Subclass 188

Business Innovation stream

Applicants for this visa (except for applicants in the Extension streams) must first submit an Expression of Interest with DIBP online, and wait for an invitation before they can formally apply. Once they receive an invitation, they have 2 months within which to make a visa application. If the person does not take up the invitation to apply within the 2 month period, the invitation will be withdrawn. The invitation will identify which particular stream the applicant is to apply under.

The visa application (including the Extension streams) must be supported by a nomination by a prescribed authority (either a State/Territory government or Austrade), and the nomination has not been withdrawn. All visa applications must be lodged online.


General 188 Visa Requirements

  • Ownership of a business with turnover of at least AUD 500,000 for at least 2 of the last 4 fiscal years; and
  • Net personal and business assets of at least AUD 800,000; and
  • Under 55 years of age, unless the nominating state or territory certifies that the applicant will make an exceptional economic benefit; and
  • Meet the pass mark in the Business innovation and investment Points test (currently 65 points)
  • Have an overall successful career in business

Point Test

You must score at least 65 points (the pass mark) in the points test to be eligible to apply for a Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) in the Business Innovation stream or the Investor stream. 


The test gives points for various elements of human capital and business innovation and includes objective measures of business performance.

Points are awarded for:

  • age
  • English language ability
  • qualifications
  • experience in business or investment
  • net personal and business assets
  • business turnover
  • innovation.


  • 18–24 years-  20 Points
  • 25–32 years- 30 Points
  • 33–39 years- 25 points
  • 40–44 years- 20 Points
  • 45–54 years- 15 Points
  • 55 and older- 0 Points 

English language ability

  • Vocational English (IELTS 6)- 5 Points
  • Proficient English (IELTS 7)- 10 points


  • Australian trade certificate, diploma or bachelor degree by an Australian education institute; or a bachelor qualification recognised by an education institution of a recognised standard - 5 Points
  • Bachelor degree in business, science or technology by an Australian institution; or a bachelor qualification by an education institution of a recognised standard- 10 Points

Special endorsement

  • The nominating state or territory government agency could decide that your proposed business is of unique and important benefit to the state or territory where the nominating government agency is located- 10 Points

Financial assets

Net business and personal assets of you, your partner or you and your partner combined in each of the preceding two years of at least:

  • · AUD800 000- 5 Points 
  • · AUD1.3 million- 15 Points
  • · AUD1.8 million- 25 Points 
  • · AUD2.25 million- 35 Points

Business turnover

Annual turnover in your main business during a period of at least two years of the preceding four fiscal years of at least:

  • · AUD500 000- 5 Points
  • · AUD1 million- 15 Points
  • · AUD1.5 million- 25 Points
  • · AUD2 million- 35 Points 

Experience in business or investment

Business Innovation stream: experience of

  • · at least four years in the preceding five years (10 points)
  • · at least seven years in the preceding eight years (15 points)

Business innovation

 For the Business Innovation stream, this component of the points test gives points for evidence of the following attributes at the time you are invited to apply for this visa. You can be awarded points for more than one attribute, but only once for each of them.

  • Registered patents or registered designs (15 points)
    • The patent or design must have been registered at least one year.
    • It must have been used in the day-to-day activities of your nominated main business.
  • Registered trademarks (10 points)
    • The trademark must have been registered at least one year.
    • It must have been used in the day-to-day activities of your main business.
  • Joint venture agreements (5 points)
    • The agreement must be a formal agreement that has been in force for at least one year.
    • You must have been involved at a senior level in day-to-day management and decision-making for the venture.
  • Export trade (15 points)
    • One or more of your nominated main businesses must have derived at least 50 per cent of annual turnover from export trade for at least two of the preceding four fiscal years.
  • Gazelle businesses (newly established businesses experiencing rapid growth during a short period) (10 points)
    • Your nominated main business must have been registered for no more than five years.
    • The average annualised growth in turnover of the business must have been greater than 20 per cent each year for a continuous period of three fiscal years.
    • The business must have had 10 or more full-time employees for at least one fiscal year in the three-year period.
  • Receipt of grants or venture capital funding for an innovative business idea (10 points)
    • This funding must have been for the early-phase start-up of a business, product commercialisation, business development or business expansion.
    • Grants: You must have received a grant of at least AUD 10 000 under specified conditions from a government body in your home country within the preceding four years.
    • Venture capital funding: You must have received venture capital funding of at least AUD 100 000 within the preceding four years.


  •  Check your eligibility for point for subclass 188 visa in Australia. 


Business Innovation Extension stream

This provisional visa lets holders of the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) in the Business Innovation stream extend their stay in Australia for 2 more years. 


Hold this visa

  • You must already hold a Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) Innovation stream and have held it for at least three years. 
  • You must not have held more than one Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) in the Business Innovation stream. 

Demonstrate a need for you to be resident in Australia to operate the main business

  •  You must be able to demonstrate your business activities are of a nature that will require a substantial presence in Australia to operate your business and manage its day-to-day affairs. 

Have maintained ownership interest in your nominated main business

  • Your main business must have been operating actively in Australia for at least 2 years immediately before applying for this visa.
  • You must also continue to have an ownership interest in that main business.

Have maintained your commitment

  •  You must have maintained your commitment to stay directly involved in the day-to-day management and decision-making of the business. 

Be nominated

  • You must have a current nomination from a State or Territory agency before being invited to apply for this visa. 

Not have a history of involvement in unacceptable activities

  • All applicants aged 18 or over at time of application who did not pay a second instalment of the visa application charge for a previous subclass 188 visa application, must either have functional English or you will be asked to  pay the second instalment of the visa application charge. 

Meet our health requirement

  • You and family members aged 16 years or over who apply for the visa with you must meet our health requirement.  

Meet our character requirement

  • You and family members aged 16 years or over who apply for the visa with you must meet our character requirement. 
  • Family members who are not coming to Australia must meet our character requirement

Meet the Australian values statement

If you and your family members who have applied for this visa are 18 years of age or older at the time of application, you and your family members must:

  • have read, or had explained to you, the Life in Australia book
  • sign an Australian Values Statement that confirms you will respect the Australian way of life and obey Australian laws

Have no debt to the Australian government

  • If you or any family members owe the Australian Government money, you or they must have paid it back or have an approved arrangement in place to pay it back. 

Not have had a visa cancelled or a previous application refused

  • You might not be eligible for this visa if you have had a visa cancelled or refused while you were in Australia. 

Meet your business obligations

 While the holder of this visa, you must:

  • have a substantial ownership stake in a business in Australia
  • genuinely have a realistic commitment to take part in its day-to-day management, at a senior level

In the business, you must do at least one of these things:

  • add to commercial activity and competitiveness within the Australian economy
  • develop business links with international markets
  • employ people in Australia
  • export Australian goods
  • introduce new or improved technology, or
  • produce goods or services that Australia would otherwise import


Assessment Form

Better yet, see us in person!

We love our customers, so feel free to visit during normal business hours.

Message us on WhatsApp


42 Wiltshire Street, Sunshine North Victoria 3020, Australia

0481 500 118