Business Migration Visas

If you are looking at establishing an office in Australia, purchasing a business in Australia or migrating to Australia as a business owner or investor, it is critical to get the right immigration advice upfront.

Having a sound immigration strategy upfront can streamline matters significantly, and ensure that you meet your goals in starting a business in Australia. There are a variety of Australian work visas that business people can obtain for themselves or their employees, including:

Temporary Visa categories

Subclass 188 Business Innovation and Investment Provisional Visas

  • Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Subclass 188 Visa
  • This is a 4-year provisional visa available to business owners and investors.
  • Significant Investor Subclass 188 Visa
  • This is a 4-year provisional visa for people willing to make a $5 million investment in Australia.
  • Business Innovation & Investment Subclass 188 visas are for investors and business owners who wish to establish business operations in Australia. The visa is valid for 4 years. Duration and Conditions
  • This is a 4 year temporary visa. Once you have maintained an investment in Australia for 4 years or established an ownership interest in an Australian business, you can apply for permanent residence through the Business Innovation & Investment (Residence) Subclass 888 visa.
  • If you have applied for the Business Innovation stream, a 2-year extension is possible once you have held the subclass 188 visa for 3 years, giving you 6 years from the date of grant of the original visa.
  • State/Territory Nomination

This visa is only available to applicants who are nominated by an Australian State or Territory government.

Common Criteria

All applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Nomination by a state or territory government
  • Invitation to apply through SkillSelect
  • Under 55 years of age, unless the nominating state or territory certifies that you will make an exceptional economic benefit
  • Meet the pass mark in the Business Innovation and Investment Points test (currently 65)
  • Have an overall successful career in business or investment
  • Business Innovation Stream Requirements

This option requires you to have owned a business and to be intending to establish business operations in Australia. You will need to meet the following if you are applying through the Business


Innovation Stream

  • Ownership of a business with turnover of at least AUD 500,000 for 2 of the last 4 fiscal years.
  • Net personal and business assets of at least AUD 800,000
  • Investor Stream Requirements
  • This option requires you to have managed investments or owned a business, and to be willing to invest AUD 1.5 million in Australian State or Territory Government bonds. If you are applying for the Investor Stream, the requirements are as follows:
  • You have had business and personal net assets of at least AUD 2.25 million for the last 2 fiscal years
  • You must make an investment of AUD 1.5 million in Australian State or Territory bonds prior to grant of the visa

Subclass 888 Permanent Business Innovation and Investment Visas

Business Innovation and Investment (Residence) Subclass 888 Visa This is the permanent stage of the Subclass 188 Provisional Business Innovation and Investment. It requires applicants to have established business operations in Australia or to have maintained an investment in bonds.

The Subclass 888 Business Innovation and Investment (Residence) visa is the permanent stage for the subclass 188 Business Innovation and Investment visa. There are two streams depending on which stream was applied for at the provisional visa stage:

Business Innovation Stream: requires you to have established a business in Australia which meets certain asset and turnover requirements Investor Stream: you must have held an investment in Australia bonds for 4 years

State/Territory Nomination

This visa is only available to applicants who are nominated by an Australian State or Territory government.

All applicants must meet the following criteria

You must be nominated by the State or Territory Government who nominated you for the subclass 188 visa, unless you have obtained permission to change State or Territory

You have a genuine commitment to maintain your business or investment activities in Australia

You have a satisfactory compliance with applicable Australian Commonwealth, State and Territory laws

Business Innovation Stream Requirements

This option requires you to have owned a business and to be intending to establish business operations in Australia. You will need to meet the following if you are applying through the Business Innovation Stream:

Residence Requirement: you must have been in Australia for at least 1 of the 2 years prior to application

You have had an ownership interest in an Australian business for the last 2 years

Your business has an ABN and has lodged the necessary Business Activity Statements (BAS) for the last 2 years

The business has had turnover of at least AUD 300,000 for the last 12 months. Exception: if you reside in a regional area, operate a business there and the State or Territory Government has indicated there are exceptional circumstances

You must meet 2 of the following 3 criteria for the 12 months prior to application:

Net assets in the business of at least AUD 200,000

2 Full Time Equivalent employees working in the business - these employees must not be relatives, and must be Australian permanent residents, citizens or NZ passport holders

Net personal assets of at least AUD 600,000

Investor Stream Requirements

For this option, you must hold an Investment Stream Subclass 188 provisional visa, and meet the following criteria

Residence Requirement: you must have been in Australia for at least 2 of the last 4 years

You must have maintained the AUD 1.5 million investment in Australian State or Territory Bonds for a continuous period of 4 years

Business Visitor Visas

If you wish to visit Australia for 3 months or less to attend business meetings or to explore business opportunities, you may be interested in applying for a business visitor visa.

Residence Visa categories

Business Talent (Migrant) Visa

Business Talent (Migrant) visas are granted to people with an overall successful business career as the owner of a business or people with Venture Capital funding in Australia. There is no need to apply for a provisional visa before applying for this permanent visa.

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