The federal government's recent "closure" of the Australian Business, Investor and Entrepreneur Visas.
This news has been met with shock and disappointment from many potential applicants, innovation hubs and the business community.
What is the 188 visa?
The 188 visa is a type of visa for those who want to start or invest in a business in Australia.
There are four streams of the 188 visa including:
- The Business Innovation stream
- Investor stream
- Significant Investor stream
- Entrepreneur stream
What happened on December 8th, 2022?
The Migration Program Planning Levels for 2022-2023 were released.
Unfortunately, the Federal Government did not allocate any more places to the states and territories for the 188 visa.
In August 2022 states and territories were given a total of 810 allocations. Most of them have now run out.
This effectively closed 188 visas for this migration year until June 30th, 2023.
How did the news break?
The Federal Government has not publicly announced the closure of the business programs
It has been left to the states to make announcements about running out of allocations.
South Australia was the last state to close the program on 31 of January 2023.
What was the initial allocation plan for the 188 visas?
At the beginning of the 2022-2023 program year, the federal government had a planning level of 5,000 places for the Business Innovation and Investment visas.
The last planning level for the Business and Investment Visa was 13,500 places for the 2021-2022 program year.
This year, only 810 allocations were sent out to all states and territories, leaving almost 4,200 places unused.
There has been no official announcement on how the Australian government will be using these unused places.
Why did the Federal Government close the 188 visas?
The Federal Government has started a review process for the Australian migration program
It appears that the decision to close the business, investor and entrepreneur visas has already been made.
This could be due to the influence of the Grattan Institute, which published a paper stating that business migrants pay less tax over their lifetime than skilled visa migrant workers.
The Grattan Institute is in favor of abolishing the Business Innovation and Investment program.
The Grattan Institute paper is based on miscalculations and oversights. The paper underestimates the income generated by 188 visa holders. Many of the benefits of business visas are not measured by the Grattan institute including:
- Creating jobs for Australians,
- Creating exports of Australian produce,
- Property developments and funds invested into Australia venture capital to drive innovation.
What are the alternatives for 188 visa applicants?
Potential applicants for the 188 visas may consider other visa options such as:
- The Global Talent Visa
- General Skilled Visa
- Employer Sponsored Visa
- Family Visa such as the Partner Visa or Parent Visa.
The closure of the 188 visas is a significant development for the business community in Australia and will have far-reaching consequences.
It is a shame that the Federal Government has not made an official announcement about this closure and that it has been left to the states to communicate the news.
We will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates as they become available.
Thank you for watching, and we hope this video was informative.
Australian Business and Significant Investor Visas Subclass 188 Closed - New Visa Expected in 2024! Read more here!
Do you need help with an Australian visa application?
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