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Business Migration Process

Business Innovation Investment Program

Business Innovation Investment Program

Business migration to Australia formally started in 1981 and the Business Skills programme was introduced in 1992. The program underwent several reviews and in 2012 it was superseded by the Business Innovation and Investment Programme (BIIP). According to the Migration Programme Report, the outcome for this program in 2017-2018 was 7260 places. BIIP’s goal is to attract high quality entrepreneurs and investors to engage in business or investment activities in Australia for the benefit of the Australian economy and workforce.
Business Innovation Investment Program

Overview

With the introduction of BIIP the independent business visa pathways were removed and all applicants are required to be a nominated by a State/Territory government or AusTrade. In addition to nomination, points tests were introduced into several streams and financial and asset thresholds were increased. The main objectives of the BIIP program are to:

  • Generate employment
  • Increase the export of Australian goods and services
  • Increase the production of goods and services in Australia
  • Introduce new or improved technology
  • Increase competition and commercial activity
  • Develop links with international markets
  • Increase the dispersal of business migrants across Australia through State and Territory government nomination

The current program consists of three visa subclasses: Business Innovation and Investment, 188 provisional and 888 permanent, Business Talent subclass 132 permanent. Each subclass is further divided into a number of streams.

Business Innovation and Investment Provisional Streams

Business Innovation
  • For people with a successful business career and a genuine and realistic commitment to be involved as an owner in a new or existing business in Australia
Business Innovation Extension
  • For existing holders of a Business Innovation stream subclass 188 visa who wish to extend the provisional visa for 2 years (can only extend once)
Investor
  • For people with a successful record of qualifying business or eligible investment activity who will make a designated investment of AU$ 1.5 million in a State or Territory of Australia, and have a realistic commitment to continue the business or investment activity in Australia after the designated investment has matured
Significant Investor
  • For people who are willing to invest at least AU$ 5 million into complying investments in Australia and want to maintain business and investment activity in Australia after the original investment has matured
Significant Investor Extension
  • For existing holders of a Significant Investor stream subclass 188 visa who wish to extend the provisional visa for 2 years (can extend twice up to a maximum of 4 years in total)
Premium Investor
  • For people who are willing to invest at least AU$ 15 million into complying premium investment or philanthropic opportunities in Australia. Applicants are nominated by Austrade on behalf of the Australian Government
Entrepreneur
  • For people with a 3rd party funding agreement for at least AU$ 200,000 to undertake complying entrepreneur activity that is proposed to lead to either the commercialisation of a product or service in Australia or the development of a business in Australia

Business Innovation and Investment Permanent Streams

Business Innovation
  • For people who have met residence and other requirements. To meet residence requirement a person must have been in Australia on on the provisional 188 visa in the Business Innovation stream for at least one year in the two years immediately before applying for permanent visa
Investor
  • For people who have met residence and other requirements. To meet residence requirement a person must have been in Australia on the provisional 188 visa in the Investor stream for at least two of the four years immediately before applying for permanent visa
Significant Investor
  • For people who have met residence and other requirements. Generally, to meet residence requirement a person must have been in Australia on the provisional 188 visa in the Significant Investor stream for a minimum of 160 days over 4 years immediately before applying for permanent visa

Business Talent Streams

Significant Business History
  • For applicants who are owners or part-owners of a business and a wish to participate in the management of a new or existing business in Australia. Applicants must have net business and personal assets of at least AU$ 1.5 million and an annual business turnover of at least AU$ 3 million
Venture Capital Entrepreneur
  • For migrant entrepreneurs who have secured at least AU$ 1 million in venture capital funding to start the commercialisation and development of a high-value business idea in Australia

 

Process

With the exception of the Premium Investor stream, there is a common process that all applicants need to follow in order to be granted a business visa.

  • Applicants must first¹ lodge an Expression of Interest (EoI) and indicate their preferred State/Territory
  • States/Territories and AusTrade can review EOIs and select applicants that they are willing to consider further
  • Selected State/Territory government body issues an invitation to formally seek a nomination from them, or alternatively, from ‘the CEO of Austrade’
  • Applicants lodges an application for State/Territory nomination
  • Selected State/Territory reviews the application against their own nomination criteria and selects applicants that they are willing to nominate
  • An invitation is sent out to the nominated applicant to make a full application for one of the visa subclasses on SkillSelect
  • Applicants will have 60 days to lodge a relevant visa application with the Department of Home Affairs (DHA)
  • DHA considers the application at one of its two business visas assessment centres in either Hong Kong or Adelaide
  • Applicants may be required to attend an interview with the DHA, but this is rarely necessary
  • In case of a successful outcome, DHA grants visa
¹Some State/Territory governments may require a nomination application to be lodged before an EoI.

Demand

BIIP is a relatively small, but economically significant component of the Skilled Migration program. The number of allocated places for the program remained the same at 7260 places, however, the number of applications varied over the last few years.

Year
  • 2014-15
  • 2015-16
  • 2016-17
  • 2017-18
Number of Applications
  • 12225
  • 9051
  • 15888
  • 16816
The Business Innovation and the Significant Investor remain the most popular streams, while the Premium Investor stream does not have any recorded cases yet. In the past Victoria was responsible for the majority of all national BIIP nominations. However, in recent years, it was overtaken by NSW. China remains the dominant source country for BIIP applicants.

Follow the Yellow Pattern Road for a free visa assessment


Follow the Yellow Pattern Road for a free visa assessment

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