All News

All Australian Business Innovation, Significant Investor and Entrepreneur Visa188 Visas Closed

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
Each stream has its own set of requirements for business revenue or investment amount. The applicant must gain state nomination before they can apply for 188 visas.

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.
Currently the program is being looked at by the Federal Home Affairs Minister, Clare O'Neil, who has advised that it could be scrapped altogether following the immigration system review.


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?

At Work Visa Lawyers we are experienced in assisting applicants in all matters relating to Australian visa applications, including Student Visa applications. Our areas of expertise include Student Visas, Skilled Migration visas, Business Skills Migration visas, Employer-Sponsored Work Visas, Partner, and other Family Migration visas, as well as Migration Review Tribunal, Judicial Review and Ministerial Intervention.

If you require further information regarding your Australia visa options you can contact us through:

Phone: +61 8 8351 9956
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment
Already Registered? Login Here
Wednesday, 19 June 2024

Sign up to our Migration Newsletter

Work Visa Lawyers works on Kaurna Land
We acknowledge and pay respect to the past, present and future Traditional Custodians and
Elders of this land and this nation, and the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational
practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

This site's contents are for general information purposes only
We recommend you seek advice from a Registered Migration Agent and Lawyer
(such as Work Visa Lawyers) in relation to your factual situation and relevant migration laws

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation

Site by Adelaide Websites