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Business Innovation and Investment (Subclass 188) Visa
What is Business innovation and Investment 188 Visa?
188 is a provisional temporary business skills visa. The visa allows people who have a successful business or investment career and have a genuine and realistic commitment to be involved in investing or business in Australia.
Investor 188 visa is valid for 4 years and visa holders may be eligible to apply for permanent residence after meeting the obligations of their visa for at least 2 years. This is a state or territory sponsored provisional visa with no minimum English requirement and is valid for four years. Applicants may be inside or outside Australia at the time of visa grant or application
Who can get Business innovation and Investment 188 Visa?
The innovation points test gives points for various elements of human capital and business innovation. The test also includes objective measures of business performance. It aims to select innovative entrepreneurs who will transfer their skills to Australia and diversify our existing pool of business expertise.
The innovation points test does not apply to Significant investor, Premium investor and Entrepreneur stream.
Points are awarded for:
- english language ability
- experience in business or investment
- net personal and business assets
- business turnover
- state government endoresement
- have points tested pass mark of 65
- submit an EOI in SkillSelect
- be less than 55 years of age or the nominating jurisdiction must provide their support to waive the age requirement.
- meet health and character requirement
- meet additional criteria of the stream in which you are applying for
What are the Streams under Business innovation and Investment 188 visa?
Business Innovation stream 188 visa –This visa stream requires state or territory Nomination
- Be less than 55 years old
- You have at least 65 points on the Department points test for the Business Innovation & Investment visa.
- For at least 2 of the 4 fiscal years immediately before the application is made, you had a qualifying ownership interest1 in up to 2 main businesses that had an annual turnover of at least $A500,000.
- Your (or your and your spouse’s combined) business and personal assets have a net value of at least $A800,000 which are available for the conduct or establishment of a business in Australia and are lawfully acquired and available for transfer to Australia within 2 years of the grant of a State/Territory Sponsored Business Innovation & Investment (Provisional) visa.
- You have not engaged in a business where a provision of professional, technical or trade services took up more than 50% of your time.
- You have a realistic commitment to establish or participate in a qualifying business in Australia and maintain a substantial ownership and direct and continuous involvement in the management of that business.
- You have demonstrated that there is a need to be temporarily in Australia to conduct or establish the proposed business activity.
- Neither you nor your spouse have a history of involvement in business or investment activities that are of a nature that is not generally acceptable in Australia.
Provisional visa holders in the Business Innovation stream may be eligible to apply for an extension to their provisional visa for an additional 2 years if the extra time is needed to meet the criteria for the permanent visa, subclass 888.
Business Investor stream 188 visa –This visa stream requires state or territory Nomination
Applicant must lodge a designated investment with the treasury corporation of the state or territory that is nominating you.
The actual rate of return on the investment will be set when you deposit funds in the designated investment. Interest rates change regularly and may differ between state and territory treasury corporations.
Designated investments must only be made when you are advised in writing by the department.
Funds used to finance your designated investment must be personally owned and unencumbered and must have been legally accumulated as a result of your business and/or investment activities.
- Be less than 55 years old
- You have at least 65 points on the department points test for the Business Innovation & Investment visa.
- 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.
- 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 the grant of the visa
- You have 3 years of experience either managing a qualifying business or “eligible investments”, and have shown a high level of management skill
- For at least 1 of the last 5 fiscal years, you have either:
- managed a business in which you hold a 10% shareholding; or
- managed “eligible investments” of at least AUD 1.5 million
Significant Investor stream 188 visa – Visa applicants do not need to satisfy the innovation points test and there are no upper age limits. The visa stream features a residence requirement of 160 days spent in Australia over four years while holding the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) (Subclass 188) visa.
The investor, or the primary visa applicant, can make the complying investment personally or together with the investor’s spouse or de facto partner.
If the complying investment is made through a company, the company must be an ASIC registered company; and the primary visa applicant or together with the investor’s spouse or de facto partner must own all of the issued shares of the company
If the complying investment is made through a trust, the trust must be a lawfully established and valid trust; and the primary visa applicant or together with the investor’s spouse or de facto partner, are the sole trustees and beneficiaries of the trust.
Through these investment structures, the investor may hold complying investments in any proportion.
“Eligible investments” for the purposes of the Investor Stream include:
- Ownership interests in a business
- Cash on deposit
- Stocks or bonds
- Real estate
- Gold or bullion
- Loan to a business
Visa holders can extend their visa term if they would like to be given that they satisfy the extension requirements. They will be allowed to extend their provisional visa by an additional two years, with a maximum of two extensions permitted.
- submit an expression of interest in SkillSelect
- be nominated by a State or Territory government
- make investments of at least five million Australian dollars into complying investments.
Complying investments for the Significant Investor visa include:
- Commonwealth, State or Territory government bonds
- Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) regulated managed funds with a mandate for investing in Australia; and
- Direct investment into Australian proprietary companies.
Direct company investments are considered complying investments if they meet the following four conditions:
- the company is registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and
- the company is not listed on an Australian stock exchange and
- the company has not been established wholly or substantially for the purpose of satisfying 188 requirements and
- the applicant has acquired
Premium Investor stream 188 visa – Applicant must be nominated by Austrade and invest AUD15 million in Australia.
Funds used to finance your designated investment of AUD 15 million must be personally owned and unencumbered and must have been legally accumulated as a result of your business and/or investment activities. Need to provide a signed declaration listing the sources of funds for your asset portfolio, and that these funds were lawfully acquired.
The applicant must
- receive an invitation from Austrade to apply for this visa and the make the appropriate investment
- required to make investments of AUD15 million in Australia and hold them for at least 12 months
- provide a signed declaration on your proposed method of fund transfer to make the complying significant investments.
- Provide an overview of your complying investment intentions.
Evidence to support your source of funds declaration:
- for business income, provide evidence of business ownership, performance and profit distribution. For example, company registration and shareholder records, financial statements or taxation records
- for investment income, provide evidence of investment activities and performance. For example, statements issued by stocks trading company, property purchase and sale contracts, leases or investment product contracts.
- for gifted or inherited assets, provide duly witnessed gift deeds or wills. Also provide other evidence demonstrating how the original owner accumulated the assets
- for a historical accumulation of wealth where official verifiable evidence is no longer available, provide bank records demonstrating continuous ownership of funds over a substantial period.
- for assets held in Australia, provide evidence which links the assets to the declared sources
Have a genuine commitment to continue business and investment activity in Australia after the conclusion of the provisional visa
Entrepreneur Stream 188 visa – Applicant must be undertaking, or proposing to undertake, a complying entrepreneur activity in Australia. You must have a genuine intention to continue this activity. This visa stream requires state or territory Nomination
- be under 55 years of age
- have competent English and be able to provide evidence of this at the time you are invited to apply for the visa
- be undertaking or proposing to undertake a complying entrepreneur activity in Australia and have a genuine intention to continue this activity
A Complying Entrepreneur Activity is an activity that relates to an innovative idea that will lead to the commercialisation of a product or service in Australia or the development of an enterprise or business in Australia.
This activity must not relate to any of the following excluded categories:
- Residential real estate
- Labour Hire
- Purchase of an existing enterprise or a franchise in Australia.
An activity is a complying entrepreneur activity if all of the following requirements are met:
- you have one or more legally enforceable agreements to receive funding with a total of at least AUD200 000 from one of the following entities:
- Commonwealth Government agency
- State or Territory Government
- Publicly Funded Research Organisation
- Investor registered as an Australian Venture Capital Limited Partnership or Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership
- Specified Higher Education Provider
- under the agreement at least 10 per cent of the funding must be payable to the entrepreneurial entity within 12 months of the day the activity starts to be undertaken in Australia;
- you held at least 30 per cent interest in your entrepreneurial entity when you entered into the agreement.
How long to process Business innovation and Investment 188 Visa?
The processing time is between 9-12 Months
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