: 10%

Qualifying Business

A qualifying business refers to an enterprise that:

(a)is operated for the purpose of making profit through the provision of goods, services or goods and services (other than the provision of rental property) to the public; and

(b)is not operated primarily or substantially for the purpose of speculative or passive investment.


Turnover is the revenue generated in the ordinary course of business activities, including:

  • Sale of goods

  • Fees for service

  • Commission revenue

  • Interest

  • Capital gains

  • Government subsidies or bounties

General Direction and Operation of a Business

Australian migration law delineates provision of services to clients from exercise of business skills to benefits of the business. Where involvement in the main business predominantly consists of delivery of services to clients and customers, the applicant may be deemed ineligible under Subclass 188A. As such, applicants must have primarily held responsibilities for management of the business.

Need to Reside in Australia

Applicants must demonstrate a need to be resident in Australia to establish or conduct the proposed business activities on a day-to-day basis. The requisite level of presence in Australia is deemed to be substantial, and therefore, businesses which do not require their presence in Australia, such as internet trading or brokering products between foreign countries, may be regarded as grounds for refusal under this stream.

Successful Business Career

Applicants must demonstrate that they have an overall record of successful business careers. The Department will adopt a holistic approach to their assessment in which their entire business careers are taken into consideration, as well as external factors which may mitigate any perceived failures or losses stemming therefrom. Under the guidelines, business careers are generally deemed unsuccessful in the following circumstances;

  • Bankruptcy in the last 5 years;

  • Involvement in businesses which have been subject to insolvency, receivership or liquidation;

  • Recent trading losses stemming from decisions of the applicant which are likely to render the business unsuccessful in future.

Net Value of Personal and Business Asset

The business and personal assets of the applicant, the applicant’s spouse or de facto partner, or the applicant and his or her spouse or de facto partner together, that can be applied to the establishment or conduct of a business in Australia within 2 years after the visa grant have a net value of at least $800,000.

This figure is calculated as business and personal assets less any liabilities. It should be noted that the figure is not limited to the assets of the main business, but assets of other businesses of the applicant to be considered in totality.

Lawful Acquisition of Assets

Applicants need to substantiate origins of their disclosed assets in order to demonstrate lawful ownership and availability for transfer to Australia.

 Business Innovation stream  a three-step process:

Step 1: The first step is to apply for state nomination.

Step 2: Apply for Expression of Interest visa Skillselect.

Step 3:Lodge application

Business Innovation and Investment  it is temporary or provisional visa stream allowing you to stay in Australia up to 4 years and 3 months.

With Business Innovation stream

  • You can live, work and study in Australia
  • You can sponsor eligible family members to come to Australia
  • You can apply for permanent 888 visa when eligible.
Business Innovation stream allow you to apply for bridging visa if lodged onshore.