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Australia’s Investor Visa

investor visa
For those in a position to invest or set up a business in Australia there are a number of routes to gaining permanent residence and/or citizenship in Australia. The most common route is via a temporary 188 visa which allows you to become a permanent resident after four yeas or there is the direct route to permanent residence through the Business Talent Visa.

Business Talent Visa

The Business Talent Visa (132 visa) allows applicants to apply directly for a permanent visa and there are two streams:

  • Significant Business History Stream: for people with ownership interests in large businesses
  • Venture Capital Entrepreneur Stream: for people who have access to venture capital funding of at least AUD 1 million

You must be nominated by an Australian State or Territory government to apply for this visa and must have a genuine commitment to either establish a new business or to participate in an existing business.  You must maintain a substantial interest in the business and be involved in its day to day management.

Significant Business History Stream

You must be under 55 years of age, unless the nominating state or territory government certifies that the proposed business activity is of exceptional economic benefit.  You must have net assets of at least AUD 1.5 million.

For at least 2 of the last 4 fiscal years you had:

  • net assets in business of at least AUD 400,000; or
  • 10% ownership of the business if it is a publicly listed company.
  • the business had an annual turnover of at least AUD 3 million for 2 of the last 4 fiscal years

Venture Capital Entrepreneur Stream

To qualify for the Venture Capital Entrepreneur Stream you must have a venture capital funding agreement of at least AUD 1 million through a member of the Australian Venture Capital Association Limited (AVCAL).


Temporary to Permanent Business and Investment Visas

The Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) is the more common route for applicants who wish to enter Australia to set up a business or invest in Australia.  This allows applicants to gain temporary residence in Australia and then apply for permanent residence after four years.

The applicant must have the business and/or investment skills and a demonstrated a successful business/investment history.   There are three streams to this visa:

  • Business Innovation Stream:  for people with business skills who want to establish, develop and manage a new or existing business in Australia
  • Investor Stream:  for people who want to make a designated investment of at least AUD1.5 million in an Australian state or territory and maintain business and investment activity in Australia.
  • Significant Investor Stream:  for people who are willing to invest at least AUD5 million into complying significant investments in Australia and want to maintain business and investment activity in Australia. Read more

The investor must be under 55 years of age when the application is submitted and must have a detailed plan to create a business or invest into an existing business in Australia.  They must also achieve at least 65 points in the innovation points test based on factors including proficiency in English, age, education background, previous business activities and investment experience and whether the investor has been able to obtain endorsement from the nominating state or territory.

The investor and their families are issued temporary visas which are valid for four years. After the four year period they can get a Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888) which gives them the right to permanent residence in Australia.

In order to qualify for the Business 888 Visa, the investor must meet one of two criteria:

  • The investor must have a net value of at least AUD600,000, have maintained continuous ownership interest in an Australian business that employs Australian nationals. Or
  • The investor has made a qualifying investment that has been sustained for at least four years.

Once the investor has been a resident of Australia for at least four years (including at least year in permanent resident status) they can apply for Australian citizenship.