The visa subclass 188A is a provisional visa which allows business owners and entrepreneurs to come to Australia and start business activities. Successful visa applicants can operate a new or existing business in Australia, bring dependent family members to live in Australia and apply for permanent residency Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888) Business Innovation stream. A 2-year extension may be allowed once you have held the subclass 188 visa for 3 years, giving you total 6 years from the date of grant of the visa grant.

This visa is suitable for business owners and entrepreneurs with excellent business skills who wish to live and conduct business in Australia.

Source: Department of Home Affairs, Australia

The Business Innovation Stream requires you to own and manage a business and be intending to expand business operations in one of the states of Australia. There are some important requirements to be eligible to lodge EOI:

  • You should be owning a business with annual turnover of at least AUD 500,000 for at least 2 of the last 4 financial years;
  • Your personal and business asset value must be at least AUD 800,000;
  • You must be under 55 years of age, but some states may allow applicants older than 55;
  • You must meet the pass mark in the Business Innovation and Investment Points test(currently 65)
  • You must have a successful business track record.
Source: Department of Home Affairs, Australia

Step 1: Check if you meet the all the visa requirements

This visa is a point-tested visa. You must score the passing score in order to be eligible to submit your EOI. Currently, the passing score is 65 points. You can easily calculate your 188 visa points on government site.

Step 2: Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) and be invited through SkillSelect to apply

You cannot apply your visa application directly. First you need to submit expression of interest (EOI) and then be invited to apply through SkillSelect. Submitting an EOI does not mean you can apply your visa. You must get invited from a State or Territory. Submitting an EOI allows a state or territory governments (or the Australian government where possible) to evaluate your business claims and determine whether or not to nominate you.

Once you get nomination from state or territory government, you will be invited to apply for the Subclass 188 visa through Skillselect portal. you will have 60 days to apply online for the visa after receiving your invitation.

Detailed Information about the state eligibilities and requirements are available on state and territory websites:

Australian Capital Territory

New South Wales

Northern Territory


South Australia



Western Australia

Step 3: Prepare Your Documents

Australian 188 visa requires a complex set of documents. You will have to provide all personal, business and family information in order to satisfy the visa officer. The basic documents requirements are available on the government’s portal.

Step 4: Lodge Your Application Online

Applications must be lodged only. You must have an ImmiAccount so that you can start filling up your application, upload documents and pay the required visa fees.

Step 5: Wait for a decision

188 visas will take a long time to process. The average time is between 1 year and 2 years. You must have done your medical on time to avoid delays.

Step 6: Receive your visa and start working

Once your application is finalized, you will get your visa and can start working in Australia.

Source: Department of Home Affairs, Australia
  • Color copies of the pages of your current passport showing photo, personal details, and passport issue and expiry dates.
  • national identity card,
  • proof of change of name, if applicable
  • a marriage or divorce certificate
  • a statement outlining your intended business or investment activities
  • a description of your research or study in relevant sectors in Australia
  • a description of your business’s activities in Australia, and the period of ownership, if applicable
  • Evidence of the net value of your business and personal assets
  • share or debentures certificates, fixed interest securities, ownership and market value of claimed marketable securities (if any)
  • memorandum and articles of association
  • certificate of business registration
  • franchise agreement, company registrar, or share transfer documents
  • partnership agreements between all partners
  • Evidence you managed the business
  • Provide a full set of financial statements for your business.
  • a one-page organizational chart
  • Summary statement of assets and liabilities – Provide Form 1139A Statement of Assets and Liabilities Position.
  • Provide a certified copy of the trade qualification, diploma or bachelor degree to claim points.
  • For a registered trademark, provide evidence that proves ownership of the trademark.
  • monthly or annual tax returns showing the cumulative export sales of the main business for the year
  • Provide proof you have at least functional English.
  • Medical
  • Character certificate

These are the common documents that you may need to provide or upload. But the documents required vary from case to case.

Source: Department of Home Affairs, Australia

From AUD 5,375

Source: Department of Home Affairs, Australia

Each Australian state has its own requirements which you must know clearly before you submit your EOI. Investment requirements, age bars, academic qualification, IELTS and many other requirements vary from state to state.

Source: Department of Home Affairs, Australia