*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.

From 1 July 2021, the 188A has been renamed the Business Innovation visa.

Why is the Business Innovation 188a Visa the most popular visa stream?

188a visa seems to be the most popular stream for business migrants for a number of reasons:

No English requirement for Business Innovation Visa 188a Applicants

Applicants of Visa 188a can pay an additional fee and be successful without English

If you do not have English, the additional fee for primary applicant is AUD 9,795 and AUD 4,890 for secondary applicant.


Flexible Age Requirement for Business Innovation Visa 188a Applicants

Most skilled visas require the applicant to be under 45. Applicants who are less than 55 years of age can apply for this visa 188.

There is an exemption for applicants who are older than 55 if they are able to make an exceptional economic benefit to Australia.

Clients who had a successful career in managing a business can have a higher chance to access this visa. Business people love this visa because it allows them to move to Australia and start a business in Australia


Include your family unit members if you are granted visa 188 Business Innovation Stream

This applies to dependent children under 23 years of age and your partner.

Your children can then live and be educated in Australia.

Australia is well known as their high level of school and tertiary education.

Many clients told that they were migrating for their children to live in Australia.


Low investment amount needed for Business Innovation stream Visa 188a

There is a low initial requirement and low criteria in investment for applicants of the Business Innovation stream in Australia.

Details of investment will be illustrated below.


What are the general requirements for Business Innovation Stream Visa 188a?

Applicants are required to meet the points test requirement of at least 65 points.

You will also need to apply for a state/territory nomination depending on where you wish to live and establish your business in Australia.

Specific criteria for the Business Innovation Stream include:

  • your age is below 55 years, unless a state or territory has provided a waiver because your proposed business will be of exceptional economic benefit
  • in the last four years before you apply your business has achieved at least AUD 750,000 in turnover for two years
  • you and your partner’s net assets are valued at least AUD 1.25 million

Different states and territories may have additional criteria. You will need to check with the relevant state/territory for the additional criteria.


What Visa 188a allows you to do in Australia?

This visa is for experienced business owners that want to migrate to Australia

This is a 5-year temporary visa, for people who want to own and manage a new or existing business in Australia.

You can live and work in Australia for up to 5 years

Permanent Residency Pathway for Business Innovation Visa 188 Australia:

Once established an ownership interest in an Australian business, the applicant can apply for permanent residence after 3 years.

The applicants can either be in Australia or overseas to lodge this visa.

To check your eligibility for 188a visa, please follow the link to the assessment website below : Business Visa Compare Australia

Business Visa Compare Australia

Check this article for the criteria for permanent residency pathway to subclass 888 visas >

How do I apply for Visa 188a - Business Innovation stream?

  1. Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) on SkillSelect
  2. Apply for state/territory nomination depending on where you plan to establish your business and live in Australia
  3. Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) once the state/territory nomination is approved
  4. Submit your visa application within 60 days of receiving the ITA
  5. Provide all supporting documents by mailing certified copies to the correct DIBP office


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


How can Work Visa Lawyers help?

Please note that business migration in Australia can be extremely complicated.

Our Business Visa Team can speak a range of languages including Chinese and Vietnamese.

We look forward to assisting you with an application.

Work Visa Lawyers will be able to assist with the EOI submission, state/territory nomination application and visa application. The Business Innovation visa application can be complex with the requirement to submit various business, financial and asset documents. We will be checking all documents and submit the necessary to ensure the case for your application is clear to the DIBP assessment officer.

In addition to the visa application Work Visa Lawyers can also provide support to the following:

  • sourcing for Australian businesses to be purchased for the purposes of the visa
  • setting up bank accounts in Australia to allow transfer of funds from overseas to Australia
  • looking for real estate – an office for your business or home for your family
  • referring logistics companies to move personal effects or business equipment

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.

Need something else sorted? Contact Work Visa Lawyers and we will strive to assist.

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