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A provisional visa for those with business skills who want to establish, develop and manage a new or existing business in Australia. You must be nominated by a state or territory government.

Eligibility

Visa eligibility

To find out if you’re eligible for this visa, read the Department of Home Affairs' criteria for the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188).

Victorian nomination eligibility

Age

Applicants must be under 55 years of age.

Business activity

Applicants must propose to engage in eligible business activity. An eligible business can be almost any commercial endeavour. However, some activities may be excluded unless otherwise agreed to in writing. Exclusions include:

  • small scale property development
  • small scale freight forwarding and warehousing
  • commodity and scrap metal export
  • passive investment.

Benefit to Victoria

Applicants must show how their eligible business will make a contribution to the Victorian economy and that they will be responsible for the day-to-day operation and overall strategic direction of the business.

Export business activity

If you propose to engage in export activity, you must demonstrate that the business will make a direct contribution to the Victorian economy. Examples of how to demonstrate economic contribution can include identifying:

  • the export value of Victorian goods and services
  • Victorian jobs created or retained, including flow-on effects to other Victorian suppliers
  • the local economic benefits of the business
  • assistance to Victorian businesses in exporting their products or addressing market gaps
  • the expansion of export markets
  • other examples depending on the nature of the business.

You must not engage in ‘grey market’ or ‘parallel exporting’. That is, activities where goods are imported and sold in an export market without the consent of the owner of the goods trademark. You will be required to demonstrate that you have not engaged in this activity at permanent visa nomination stage.

Sufficient funds to settle in Victoria

Applicants and their dependents must have sufficient funds to settle in Victoria. Applicants are required to declare that they have sufficient funds for settlement in their Victorian visa nomination application. It is the responsibility of the applicant to research and determine the cost of living in Victoria to ensure their own financial resources are adequate for settlement. See further information on the cost of living in Victoria.

Living in Victoria

The applicant must have a genuine commitment to establish a residence and reside in the State of Victoria as per the visa and nomination conditions.

Understanding of commercial challenges

The applicant must demonstrate that they understand the commercial challenges they may encounter when engaging in their proposed eligible business in Victoria.

Agreeing to the nomination obligations

You will be required to read, understand and agree to Victoria’s nomination obligations.

Change of Business Activities

188 Business Innovation visa holders are permitted to change their business activity from that originally outlined in their nomination application. While they are not required to advise the Victorian Skilled and Business Migration Program of changes to their business intentions, it is the migrant’s responsibility to ensure their business activity complies with the Department of Home Affairs’ Business Innovation and Investment (subclass 888) visa criteria and Victoria’s nomination requirements.
 

 

Application process

You need to apply for Victorian visa nomination before you make a formal application for your Department of Home Affairs' visa. Applying for visa nomination from the Victorian Government involves three steps.

Step 1: Submit an expression of interest

Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) in Department of Home Affairs’ SkillSelect and nominate 'Victoria' as your preferred destination. You do not need to notify Victoria that you have submitted an EOI. 

Note - if you already have an EOI in SkillSelect (submitted before 18 February 2019), it will not be considered for Victorian nomination. You will need to resubmit it.

Step 2: Check your email

Regularly check your email (including your junk mail folder) to see if you have been selected by Victoria. An email invitation to apply for Victorian visa nomination will be sent to your email address used for the EOI.

There is no set timeframe to expect an invitation after submitting an EOI. Invitations are not guaranteed. 

Step 3: Apply for visa nomination

Submit an online application for Victorian visa nomination within 14 days of receiving the invitation. Note that you must be able to demonstrate that you still meet the claims that were in your EOI when you were invited. We recommend that you have all your supporting documents ready before you submit your EOI in SkillSelect, as the 14 days cannot be extended.

You need to register as a user of this website and then complete your application. You will need to prepare the following documentation for your application and upload it when requested:

  • Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) Business Innovation stream Nomination Conditions form
  • Appointment of an Agent/Representative form (if applicable)
  • If you propose to undertake export or eCommerce activity, complete the eCommerce and Export Business Overview form.

All forms are available from the Supporting documentation and forms page.

Obligations

As part of your application, you will be required to agree and adhere to the following obligations:

Your obligations

  • I have read (or have had read to me) the contents of my nomination application and confirm that the information contained therein is true and correct.
  • I confirm that I meet all of the Australian Department of Home Affairs visa eligibility criteria for the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188).
  • I understand that it is my responsibility to ensure that I meet the Victorian Government visa nomination criteria and the Department of Home Affairs' visa eligibility criteria for the Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888).
  • I will notify the Victorian Government of any changes to my contact details and agree to participate in any surveys that the Victorian Government may conduct.
  • I will make contact with the Victorian Government (at the contact points noted on this website) within one month of arrival in Victoria.
  • I have a genuine commitment to engage in ongoing eligible business activity that provides economic benefit to Victoria within 23 months of visa activation.
  • I agree to have available no less than AUD 400,000 for business activity in Victoria.
  • I have sufficient financial resources to support myself and my dependents to settle in Victoria and I understand that it is my responsibility to determine the cost of living in Victoria.
  • I have a genuine commitment to establish a residence and reside in Victoria.
  • I shall not transfer my nomination to any other Australian State or Territory.

The Victorian Government

  • may share information relating to the application and the applicant’s business/investment activities in Victoria with the Department of Home Affairs.
  • reserves the right to make direct contact with the applicant in relation to this application or related matters.
  • has no legal authority to deal with visa matters and will not advocate to the Department of Home Affairs or the Administrative Appeals Tribunal on behalf of the applicant.
  • does not endorse any investment made, or any business activity undertaken, by the applicant nor does it accept liability for any financial loss, cost or expense incurred as a result of any business decision, business activities or investments made by any person in any way connected with this application, or otherwise.

We expect you to have available AUD 400,000 for business activity, however this does not necessarily mean that you must have invested this amount by the time you lodge the permanent visa application. Rather, this requirement ensures that there is funding available for your business activity, should it be required.

Without express written consent from the Victorian Government, failure to comply with the above conditions may result in the withdrawal of Victorian Government nomination for the applicant’s visa.

These nomination conditions will also apply to any Victorian nominated subclass 188 visa that is held in the Business Innovation Extension stream.

Nomination Extension

If you need extra time to meet the criteria for the permanent subclass 888 visa, you may be eligible to apply for a further subclass 188 visa in the Business Innovation Extension stream. To be considered for Victorian extension nomination, you:

  • must have held a subclass 188 visa in the Business Innovation stream for at least two years and nine months (from date of visa grant)
  • hold an ownership interest in an actively operating Victorian business for at least one year and nine months
  • are likely to meet the Victorian nomination criteria for the permanent subclass 888 visa in the future.

You should also check that you meet the Department of Home Affairs' visa criteria for extension.

How to apply for nomination extension

To apply, complete the following forms and email to businessmigration@liveinmelbourne.vic.gov.au

  • Business Innovation and Investment visa (subclass 188) Extension Nomination application form
  • Department of Home Affairs' Nomination - Business Skills class | Form 1414
  • Appointment of Agent / Representative for state nomination form (if applicable).

All forms are available from the Supporting documentation and forms page.

Processing times can vary. You can expect an outcome within four weeks from the time your complete Victorian nomination application is lodged.

Please contact the Victorian Skilled and Business Migration Program via email with any queries regarding visa nomination eligibility: businessmigration@liveinmelbourne.vic.gov.au 

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