Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) Visa

If you live in Australia on Provisional Business Innovation and Investment Visa (subclass 188), you may be eligible for a permanent visa (subclass 888) if you meet the qualifying criteria.

For support and inquiries about Business Innovation and Investment Visa applications, contact Total Law today to speak to our dedicated immigration lawyers. Reach out to us at +1 844 290 6312 or use the online contact form to get in touch.

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    What is the Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) Visa (Subclass 888)?

    The subclass 888 visa is a permanent visa issued by the Australian government to subclass 188 visa holders who fulfill the qualifying conditions. The subclass 188 visa is a provisional visa issued to successful overseas business owners and investors. The subclass 188 visa lets these business persons come to Australia to operate a new or existing business or make a designated investment in an Australian state or territory government bond.

    The Business Innovation and Investment visa (subclass 188) is valid for four years, after which the holder can then apply for a permanent visa (subclass 888) under the same stream for which they were issued a provisional visa.

    Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888) holders can do the following in Australia:

    • Live freely in Australia
    • Continue the business-related activity for which they were granted a provisional visa. This includes:
      • Establish and operate a new or existing business,
      • Make a designated investment with an Australian state or territory government or
      • Make and maintain complying investments in Australia.
    • Travel in and out of Australia with a valid travel facility.
    • Sponsor family members to apply for Australian permanent residency.
    • Apply for Australian citizenship when they meet the qualifying criteria.
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    Subclass 888 Visa Streams and Eligibility Criteria

    The basic eligibility criteria for a subclass 88 visa is that you hold a relevant stream of a subclass 188 visa. There are five streams through which you can apply for a provisional Business Innovation Visa. Each of these streams has its specific criteria to apply for a permanent visa.

    The streams of the subclass 888 visa are as follows:

    Business Innovation Stream

    The business innovation stream of the subclass 888 visa lets holders of a subclass 188 visa in the business innovation stream, holders of subclass 444 (Special Category) visa, or certain holders of subclass 457 (Business (Long Stay) visa, to stay in Australia permanently. The business innovation stream visa allows these eligible people to continue to operate a business that they established in Australia while on a provisional visa.

    To qualify for a subclass 88 visa under the business innovation stream, you must;

    • Have lived in Australia and held one of the following visas for at least one year in the two years immediately before you apply:
      • A Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa (subclass 188) in the Business Innovation stream or the Business Innovation Extension stream
      • A Special Category Visa (subclass 444)
      • A Business (Long Stay) Visa (subclass 457IE)
    • Have a current nomination from a state or territory government agency. This is usually the same one you used when applying for the provisional visa. In this case, the state r territory government agency must not have withdrawn your nomination
    • Be able to show ongoing business involvement. To do this, you must, in the two years immediately before you apply, have:
      • Had, and continue to have, an ownership interest in up to two main businesses in Australia
      • Had a direct and continuous management role in that business or businesses
      • Submitted Business Activity Statements to the Australian Taxation Office
      • An Australian Business Number for each of your main businesses
    • In the two years before you apply, you must own at least:
      • 51% of the total value of a business with a turnover of less than AUD400,000 per year, or
      • 30% of the total value of a business with a turnover of AUD400,000 or more per year, or
      • 10% of the total value of a business that is operated by a publicly listed company
    • If you purchased your main business from a subclass 888 visa holder, or a permanent business skills visa (subclass 890, 891, 892, or 893) holder, you must provide documents that show that you co-owned that business for at least 1 year.
    • Your main business must have had an annual turnover of at least AUD300,000 in the 12 months before you lodged your application.
    • You (or your partner, or you and your partner together) must also demonstrate that you have achieved at least two of the following requirements:
      • Business assets with a net value of at least AUD200,000 in your nominated main business throughout the year immediately before you apply
      • Personal and business assets with a net value of at least AUD600,000 throughout the year immediately before you apply
      • Have employed at least two full-time employees, or the equivalent in your main business, throughout the year immediately before you apply who are:
    1. Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents, or holders of valid New Zealand passports
    2. Not your family members.
    • You must have followed all Australian laws, including commonwealth laws and the laws of the territory in which your business operates
    • You must have at least a functional level of English
    • You must have been physically present in Australia for at least 1 year in the there years before you lodged your application
    • Not have been involved in any unacceptable business during your time in Australia
    • Have no debt to the Australian government
    • Meet the character requirements

    Investor Stream

    The subclass 888 visa under the investor stream allows you to continue the investment activities that you started in Australia under a provisional business innovation and investment visa in the investor stream.

    To be eligible for this stream, you must:

    • be the primary holder of a provisional subclass 188 visa in the Investor stream
    • have a current nomination from a state or territory.
    • have held a ‘complying significant investment’ throughout the duration of your provisional visa subclass 188
    • have held your designated investment continuously in your name for at least:
      • 4 years if the provisional visa was granted for application made on or after 1 July 2015
      • 3 years and 11 months if the provisional visa was granted for an application made before 1 July 2015.
    • have been physically present  in Australia for at least 2 of the 4 years immediately before you apply
    • not have been involved in any unacceptable business or investment activities
    • have a realistic commitment to continuing your business or investment activities in Australia.
    • have followed Australian laws, including commonwealth laws and the laws of the state where you conduct business.

    In addition to these requirements, you must also demonstrate functional English and meet the health and character requirements.

    Significant Investor Stream

    This stream is open to persons who applied for a subclass 188 visa under the significant investor stream. Significant investors are those who are willing to invest at least AUD5 million into complying investments in Australia.

    To be eligible for this visa under this stream, you must:

    • Have a provisional visa (subclass 188) in the Significant Investor stream or in the Significant Investor Extension stream.
    • have a current nomination from a state or territory government agency or Austrade.
    • have held a ‘complying investment’ or a ‘complying significant investment’ (depending on when you applied for your provisional visa) throughout your stay in Australia
    • Meet the residency requirements
    • not have been involved in any unacceptable business or investment activities
    • have a realistic commitment to continuing your business or investment activities in Australia.
    • have followed Australian laws, including commonwealth laws and the laws of the state where you conduct business.

    Premium Investor Stream

    The premium investor stream is open to people who want to make a complying investment of at least AUD15 million. This investment may be made in Australian securities exchange listed assets, Australian government or semi-government bonds or notes, or other Australian investments.

    The subclass 888 visa under the premium investor stream lets holders of a subclass 188 visa under the same stream continues their investment activity. The qualifying criteria for this visa are similar to those listed for other visa streams. Importantly, you must have a genuine and realistic commitment to continue your business and investment activity in Australia after the conclusion of your provisional visa.

    You must also not have undertaken any illegal or unacceptable business activities.

    Entrepreneur Stream

    This stream is open to people who hold a provisional business innovation and investment visa to stay permanently in Australia. To be eligible for this visa, you must continue to hold your nomination from an Australian state or territorial government agency. You must also have a record of successful entrepreneurial activity in Australia.

    All other requirements are similar to those listed for other visa streams, including not being involved in unacceptable business activities and meeting the health and character requirements.

    Contact Total Law for assistance with Business Innovation and Investment Visa applications. Contact us

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      How to Apply for a Subclass 888 Visa

      The application process for the subclass 888 visa is similar regardless of the stream you want to apply for. All applications are carried out online through ImmiAccount.

      After determining your eligibility for the permanent visa, you have to gather your supporting documents, and scan and upload them to your ImmiAccount to complete your application. After submitting your application, you wait for the department of home affairs to process your request and send you a decision.

      What Documents are Needed for a Permanent Business Visa 888 Application?

      There are some documents that are unique to a particular stream. However, generally, you will need to submit the following documents:

      • Passport or any valid travel document.
      • Current nomination form.
      • Summary of your business and investment activities you did in Australia.
      • Summary of your long-term business plans in the future in Australia.
      • Proof that you followed the Australian laws during the time you had a temporary visa 188.
      • Personal or business loans (if applicable).
      • If you are applying under the business innovation stream, you must provide the following documents:
        • Australian business number (ABN) for every business you operate.
        • Business activity statements (BAS) for every business you operate.
        • Statement from the Australian Taxation Office if a BAS was not required.
      • Bank statements covering two years before your application.
      • One page summary of your entire business assets and liabilities covering a period of a year, and must be at least three months before you apply.
      • Proof of any real estate holdings.
      • Proof of any stocks or bonds you hold.
      • Evidence that you meet the character requirement
      • Proof that your dependents have at least a functional English level.
      • Evidence that you meet the health requirements

      Permanent Business Innovation and Investment Visa Processing Times

      Processing times for subclass 888 visa applications depend on the stream for which you apply. Most applications are processed within the following times:

      1. Business innovation stream – 29 months
      2. Investor stream – 26 months
      3. Significant investor stream – 29 months

      Premium investor stream and entrepreneurial stream processing times vary based on different factors.

      Want to know if you're eligible for a Permanent Visa? We can help. Contact us

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        How can Total Law help?

        Total law’s excellent immigration lawyers are dedicated to making your business innovation and investment visa applications stress-free.

        Our attorneys will help you determine your eligibility for a business visa, and assist you in gathering the supporting documents for your application.

        We will guide you through the entire process to ensure that you achieve your dream to operate a business in Australia.  So reach out to us today at +1 844 290 6312 or use the online contact form to get in touch with an attorney.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  No. When applying for a subclass 888 visa, you must apply under the stream in which you obtained your provisional visa.

                  When you are granted a subclass 888 visa, you will be granted a travel facility that allows you to travel in and out of Australia for 5 years. Upon expiry of this travel facility, you must either apply for Australian citizenship or for a resident return visa.

                  Subclass 888 visas may be denied if you submit incomplete or false information. If your visa is rejected, the department of home affairs will let you know if you can appeal the decision. Contact our immigration lawyers at total law for assistance in making an appeal.