The 188 visa is a temporary business innovation and investment visa issued to foreign nationals who wish to invest, operate a business or open a new business in Australia.
The 188 business visa requires a certain amount of personal and business capital, and you must be invited to apply before you can apply.
What is a Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 188)?
The Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 188) allows you to work and live in Australia. This visa allows you to own or manage a new or existing business in Australia, or to invest in Australia. To apply, you must be nominated by a state or territory government or an Australian institution.
How can I apply for a Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 188)?
Step 1: Make sure you meet all visa requirements.
You must meet both the general requirements for the Subclass 188 visa and the specific requirements for the stream you are applying for. You can apply for a Subclass 188 visa in one of the following four streams.
- Business Innovation Stream. Business Innovation Stream: for individuals who want to start, develop or manage a new or existing business in Australia. A nomination from a state or territory government is required.
- Investor Stream. Investor Stream: open to individuals who make a designated investment of A$1.5 million or more in an Australian state or territory and wish to maintain their business and investment activities in Australia. Must be nominated by a state or territory government.
- Key Investor Stream. For individuals who have made a significant investment of A$5 million or more in Australia and wish to maintain their business and investment activities in Australia. Requires nomination by a state or territory government.
- Premium Investor Stream. For individuals who wish to invest A$15 million or more in premium investments that are compliant in Australia and maintain their business and investment activities in Australia. A nomination from a state or territory government is required.
Step 2: Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) and receive an invitation to apply from SkillSelect.
Before you can apply for a Subclass 188 visa, you must submit an EOI and receive an invitation to apply through SkillSelect By submitting an EOI, the governments of these states and territories (and the Australian government, if possible) will review your business profile and decide whether to nominate you If you are nominated, you will receive a letter of recommendation from the Australian government.
If you are nominated, you will be invited to apply for a Subclass 188 visa through SkillSelect. Once you receive your invitation, you will have 60 days to apply for your visa online.
Nomination requirements, business and employment information for each state/territory can be found on the state/territory websites.
- Australian Capital Territory
- New South Wales
- Northern Territory
- South Australia
- Western Australia
For information on government agencies in states and territories with designated facilities for investors, visit their websites.
Step 3: Prepare your documents
If you are applying for a Subclass 188 visa, you will need to provide a number of documents to support your application. These documents are listed in the document checklist.
Step 4: Apply online
For the Business Talent (Permanent) Visa (Subclass 132), you must apply online. You must have all documents and the visa application fee (payable by credit card) ready when you apply.
Step 5: Wait for the result
It may take several months for the DHA to make a decision on your visa application.
Step 6: Receive your visa and start working
If your application is approved, your visa will be issued and you can start working in Australia.
How Much Does a Business Visa 188 Cost?
The fee for the 188 business visa is AUD5,375, but if you apply for a different stream, the fee varies.
- The fee for the business visa 188 significant investor stream is AUD7,880.
- The fee for the business visa 188 entrepreneur stream is AUD4,045.
- The fee for the business visa 188 premium investor stream is 9,455.
If there are additional applicants, they will have to pay additional fees depending on their age and the fees vary:
If you have a 188 business visa, you must also pay a second installment.
- AUD9,795 for the main applicant.
- AUD4,890 for family members.
IMPORTANT: If the applicant cannot demonstrate functional English proficiency, the applicant must pay the second installment and you must pay it on their behalf. Immigration will tell you when this installment is due, but you must provide a statement indicating that you are paying for your family members.
After You Get a Business Visa 188
To obtain your business visa 188, you must ensure that you
- Own or are involved in a business in Australia.
- Participate in the day-to-day activities of that business.
As a business owner in Australia, you have an obligation to do one of the following.
- Create new employment opportunities in Australia.
- Trade Australian goods (import or export).
- Introduce an innovative technology or upgrade an existing technology.
- Create opportunities in international markets; or
- Create a competitive advantage for businesses in the Australian economy.
Follow the Australian Work Laws
You must comply with workplace laws set by the Australian government. All workers in Australia have rights and protections in the workplace.