Changes to Business Visa Australia: What it means for investors?

The business visa Australia is one of the popular visa streams to attract investors and entrepreneurs into invest in Australian economy. Recently, the Minister of Acting Immigration, Citizenship, Immigration Services and Multicultural Affairs reviewed his policy to revamp the Australian business and investment in 2020 as part of the Morrison government’s initiative to economic reform. The Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) will reduce the current business visa types from 9 to 4 categories and significant application requirements. It is anticipated that these will create jobs in targeted areas of investments aimed by the government affected by COVID-19. It is also expected that the number of available places under BIIP will be doubled in the upcoming years.

The 4 classes of BIIP, effective from July 1 2021 includes:

  • Business Innovation Visa-188A (Applicant must establish and manage new or existing businesses in Australia – Requirement listed below)
  • Business Investor visa-188B (Applicant must invest 1.5 Million AUD in an Australian state government or local government bonds)
  • Significant Investor Visa-188C (Applicant must invest 5 million AUD in an Australian state government or local government bonds)
  • Entrepreneur Visa-188E (Applicant must commercialize an innovative business and obtain an investment agreement of AUD 200,000 and operate that commensurate business enterprise in Australia).

For all 188 Visas, the applicant(s) must obtain nomination by the State government, and the process begins with the submission of an expression of interest (EOI),  each state government has their unique requirements on the type of skill set and kind of investments that they are after therefore prospective applicants need to understand what those requirements are before lodging their application.

This article outlines the GENERAL eligibility criteria and requirements for obtaining permanent residence through all types of 188 Visas.

188A Business Innovation Visa 

188A is suitable for experienced business people committed to establishing new or managing an existing business in Australia.

  • The applicants are under 55 years old at the time of application
  • Owns a business with a turnover of at least AUD 500,000 in the last 4 financial years.*
  • Furthermore, the applicants should have combined corporate assets and personal assets of no less than $800,000 AUD.*
  • Obtain at least 65 points on the EOI scoresheet.
  • Demonstrates successful experience in participating in the operation and management of the enterprise.
  • Have a basic level of English application. *

Note: From July 1 2021: the capital requirement for 188A will be increased significantly to ensure that the program attracts immigrants with mature business skills. Holders of the Business Innovation Visa (188A) will need to hold A$1.25 million in business assets (originally A$800,000) and an annual turnover of A$750,000 (originally A$500,000) to prove their business capabilities. Furthermore, the Expression Of Interest score screening criteria is expected to increase accordingly.

188B Investor Visa

188B are generally suitable for CEO, senior management and seasoned investors who do not directory own and operate a business.

  • The applicants are under 55 years old at the time of application
  • Directly participate in the operation/management of any of the following situations for at least 1 year in the recent 5 fiscal degrees:
  • Hold at least 10% of the company’s equity and participate in operation/management, or participate in the operation/management of investment projects of at least $1.5 million AUD,
  • The applicant’s company’s and personal net assets are above AUD 2.25 million.
  • The applicant must invest at least A$1.5 million in Australian state government or local government bonds and plan to invest for at least 4 years.
  • Obtain at least 65 points on the EOI scoresheet.
  • Demonstrates successful experience in participating in the enterprise’s operation and management with at least 3 years of successful experience in managing enterprises or investments, establishing a high level of management skills, and having a basic English application level.
188C Significant Investor Visa 

188C is suitable for applicants with substantial wealth with most requirements attached with 188A and 188B Visa waived. In short, “money talks” is the motto for this Visa.

  • No age restrictions.
  • No EOI requirement.
  • Minimum English proficiency is sufficient.
  • Unlike 188A and 188B, the applicant is not required to live in Australia most of the time. The minimum residency requirement is 160 days for 4 years, which breaks down to 40 days a year.

The catch: The applicant must make at least A$5 million and a compliance investment of 4 years in Venture capital, Managed Fund or Balanced Investment (A Portfolio).

188E Entrepreneurial Immigration Visa 

188E aims to attract seasonal innovators and business acumen, the “best and brightest” in their field of high tech innovation and research. Starting at $200,000, the capital requirement for this Visa is by far the lowest of all BIIP Visa. Still, the academic and intellectual requirement is the highest. Without going into details,  the business requirements are similar to a venture capitalist business model.

All successful BIIP Visa applicants will obtain a 4-year Temporary Residence (TR) Visa in Australia. After receiving TR, the applicant must fulfill their respective visa requirements before applying for permanent residence.


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  1. […] are currently four BIIP streams. They are as […]