*This page is updated regularly. Last updated: May 30, 2024

The Australian Government announced that it will close the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) from July 2024 and replace it with the new National Innovation Visa. Follow this link for more details about the National Innovation Visa.

Overview of Business Visa Australia -Visa 188

The Australian Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) is a temporary business visa Australia with four main streams.

This temporary visa is an attractive business visa as it allows business migrants to conduct business and investment activity in Australia or undertake entrepreneurial activity in Australia. Moreover, if you have business ownership interests, the 188 visa will allow you to own and manage a qualifying business in Australia.

While the 188 Business Innovation and Investment visa is a temporary visa, visa 188 holders can apply for permanent residency through the subclass 888 Business Innovation and Investment visa. Click here to discover more about the 888 Visa.

 Business Visa Australia Visa 188

Business Visa Compare - Powerful tool for 188 Business and Investor Visa Australia

Let's find your Best Business Visa Australia or Australia Investment Visa options with our Business Visa Compare tool:

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Within 5 minutes, you will be able to find our your best business visa options in Australia and receive a comprehensive assessment result from our experienced Business Visa Migration Agents and Immigration Lawyers.

This tool is for all migrants who are interested in migrating to Australia by the Business Visa pathway.

If you just started to seek options for you in Australia, this is the best tool to save a lot of your time to find out the ending goal.


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Who Needs Business and Investment Visa 188 Australia in 2022?

The subclass 188 Business Innovation and Investment visa is a temporary residence visa that allows overseas business migrants to stay in Australia for up to five years. Once you have been granted your visa 188, you will be allowed to start a business and/or conduct investment activity in Australia.

There are four streams for Business Visa 188 and the option to apply for Australian permanent residency 888 Visa, the Business Innovation and Investment subclass 188 is an attractive visa for many entrepreneurs and investors.

If you are an entrepreneurs, business owners with good management skills, or investors who currently manage high assets value, this is the visa for you.

There are streams which suits your background that will be illustrated below.

General Requirements Business Innovation and Investment Visa 188 Checklist

There are three basic requirements that all 188 Visa applicants must meet include:

  • Being nominated by an eligible government organization
  • Being invited by State and Territory in Australia to apply 
  • Meeting stream requirements

Whether you have a product or service, an innovative idea, a qualifying business or an eligible investment, the Australian government will request supporting documents about your personal and business history.

Additionally, The Department of Home Affairs requires Business Innovation and Investor stream applicants to meet a points test requirement of 65 points before completing the application.

Only applicants who apply for Significant Investor Visa 188 (also called Visa 188c) will not be required to meet the points test of 65 points. SIV 188c applicants only need to lodge the Expression of Interest and wait for the nomination from Australian State and Territory

The Four Available Streams of Business Visa 188 Australia 

There are no longer SEVEN streams within the subclass 188 Business Innovation and Investment visa since July 2021. Australian Government has optimized this program to only FOUR streams and eliminated the Permanent Residence - Business Talent Visa 132 Australia to aim to maximize economic support from this Business Visa program.

Your proposed business activity in Australia will depend on which visa you should apply for. Having an excellent business proposal for 188 Visa Australia will help applicants be exempted from Age requirement and receive many other advantages.

Business Visa Compare Australia Visa 188 Australian PR

Business Innovation stream - Visa 188a Australia

This 5-year temporary visa is for people with business ownership interests and skills. It allows visa 188a holders to operate a new or acquire existing business in Australia.

Actual Business experience overseas or in Australia must be proved towards applying for this Business Innovation Visa 188a.

Investor stream -Visa 188B Australia

This temporary visa requires you to invest AUD 2.5 million in an Australian state or territory and maintain business and investment activity in Australia.

Significant Investor stream - 5 Million Investment Visa Australia - Visa 188C SIV 

This visa is for people who invest AUD 5 million in Australian investments that is complying with investment framework of Australia.

Our wide professional networks can also help you find financial service providers who have the authorization to manage your SIV 188c investment fund.

Entrepreneur stream - Visa 188E Australia

This visa lets you carry out entrepreneurial activities in Australia. You can stay for up to 5 years .


Both 188A and 188C holders can seek extension for another two years if you need more time to meet the 888 criteria. This means you can stay in Australia for a total of 7 years from the date of grant of your Subclass 188 visa in the Business Innovation stream.

Business Innovation Extension stream 

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

Significant Investor Extension stream 

This visa lets Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) Significant Investor stream holders extend their stay for 2 more years.

While holding the subclass 188, visa holders in any stream can apply to the Department of Home Affairs for the permanent Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888).

*Click on the relevant streams above to learn more about the visa criteria and application process.


Current Business and Investment Visa Updates in all states

Business Visa Allocation for 2022-2023

There are a few negative updates about the business visa program to be considered.

This year has seen very low allocations for business innovation and investment visas in all states.

This year only has 810 total allocations in this interim stage.

The highest number is 260 and 235 for NSW and QLD.

South Australia Business Migration program has also seen a significant drop in their places for Visa 188 at only 70 this program year.

Business Visa Allocation Australia


State Criteria – Business Visa SA and Business Investor Visa NSW

As a result, States have published their business visa requirements with slightly higher criteria.

NSW and SA have published their business visa requirements with slightly higher criteria.

NSW business Visa

Instead of 65 points for 188a and 188b visas in NSW, the requirement has now been raised to 85.

There is no change for the Significant investor stream 188C NSW.

SA Business Migration

Regarding the criteria, 188B and 188C do not change much.

It becomes more difficult to get a 188A, the applicants need to apply for ITA (Intention to apply) and be invited to apply for nomination.

Other than that, applicants must:

- score at least 80 points in the points test (including state nomination points). 

- Provide a business plan detailing the economic impact of your proposal to South Australia

A business plan will be given more weight in terms of nomination ranking factors.

It is also more difficult to get 888A:

  • Higher investment requirement, 300k instead of 200k, AND
  • 2 full-time employees
  • Director's loan is not considered as business asset by Move to SA.

It wants the 188A visa holders to spend the money in SA to show Benefits to the State!

Processing Times of 188 Visa Australia

The Department of Home Affairs has listed each stream as having different processing times.

Processing times for each stream are as follows:

Subclass 188 Streams

Processing Times

Business Innovation stream

75% of applications: 25 months
90% of applications: 28 months

Business Innovation Extension stream

75% of applications: 12 months
90% of applications: 19 months

Investor stream

75% of applications: 36 months
90% of applications: 39 months

Significant Investor stream

75% of applications: 18 months
90% of applications: 26 months

Significant Investor extension stream

75% of applications: 11 months
90% of applications: 15 months

Premium Investor stream

No longer available


Entrepreneur stream

75% of applications: 5 months
90% of applications: 7 months

*Business Visa 188's processing time table has been updated until 18/05/2022. There may be changed at some point in the future.

Read more articles and information about Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) 

10 Reasons to love the 188 Significant Investor Visa

Five Common Reasons for Australian 132 and 188 Business Visas Being Refused

Changes to Australian Business Visas and Investment Visas - 188 & 132 from 01 July 2021


More about the Business Visa Australia Agents and Lawyers

Understanding the difficulties in choosing the best Australian Business Visa options, Business Visa 188 Agents and Lawyers team have worked together to create this tool to help experienced business owners or investors find their best Business and Investor Visa options in Australia.

Work Visa Lawyers has strong immigration knowledge and committed to keep updating our website and Business Innovation and Investment news in Australia.

Work Visa Lawyers ® is a migration firm founded by Lawyer Chris Johnston in 2011. Our team is focused on providing quality immigration services to our clients, wherever they are in the world. We speak English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Punjabi, Hindi, Tagalog (Filipino), Portuguese and Vietnamese.

We can help you with the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) for the following four streams and Global Talent Visa:

We are experts in Business and Investor Visas 188 and Global Talent Visa 858 in Australia. We help overseas business owners, investors to create a new life in Australia with their family much faster through those visa streams.

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Learn more about our Business & Global Talent Visa Team >>

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How can Work Visa Lawyers help?

Work Visa Lawyers can help assist you through the application process. We will help to assess your eligibility for the different streams under the subclass 188 Business Innovation and Investment visa.

We will work closely with you to determine which stream is the most suitable for your situation, Work Visa Lawyers will make sure that you are aware of all Australian business and investor visa requirements.

Once you have been granted your visa, we can provide you with a 188 visa checklist ensuring you understand all of the Australian business and investor visa requirements and obligations while you are holding the visa.

Our relationship does not stop after you successfully obtain your visa. We understand the importance for you and your family to meet the requirements to apply for the permanent subclass 888 visas.

We are proud to inform you that our Registered Migration Agents will be able to support you in meeting the application requirements for the permanent subclass 888 visas.

Our team of experience Immigration Lawyers and Migration Agents look forward to assisting you with your Australian visa or appeal.

Based in Adelaide South Australia, we provide Australian Immigration advice to people and businesses from all over the world.

Talk to us today and let Work Visa Lawyers set you on the most efficient path to Australian permanent residency through business or investment migration.

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