Business Innovation Stream (Subclass 188 Visa)

The Business Innovation Stream of the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 188) lets people with business skills operate a new or existing business in Australia.



Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa holders under the Business Innovation Stream can:

  • Operate a new or existing business in Australia
  • Stay in Australia for up to 5 years
  • Bring eligible family members to Australia
  • Apply for a permanent Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) Visa (Subclass 888) if eligible


To apply for the Business Innovation Stream of the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa, candidates must:

  • Be under the age of 55
  • Score at least 65 on the points test
  • Provide proof of business success through annual turnover and ownership interest:
    • Annual turnover: Candidates must have had an ownership stake in one or two businesses that had at least AUD750,000 turnover in the two fiscal years immediately before they receive an invitation to apply
    • Ownership interest: Whether the candidate has one or two businesses, they must own at least:
      • 51% of the total value of the business if it has a turnover of less than AUD400,000 per year
      • 30% of the total value of the business if it has a turnover of AUD400,000 or more per year
      • 10% of the total value of the business if a publicly listed company operates
  • Have at least functional English
  • Meet Australia's health and character requirements

Additionally, candidates, their partner, or candidates and their partner together must have total net business personal assets of at least AUD1.25 million.


The Business Innovation Stream (Subclass 188 Visa) application process has six steps:

Any immigration should always start with an eligibility assessment to determine if the prospective migrant meets Australia’s Business Innovation Stream requirements.

The next step in the process, if the migrant is eligible to operate a business in Australia, is completing an English test.

English tests are a way to prove your English language skills. Most English tests have four parts that test your reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. Migrants most often use the IELTS, but other tests are also available.

With the English test completed, the migrant will submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). The EOI is the way in which a migrant shows their interest in applying for the Subclass 188 visa.

EOIs include the following details:

  • Personal information, for example given names and surname, date of birth, countries of citizenship and/or residence
  • Skills, qualifications and business experience
  • Any information related to state nomination
  • English language proficiency

Your EOI will be visible to state and territory governments for nomination if you scored at least 65 points. If you get a nomination, you'll get an invitation to apply for the Subclass 188 Visa.

Migrants whose EOIs are selected will get an Invitation to Apply. Invitations to Apply include the following information:

  • The visa subclass under which the migrant is getting an invitation to apply
  • The time frame within which the migrant must submit their visa application
  • Any additional information the Department of Home Affairs wants, if applicable

The migrant prepares and completes their visa application with all necessary paperwork and submits their application. The migrant can apply from overseas or while in Australia.

The migrant gets the outcome of their visa. They can be in or outside Australia while Home Affairs decides on their application.


No, the Subclass 188 visa is a provisional visa valid for up to 5 years. However, it is a pathway to permanent residence. Eligible candidates can apply for permanent residence through the Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) Visa (Subclass 888).

Subclass 188 Visa applicants can include immediate family members in their application. Candidates can also add dependent children to their application at any time before Australia decides on their visa application.

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