If you have experience managing businesses or investments and are looking to invest your funds in Australia, the business investor (provisional) visa (subclass 188B) might be the right visa for you. By demonstrating a genuine commitment to maintaining a business or investment activity in Australia, this visa allows you to stay in Australia for up to four years. To meet the requirements of this visa, you will need to meet:

  • the general visa requirements from the Department of Home Affairs; and
  • any additional requirements imposed by the particular state or territory government that nominates your visa application.

This article will take you through these eligibility requirements so you can determine if you qualify for the business investor (provisional) visa.

What Criteria Do I Have to Meet to Apply?

Before applying, you need to make sure you satisfy the requirements that you:

  • are under 55 years of age (age exemptions apply);
  • have at least 65 points on the innovation points test;
  • can meet health and character requirements;
  • have been nominated by an Australian State or Territory government agency; and
  • have received an invitation from the Department of Home Affairs to apply for the visa.

What Experience Do I Need to Have?

To qualify for the business investor (provisional) visa, you need to have a minimum of three years’ experience of direct involvement in the management of at least one qualifying business or eligible investment. You also need to have a high level of experience successfully managing eligible investments or qualifying businesses. More specifically, in one out of the last five financial years, you must have directly managed:

  • eligible investments that you own (or your spouse or de facto partner owns, if applicable) totalling at least AUD $1.5 million; or
  • a qualifying business, where you (or your spouse or de facto partner, if applicable) owned at least 10% of the business’s total value.

How Large Does My Investment Need to Be?

Under the business investor (provisional) visa, you need to make a designated investment of at least AUD $1.5 million in government security. You must maintain this investment for four years, and it must take place within the state or territory that nominates your application.

Additionally, you need to be able to show the Department of Home Affairs that you have net personal and business assets of at least $2.25 million. You must have held onto these assets for two out of four financial years immediately before receiving an invitation to apply for the visa.

How Can I Obtain State Nomination?

Under the business investor (provisional) visa, a state or territory government agency must sponsor your application. You will need to request this sponsorship by applying to a state or territory. Each state and territory sets their own requirements that you must meet in addition to the criteria imposed by the Department of Home Affairs (see above). This table will take you through the eligibility requirements for each state or territory.

State Nomination Requirements
New South Wales You will need to provide:

  • a signed statement where you agree to make a designated investment with the NSW Treasury Corporation;
  • a full resume which demonstrates your successful business or investment career; and
  • evidence that you have sufficient funds to settle and live in New South Wales for at least a year.

If you are looking to migrate to Sydney specifically, you must meet another requirement. Here, you must demonstrate that you and your spouse have had at least AUD $3 million in assets for the two years immediately before you make your application.

Victoria To be nominated by the Victorian government for this visa, you will need to show additional investment activity within Victoria during the provisional visa period. Here, you must show that you regularly monitor and actively manage your investment. This may include:

Victoria does not specify the amount of additional investment that you need to make. However, you must demonstrate that your investment economically benefits Victoria. The Victorian government will assess this on a case-by-case basis.

Additionally, you and your partner or spouse and children must demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to settle in Victoria. It is your responsibility to research and identify the appropriate living costs in Victoria.

Queensland The Queensland government does not impose additional requirements to nominate for a business investor (provisional) visa. However, you must demonstrate your commitment to living in Queensland during the period of your visa.
South Australia

In South Australian, you must show that you have visited the state before you make an application for nomination.

For applicants over 55 years of age, you will need to show that you are prepared to invest AUD $5 million in the South Australian Financing Authority for four years.

Western Australia To be nominated by the Western Australia government, you must transfer AUD $50,000 for settlement and living costs. This amount is in addition to your other required investment funds.
Tasmania There are no additional requirements for being nominated by the Tasmanian government to apply for a business investor (provisional) visa.
Australian Capital Territory If you are looking to migrate to the Australian Capital Territory, you do not need to be nominated by the territory government.
Northern Territory The Northern Territory will assess your nomination application based on:

  • your ability to contribute to the Northern Territory’s economy;
  • the benefit of your proposed investment activities to the Northern Territory; and
  • your ability to deliver on the proposed investment activity.

However, each application will be assessed individually on a case-by-case basis.


What Does the Business Investor Visa Offer?

The business investor (provisional) visa is attractive compared to the business innovation visa as it does not require you to invest and operate a business in Australia. Instead, you are required to invest in a government bond in a particular state. This is a very low-risk financial investment. You will also be allowed to swap roles with your partner or spouse as the primary visa applicant as long as the bonds are held in both of your names.

Furthermore, this stream does not have English or tertiary qualification requirements. Instead, meeting this standard will just provide you with additional points in the innovation points test. Additionally, you are only required to submit one application for your whole family. If successful, your school-age children will have access to a free public school education.

Key Takeaways

The business investor (provisional) visa might be the right pathway to migrate to Australia for your family if you prefer to make financial investments over running a business. Before applying for this visa, you will need to figure out whether you meet the Department of Home Affairs eligibility requirements. Then, you must check if the state or territory that you want to migrate to imposes additional requirements. If you have any questions about the business investor (provisional) visa, contact LegalVision’s immigration lawyers on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page.

About LegalVision: LegalVision is a tech-driven, full-service commercial law firm that uses technology to deliver a faster, better quality and more cost-effective client experience.
Natasha Bahari

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