Business Innovation and Investment Provisional Visas
SC 188


Subclass 188 visa offers multiple visa streams to the applicants to seek a long-term provisional visa, up to 8 years, to live and establish a lawful business and/or investment activities in Australia during this period. Most importantly, all streams of the subclass 188 visa have a well defined pathway to obtaining permanent residence in Australia, subject to meeting the applicable criteria.

Primary applicants for all Subclass 188 Business Visa Streams are subject to a point test where the primary applicants are required to score a minimum of 65 points for the following factors:

  • Age
  • English Language Proficiency
  • Academic Qualifications
  • Business and Personal Net Assets
  • Business Turnover/Annual Sales
  • Business Experience (Only for 188A)
  • Investment Experience (Only for 188B)
  • Innovations/Patents
  • State Sponsorship

In addition to scoring the required points, the applicants must be nominated by a state or territory government in Australia in order to lodge the visa application.

This visa also allows the applicants and their families to apply for a permanent residence under the Subclass 888 Visa after they meet the applicable criteria.

  • This primary applicant can include the immediate family members and dependents in the visa application
  • The applicant/s can either be in Australia or overseas to lodge this visa – subject to meeting the applicable criteria and conditions imposed on the last substantive or bridging visa held
  • The applicants can either be in Australia or overseas at the time of grant of this visa
  • The applicants for this visa subclass also have the option to extend their visa onshore (while in Australia) in case they are unable to meet the applicable criteria to apply for the permanent residence visa i.e. subclass 888 – Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) Visa.
Processing Timelines

The Department of Home Affairs does not provide any specific timeline for finalising the applications lodged under this visa subclass. However, based on our experience, processing times for applications in this visa subclass can vary significantly depending on the visa stream chosen, risk assessment level of the applicants’ country of origin and how promptly the applicants can submit the requested documents, including translations, if required. As a general guide, processing times for the visa applications in this visa subclass can range between 12 to 24 months.

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