Business Visas


Business Innovation Stream 188A

Are you looking to invest or build a business in Australia?  The Business Innovation Stream (BIS) 188A provides a four year temporary visa for people who want to establish business ownership in Australia.

This visa can also be extended for another two years, if you have spent three years on your BIS visa, therefore you could possibly have a total six year on this visa.

Applying For The Visa

You can lodge the application of this visa either in or outside Australia. You will be granted a Bridging Visa A if you apply visa 188A in Australia, with the option of applying Bridging Visa B or C.


This visa can be granted if:

  • you are nominated by an eligible government organisation
  • you are invited to apply the visa
  • you (and all members of your family unit) meet the certain health and character requirement
  • you meet the additional requirements for the stream in which you apply You also have to meet the specific requirements where you:
  • own a business having turnover of no less than AUD500,000
  • have a net personal and business assets no less than AUD800,000
  • are under 55 year of age, unless you qualify the other streams of this visa
  • qualify for the minimum point of 65
  • have a successful business career You must have a nomination by an Australian State or Territory government, and you need to lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) though SkillSelect.


Point Test


Your age determines a major contribution to the total points. However, there are no points granted by the state or territory governments if your age is 55 or over unless you apply a waiver of the age limit. Below are the points breakdown based on your age:

Age group (years) Points
18 – 24 20
25 – 32 30
33 – 39 25
40 – 44 20
45 – 54 15
55 and over 0

English language ability

You can receive points if you achieve certain score in the English test. Table below shows some aspects of getting point based on your English language capacity.

Proficient English 10 points
Vocational English 5 points
Acceptable tests IELTS, PTE, TOEFL iBT
Test timeline Taken within three years before you are invited to apply this visa
Cambridge English Advanced (CAE) On or after 1 January 2015 before you are invited to apply this visa
IELTS Only general test unless otherwise advised by your skills assessing authority



There are points for your educational qualification, which can be received when you are invited to apply this visa.

Qualification Points
A trade qualification, diploma or bachelor degree from Australian educational institution 5
A bachelor degree from a recognised overseas educational institution 5
A bachelor degree in business, science or technology from an Australian educational institution 10
A bachelor degree in business, science or technology from a recognised overseas educational institution 10



You can get up to 15 points if you have a demonstrated history of relevant business or investment experience for a specified period of time before you are invited to apply.

Experience Points
Business Innovation Stream – experience of
At least four year in the preceding five years 10
At least seven years in the preceding eight years 15
Investor Stream – a minimum of AUD100,000 in eligible investments for
At least the preceding four years 10
At least the preceding seven years 10


Net personal or business assets

You could be awarded points if you or your partner combined have net business and personal assets in each year of the two fiscal years.

Personal or business assets Points
AUD800,000 5
AUD1.3 million 15
AUD1.8 million 25
AUD2.25million 35



You may receive points in various items under this category.

Innovation Points
Joint venture 5
Registered trademarks 10
Registered designs or patents 15
Export trade having at least 50% of the turnover 15
Gazelle businesses – that had 20% annualized growth for minimum three fiscal years 10
Grants or Venture Capital Funding of minimum AU100,000 each (both or individual) 10


Business turnover

You can be awarded points on the basis of the turnover of your nominated business in the last two of the four fiscal years before you are invited to apply.

Business turnover Points
Business Innovation Stream
AUD500,000 5
AUD1.0 million 15
AUD1.5 million 25
AUD2.0 million 35
Investor Stream
There is no business turnover requirement for the Investor stream


Special endorsement

In a limited number of cases, a nominating state or territory government could determine that your proposed business or investment is of unique and important benefit to the state or territory. In these circumstances, you can be awarded 10 points.