Guide to the Points Test for Australian Business and Investor visas

The two main Australian business visa subclasses are the 132 business talent visa and the 188 business innovation and investment visa.  

132 Business Talent Visa  

The 132 business talent visa has two streams. The first is the significant business history stream. This includes high-level business owners who want to undertake significant business activity by providing either employment, exports or high-level investmentIt also involves those who have assets of $1.5 million Australian dollars and business turnover of AU$3 million. The second is the venture capital entrepreneur streamwhich is for people who have obtained at least AU$1 million in funding from an Australian venture capital firm to commercialize a product or develop a high-value idea in Australia 

188 Business Innovation and Investment Visa 

The 188 business innovation and investment visa has five streams: 188A business innovation stream, for those interested in owning and managing a new or existing business in Australia; 188B investor stream, for people who wish to make a designated investment in an Australian state or territory and want to maintain business and investment activity in Australia after the originainvestment has matured; 188C significant investor stream, for eligible applicants who are willing to invest at least AU$5 million into complying investments in Australia for four years; 188D premium investor stream, for eligible applicants who are willing to invest at least AU$15 million for 12 months and have been nominated by Austrade; and the 188E entrepreneur stream, for people who are willing to undertake a complying entrepreneurial activity that leads to the commercialization of a product or service, or the development of a business in Australia. 


For all business innovation and investment 188 visas, except the significant investor, premium investor and the entrepreneur visa, there is a points test. Points are awarded for English language ability, age, qualifications, financial assets, business turnover, business experience, investment experience, innovation and special endorsement. The pass mark is 65 points. 

The following information explains how points are awarded in each category.  


Applicants who can demonstrate vocational or proficiency in the English language will be awarded points under the innovation points test. The band score for the four components of the IELTS (General), PTE Academic, TOEFL iBT, Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) and the OET must be demonstrated in one test taken within the three years before you are invited to apply for the business visa. Points are awarded as follows: IELTS 5.0 or equivalent (vocational English) is worth 5 points and the IELTS 7.0 or equivalent (proficient English) is worth 10 points. 


You can receive up to 30 points based on your age at the time of invitationApplicants who are 18 to 24 are awarded 20 points25 to 32 are awarded 30 points33 to 39 are awarded 25 points40 to 44 years are awarded 20 points and 45 to 54 years are awarded 15 points. No points are awarded if you are 55 and older. 


trade qualification, diploma or bachelor’s degree from an Australian educational institution or other that is recognized by Australian standards is awarded 5 pointsbachelor’s degree in business, science or technology from an Australian educational institution or another that is similar to Australian standards offers the applicant 10 points. 

Net Personal and Business Assets 

These can be held by you, your partner, or you and your partner, in each of the two fiscal years before being invited to apply for the visa. For net personal and business assets of AU$800,000, you will be awarded 5 points. Assets of AU$1.3 million are awarded 15 points. Assets of AU$1.8 million are awarded 25 pointsAssets of AU$2.25 million are given 35 points. 

Business Turnover 

This is not required for the investor stream. The turnover must be shown in at least two of the four fiscal years before you are invited to apply for the visa. For business turnover of AU$500,000, you will be awarded 5 points. Turnover of AU$million is awarded 15 points. AU$1.5 million is awarded 25 points and AU$million will earn an applicant 35 points. 

Business / Investment Experience 

A demonstrated history of relevant business or investment experience must be demonstrated for a specified amount of time in the period before you are invited to apply for your visa in order to be awarded points. 

Business innovation streamExperience of at least four years in the last year awards 10 points. Experience of at least seven years in the last eight awards 15 points. 

Investor stream: A minimum of AU$100,000 in eligible investments for at least the last four years is awarded 10 points. For at least the last seven years is given 15 points. 

Innovation (Business Innovation Stream) 

You can be awarded points for more than one attribute in this category, but only once for each. Registered patents or designs are granted 15 pointsRegistered trademarks are awarded 10 points. Joint venture agreements receive 5 points, and export trade receives                                                               15 pointsEvidence of a Gazelle business will be awarded 10 points, and grants oventure capital funding are awarded 10 points. 

Special Endorsement 

If a nominating state or territory government determines your proposed business or investment to be of unique and important benefit, that will grant 10 points. 

Minimum English Requirement 

There is no minimum English language threshold required for Australian investor visas. English language skills are a mandatory requirement only in the entrepreneur stream of the 188 visa category, where there is a requirement for competent English. However, a second installment payment of the visa application charge must be paid for main and secondary applicants for 188 and 132 over the age of 18 who are unable to demonstrate functional English.  

The visa application charges are as follows: 

Subclass 132 business talent (permanent): The initial visa application charge is AU$7,130, which is paid at the time of application. If the visa applicant does not have functional English, he or she will need to pay a second installment visa charge of AU$9,795. Any secondary applicants (family members) who don’t have functional English will need to pay AU$4,890 

Subclass 188 business innovation and investment (provisional): The initial visa application charge is AU$4,875, which is paid at the time of application. If the visa applicant does not have functional English, he or she will need to pay a second installment visa charge of AU$9,795. Any secondary applicants (family members) who don’t have functional English will need to pay AU$4,890 

Earning Your Final Score 

It is possible to reach the pass mark on the innovation points test without having English language skills. It is sometimes possible to reach the pass mark based on assets and business turnover alone, depending on the size and success of your previous business.  

The points test is not needed for the SIV, PIV or the entrepreneur streams of the 188 business innovation and investment visa. The points test applies to the business innovation stream or the investor stream of the 188. There is no points test for a 132 business talent visa.  

It is not mandatory to have English skills to be granted a business or investor visa in Australia, except under the 188E entrepreneur stream, which requires competent English. 

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About the Author

Lisa De Leon
Lisa De Leon
Lisa De Leon is the director of Australian Visa Options and a registered migration agent with the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority. She and her team recognize that each client's circumstances are unique, and therefore requires a personalized approach to each application. They pursue the best migration pathway for clients, and have extensive experience in all visa categories including Business and Investor visas, Skilled and Family visas. De Leon has access to the latest policy guidelines used by the Department of Home Affairs. As an active member of the Migration Institute of Australia and Migration Alliance, she is up to date with the latest legislative changes in Australian migration law. Australian Visa Options has partnered with Ord Minnett, one of the largest financial management firms in Australia. The company provides complying investment solutions for all Business and Investor visa categories and have Mandarin speaking SIV specialists available to assist.

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