$200,000 Australian Dollars
Business Innovation and Investment Program
Visa Free Travel
Australia is strategically positioned as a trade and investment base for international companies doing business with Asia. The country has enjoyed strong economic growth over the last 25 years.
Australia’s 188 Business Innovation and Investment program has five streams, each with different requirements: Business Innovation, Investor, Significant Investor, Premium Investor and Entrepreneur streams. Applicants must also fulfill requirements for health, character and public interest. There is also the 132 Business Talent visa which has two streams: Significant Business History and Venture Capital.
The program allows investors to develop an existing business or invest in Australia and bring family members to Australia. Applicants must be younger than 55 years old. Australia does not grant the permanent residence on the very first stage of investment for a 188 visa, but permanent residency can be attained at the second stage after meeting certain requirements. The 132 visa is a permanent visa on grant.
While there is no citizenship-by-investment program, citizenship is attainable after four years of residence in Australia, with at least twelve months as an Australian permanent resident.
A permanent visa allows indefinite stay in Australia. However a permanent visa will only allow travel in and out of Australia for a period of five years. After this time, if citizenship has not been attained, it will be necessary to apply for a 155 Resident Return visa in order to travel. Permanent residents must have spent two of the last five years in the country to be granted an RRV with a five year travel facility, or show ties to Australia for the grant of an RRV with a twelve month travel facility.
All Australian business visas require nomination by a State or Territory government. Each State and Territory also have additional requirements. It is best to check with each region for their specific criteria. Some require a higher investment than that required by the legislation for the grant of the visa. The time frame for processing differs based on visa type.
Applicants first submit an expression of interest through the governmental online system called SkillSelect, nominating their State or Territory of choice. The chosen State or Territory then invites the applicant to apply for nomination. If successful they will receive an invitation from the Department of Home Affairs to apply for their visa. Processing time is 9 - 24 months. They must prove that their money was earned legitimately.
After 4-years of residence, investors can obtain citizenship, which gets visa-free travel to more than 170 countries.
Australia has a democratic and politically stable government and is a country rich in natural resources and high standards of life, education and healthcare. The economy is the world’s 13th largest and Australia has a business-friendly regulatory environment and a sophisticated financial services sector.
Updated by Lisa De Leon
The Business Innovation and Investment 188 Program includes the following five visa streams:
The Business Innovation stream (or 188A visa) is for investors seeking to start and manage a new business, or develop an existing business in Australia. The minimum investment into a business is $200,000, but an additional $600,000 must be transferred to Australia (Note: some states require a larger investment amount). There is a points test for this visa. You must have an overall successful business career and ownership interest in a business for at least two years before applying. After holding the provisional 188 A visa for two years it is possible to apply for permanent residency through the 888A visa pathway. If the requirements for the 888A are not met the applicant can apply for a 188A extension stream visa for a further two years.
The Investor stream (or 188B) requires an investment of at least 1.5 million Australian dollars in an Australian state or territory usually into their State government bonds. There is a points test for this visa. You must have at least three years experience managing one or more investments. (Note: some states also require extra investment into the region). It is possible to apply for the permanent 888B visa after holding the initial 188B visa for 4 years.
The Significant Investor Stream (or 188C) requires an investment of 5 million Australian dollars into complying Australian investments for a period of four years. There is no points test for this visa and no age limit. Permanent residency can be acquired through the 888C visa stream after four years. It is also possible to request an extension of the 188C if the requirements for the 888C are not met. This can be done twice for a further four years (each extension is a two year visa).
The Premium Investor Stream (or 188D) requires an investment of 15 million Australian dollars into premium investments in Australia for a period of twelve months, and the applicant must be nominated by Austrade on behalf of the Australian government. To date there have been no such nominations made or visas granted in this stream.
The Entrepreneur stream (188E) is for people who are willing to undertake a complying entrepreneurial activity that leads to either the commercialisation of a product or service, or development of a business, in Australia. Competent English is required but there is no points test for this visa. You must receive funding of at least $200,000 and have at least a 30% ownership interest in the entrepreneurial entity. After holding the provisional 188E visa for four years it is possible to apply for permanent residency through the 888E visa if all requirements are met.
The 132 Business Talent – Significant Business History visa is a permanent visa on grant, but is subject to ongoing monitoring by the State and Federal governments to ensure that the business activity is continuing and that the visa holder continues to maintain a direct and continuous involvement in the day to day management of the business. You must have an overall successful business career, and meet asset, turnover and ownership requirements. It requires an investment of at least 1.5 million dollars, although some states require a higher investment. Property development businesses also require a higher investment, and it is possible to obtain an age waiver in this visa category if the business is of exceptional economic benefit to the nominating state or territory.
Updated by Lisa De Leon
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