The provisional Business Innovation and Investment visa is part of the Australian Business Innovation and Investment Program, which seeks to expand the country's economy.
This visa is available by invitation only. Before being invited to apply, you must first lodge an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect.
This Expression of Interest must specify whether you are interested in the Business Innovation stream or the Investor stream. You must also indicate whether you are interested in just one or all states and territories. No supporting documentation is required at this time.
When your Expression of Interest is in SkillSelect, it can be viewed and a state or territory can decide whether to nominate you to apply for a visa. States and territories have their own criteria for deciding who they might nominate. In most cases, and before you are nominated, the relevant state or territory will contact you to discuss business possibilities.
You must be less 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.
You must score at least 65 on the Innovation Points test. Points are awarded for:
- English language ability
- experience in business or investments
- net personal and business assets
- business turnover
On rare occasions, the nominating state or territory government can award you 10 points towards the test because they think your proposed business is of exceptional economic benefit to them.
See: Innovation Points test (72KB PDF file)
Other requirements depend on whether you apply for the Business Innovation stream or the Investor stream.
Business Innovation stream
If you apply for the Business Innovation stream, you (or your partner, or you and your partner combined) must have:
- total assets of at least AUD800 000 that have been legally acquired and can be legally transferred to Australia within two years of the visa being granted
- a total annual turnover of at least AUD500 000 (in one of more of your businesses) in at least two of the four fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply
- owned at least:
- 51 per cent of a business with turnover of less than AUD400 000 per annum, or
- 30 per cent of a business with turnover of more than AUD400 000 per annum, or
- 10 per cent of a publicly-listed company
- an overall successful business career with no involvement in unacceptable business activities
- managed a business, in which you spent less than half your time on professional, technical or trade services
- a genuine desire to own and maintain a management role in a business in Australia.
If you apply for the Investor stream, you (or your partner, or you and your partner combined) must:
- have a net value of at least AUD2.25 million for the two fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply
- have an overall successful record of eligible investment or qualifying business activity with no involvement in unacceptable activities
- have a high level of management skill in relation to eligible investments and/or qualifying business activity
- have at least three years' experience of direct involvement in managing one or more qualifying businesses or eligible investments
- make your government-approved designated investment of AUD1.5 million before a visa can be granted
- 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 had one of the following:
- direct involvement, for at least one of the five fiscal years you are invited to apply, in managing your eligible investments that total at least AUD1.5 million, or
- direct involvement, for at least one of the five fiscal years before you are invited to apply, in managing a qualifying business in which you owned at least 10 per cent of the total value of the business.
If you are invited to apply for a provisional Business Innovation and Investment visa (subclass 188), you will then have 60 days in which to lodge your online application. You can be in or outside Australia when you lodge.
Your application is likely to require extensive supporting documentation, including records and evidence relating to your:
- work experience
- educational background
- English skills
- business and investment experience.
You are urged to start compiling these documents early in the process—even before you lodge an Expression of Interest.
You can be invited twice. If, after the second invitation, you do not submit a complete application within the allowed timeframe, the offer will be withdrawn and your Expression of Interest will be deleted from SkillSelect. If you want to be considered in future, you will need to submit a new Expression of Interest.
More information about business and employment in various states and territories is available.
- Australian Capital Territory
- New South Wales
- Northern Territory
- South Australia
- Western Australia.