Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188)

The 188 visa is for people with business skills who want to own and manage a new or existing business in Australia, or to invest in an Australian state or territory.​​ It is a temporary visa which may allow you to apply for a permanent residency visa (Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888)) if you satisfy particular criteria.

The 188 visa has three streams:

Note: there is temporary suspension of nominations in this stream until 30 June 2015.

A 188 visa allows you to:

If you hold a visa in the Business Innovation or the Significant Investor stream and you wish to extend your visa, you may be able to apply to extend your stay in Australia. Please consult us for details regarding your eligibility for an extension.

How to apply for a 188 visa

You must submit an Expression of Interest (‘EOI’) through SkillSelect and be nominated by a State or Territory Government before being invited to apply for a 188 visa.

1.     Expression of Interest

You can submit an EOI from outside or inside Australia. Your EOI will need to indicate which State or Territory you wish to seek nomination from, as well as how you meet the criteria for the stream in which you are applying.

2.     State or Territory Nomination

States and Territories have different requirements for nominating a person for a 188 visa. For information on the requirements, see Here for a list of the State and Territory websites (under ‘About this visa’ and ‘Before you apply’).

3.     Visa application - Criteria

If you are invited to apply for a 188 visa, you can apply from outside Australia, or inside Australia so long as you do not have a ‘No Further Stay’ condition on your Australian visa and you meet any other requirements for an onshore application.

For all three streams of the 188 visa, your Visa application must satisfy particular criteria such as:

Each stream of the 188 visa also has its own criteria that you must satisfy:

Business Innovation stream

Please note that the above list is not exhaustive and other criteria may apply. Please consult us for more details.

Investor stream

Please note that the above list is not exhaustive and other criteria may apply. Please consult us for more details.

Significant Investor stream

Note: there is temporary suspension of nominations in this stream until 30 June 2015.

Please note that the above list is not exhaustive and other criteria may apply. Please consult us for more details.

Common issues with a 188 visa application and how we can help you

The 188 visa has various components and there are numerous complex requirements at each stage of the process. Some of the common issues that arise with a 188 visa application include:

Our experienced Immigration Lawyers and Registered Migration Agents can advise you on all of the requirements for the stream in which you are seeking a Business Innovation and Investment visa. Once you are granted a 188 visa, we can also advise you of your business and investment targets so that you can transition seamlessly to the permanent Business Innovation and Investment visa (subclass 888). Please contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our expert Solicitors and Migration Agents.

This page provides a summary of the 188 visa as at May 2015. Australian immigration law is complex and it changes frequently. We therefore recommend that you contact us to confirm the requirements for a 188 visa and consult with one of our Lawyers and Registered Migration Agents.

Let us help you. Phone: +61 2 8268 4000 or Book a conference