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Business Innocation & Investment - Provisional

This visa is for people who want to own and manage a new or existing business or to make an investment in Australia. The provisional Business Innovation and Investment visa is part of the Australian Business Innovation and Investment Program.

The visa has three streams:

  • The Business Innovation streamis for people who want to own and manage a new or existing business in Australia.
  • The Investor streamis for people who want to make a designated investment in an Australian state or territory and want to maintain business and investment activity in Australia after the original investment has matured.
  • The Significant Investor stream is for people who are willing to invest at least AUD5 million into complying investments in Australia and want to maintain business and investment activity in Australia after the original investment has matured.

Basic Requirements

You can apply for this visa if:

  • you have been nominated by a state of territory government
  • you have received an invitation to apply for this visa.

To be granted a Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) you and all your family members must meet health and character requirements. Other requirements depend on the stream you listed in your Expression of Interest.

If you are in the Business Innovation stream

If you are in the Business Innovation stream, you must:

  • be younger 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,
  • score at least 65 on the Innovation Points test,
  • have a total annual turnover of at least AUD500 000 (in one or more of your main businesses) in at least two of the four fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply,
  • own at least one of the following percentages of that main business (or two main businesses):
    • 51 per cent of a business with a turnover of less than AUD400 000 per annum,
    • 30 per cent of a business with a turnover of more than AUD400 000 per annum,
    • 10 per cent of a publicly-listed company,
  • have managed a business, in which you spent less than half your time on professional (such as a doctor or lawyer), technical or trade services, and
  • have a genuine desire to own and maintain a management role in a business in Australia. You (or your partner, or you and your partner combined) must also:
  • have total assets of at least AUD800 000 that have been legally acquired and able to be legally transferred to Australia within two years of the visa being granted, and
  • have an overall successful business career with no involvement in unacceptable business activities.

If you are in the Investor stream

If you are in the Investor stream, you must:

  • be younger 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,
  • score at least 65 on the Innovation Points test,
  • have a high level of management skill in relation to eligible investments or qualifying business activity,
  • have at least three years' experience of direct involvement in managing one or more qualifying businesses or eligible investments, and
  • 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 a total assets of at least AUD 2.25 million for the two fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply. These assets must have been legally acquired and able to be legally transferred to Australia within two years of the visa being granted,
  • have an overall successful record of eligible investment or qualifying business activity with no involvement in unacceptable activities,
  • be prepared to make your government-approved designated investment of AUD1.5 million using funds you have accumulated from your direct involvement, for at least one of the five fiscal years before you are invited to apply, in one of the following activities:
    • managing your eligible investments that total at least AUD1.5 million,
    • managing a qualifying business in which you owned at least 10 per cent of the total value of the business.

If you are in the Significant Investor stream

If you apply for the Significant Investor stream, you must be prepared to invest at least AUD5 million in at least one of the following 'complying investments':

  • Commonwealth, state or territory government bonds
  • Certain managed funds that have a mandate for investing in one of the following Australian assets:
    • infrastructure projects in Australia;
    • cash held by Australian deposit taking institutions;
    • bonds issued by the Commonwealth Government or a State or Territory government;
    • bonds, equity, hybrids or other corporate debt in Australian companies and trusts listed on any Australian Stock Exchange;
    • bonds or term deposits issued by Australian financial institutions;
    • real estate in Australia;
    • Australian Agribusiness; and
    • other ASIC regulated managed funds that invest in the above list of investments.

Direct investment into private Australian companies not listed on any Australian stock exchange. You must obtain an ownership interest in the company. The company must:

  • genuinely operate a qualifying business in Australia
  • be registered with ASIC
  • have an Australian Business Number (ABN).

You must also:

  • have a genuine and realistic commitment to continue your business and investment activity in Australia after the complying investment has been held continuously for the life of your provisional visa
  • have a genuine and realistic commitment to reside in the state or territory that provided nomination for your application.

In addition, you (or your partner, or you and your partner combined) must:

  • have assets of at least AUD 5 million that have been legally acquired, are unencumbered, and are available to be used to make the 'complying investment' in Australia
  • not have a history of involvement in unacceptable business or investment activities
  • agree not to take legal action against the Commonwealth for any loss of capital arising from your complying investment.