Business Immigration to Australia

Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only. All information is taken from the Australian Government website.

The Australian government seeks to attract talented business people and foreign capital to the country and encourages entrepreneurs who can contribute to the development of the country’s business and economy. For those who want to start a business in Australia or invest in an existing  Australian company, there are two ways to immigrate:

Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa (subclass 188)

This is a cheaper and easier way to enter Australia by starting a new business for applicants who do not meet the requirements for the Business Talent Visa. Under this visa, the age limit of 55 years old can also be avoided if the state or territory considers your business idea a significant contribution to regional development. 

The provisional visa is granted for up to four years and three months and allows you to operate a business in Australia. Requirements for the candidates depend on the stream they want to choose.

1) Entrepreneur stream

To apply for this visa, a candidate must:

  • Have at least AUD 200,000 to carry out an entrepreneurial activity in Australia
  • Provide a business plan
  • Be nominated by a state or territory government agency
  • Have at least competent English (IELTS 6.0)

2) Business Innovation stream

For this stream, requirements are higher than for the Entrepreneur stream but lower than for the Business Talent Visa. 

First of all, it is a point-based stream, and a candidate needs to score at least 65 points. Points can be scored for age, English proficiency, qualifications, business experience, assets and turnover, etc.

Second, a candidate should have a successful business career. The main success measures are:

  • Annual turnover (at least AUD 500,000 per year for the two-year period)
  • Ownership stake (10-51% of the total business value depending on the turnover)
  • The amount of total net business and personal assets (at least AUD800,000 for the candidate, their partner, or both).

The third main requirement is functional English (IELTS 4.5).

After two to four years of successful business operation in Australia, a holder of this provisional visa is eligible to apply for residence under the Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888). However, they must also provide certain indicators that their business is functioning well (turnover, assets and employee requirements) and they must actually live in the country for a certain period of time (at least two out of four years under the Entrepreneur stream and one out of two years for Business Innovation stream).

Visa 188 also has three streams for investors. If you are interested in this pathway, please read our article Immigration to Australia for Investors.

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