The new $200K business innovation and investment visa stream

An exciting new entrepreneur stream is now available on the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) opening doors to the business savvy who are not blessed with more padded pockets.

This visa requires a submission of Expression of Interest (EOI) and is a state nominated visa. Being a state nominated visa, each state will have their own set of state specific criteria to satisfy. Information here is still sparse as the entrepreneur stream is still very new. We plan to keep you updated of course.Here are the basic requirements on this new stream:

  • Under 55 years of age at the time the applicant is invited to apply
  • Competent level English language ability (read more!)
  • Undertaking or proposing to undertake a complying entrepreneur activity
  • Net value of business and personal assets of the applicant, spouse/de facto partner or combination of both is sufficient to allow them to settle in Australia

This is a temporary visa and is a 4 year and 3 month visa.


Complying entrepreneur activity


“A Complying Entrepreneur Activity is an activity that relates to an innovative idea that will lead to the commercialisation of a product or service in Australia, or the development of an enterprise or business in Australia.”


An activity is considered as an ‘innovative business idea’ if the concept is supported by the nominator and one or more of the specified funding bodies. It must lead to the commercialisation of a product or service in Australia or the development of an enterprise or business in Australia. However, to protect the local market and mitigate cannibalism, the business activity cannot relate to residential real estate (Australian land zoned for residential use), labour hire (employment) or the purchase or existing enterprises or franchises in Australia.

It is required as part of the application, to include a business plan. This will contribute to how the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) assesses the business to be a complying entrepreneurial activity.



Funding for the business is to be provided to the ‘entrepreneurial entity’. The entrepreneurial entity is the applicant, body corporate or partnership. Funding must meet a minimum of $200,000 and must come from one or more of the following sources:

  • Commonwealth agencies
  • State and territory governments
  • Publicly funded research organisations (all higher education providers listed in Table A and B of the Higher Education Support Act 2003 as well as Federal, State and Territory government departments or agencies which undertakes publicly funded research)
  • Investors registered as a Venture Capital Limited Partnership or an Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnerships

The entrepreneurial entity needs to receive 10% of its funding within 12 months of its commencement of business activity in Australia. Where there are more than one source, the 10% of funding needs to be paid to at least one of the applicants, or to the entity.

Funds are to be unencumbered and lawfully acquired.

Read: Clarification on Funding for the Entrepreneur Stream 188 Visa



In order to facilitate the entry in Australia where co-founders are concerned, multiple applicants are allowed in each business. Each applicant must hold at least a 30% ownership share of the entrepreneurial entity which means that, all other conditions fulfilled, a single business venture may result in the grant of this visa for up to three applicants.

Documentation must be provided to validate that each applicant possess 30% ownership interest in the entrepreneurial entity. If the applicant is running the show solo and has no proof of 100% ownership interest, a statutory declaration must be provided.

Think you might be eligible for this visa? We recommend speaking to a qualified migration agent as this visa stream is on its first baby steps!