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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

The current criteria apply to new applications submitted from 4 January 2021.

For all individuals nominated by the Victorian Government for a Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) prior to this date, please refer to the nomination obligations submitted as part of the provisional application.

Age

You must be under 55 years of age.

Department of Home Affairs' Points Test

You must score at least 65 on the Department of Home Affairs’ points test in SkillSelect.

English Language

You must have a Vocational level of English (or equivalent).

Vocational level is equivalent to a score of at least five (5) in each band score of the International English Testing System (IELTS), or equivalent results in accepted alternative tests.  You can obtain the IELTS equivalent in any of the following Department of Home Affairs’ accepted language tests: OET, TOEFL iBT, PTE Academic and Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE).

You must upload a scanned copy of your English language test result as part of the online nomination application. Please ensure that your English test result is valid for at least 12 weeks at the time of submitting a visa nomination application.

Please note: If you are a citizen of the USA, UK, Canada, Republic of Ireland or New Zealand you are not required to submit English language test results. You must submit a copy of your passport bio page.

Alternatively, you can demonstrate that you meet the English requirement by providing evidence that you completed a course taught in English that took at least three years and led to a tertiary qualification, or, you can show us evidence that you hold one of the qualifications in the following table:

QualificationRequirements
General Certificate of Education (GCE) ‘A’ levels from Britain or Singapore Minimum C pass Subjects must include English Language or Literature or Use of English
International Baccalaureate Full diploma in English medium
Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English Minimum C pass
Hong Kong Advanced Level Examinations (HKALE) Minimum C pass in Use of English
University of Cambridge in collaboration with University of Malaya General Certificate of English (GCE) ‘A’ levels Minimum C pass. Including English or General Paper subjects
South African Matriculation Certificate Minimum D pass in English (higher grade)
South African Senior Certificate Minimum D pass in English (higher grade). Endorsed with the words ‘matriculation exempt’
New Zealand tertiary entrance qualification Gained on completing year 13 (seventh form)

You must provide proof of your language proficiency with your application.

Education and/or Business History

You must have completed at least one of the following:

  • a bachelor’s degree or higher in a Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics or Medicine (STEMM) field. Examples of a STEMM qualification include: Structural Engineering, Experimental Mathematics, Nuclear Medicine, Software Development, Sound Engineering, Biological or Agricultural Sciences.
  • a Master of Business Administration (MBA).

You will be required to provide an award certificate and complete transcript to evidence your relevant qualification.

If you do not meet these educational requirements you can demonstrate your eligibility by evidencing that you have at least three (3) years of experience operating a business in one of the following:

  • digital technologies
  • advanced manufacturing
  • health and life sciences
  • agri-food
  • new energy and emissions reduction
  • circular economy
  • priority precincts.

Relevant experience must have been gained in the last 10 years.

Proposed Business activity

You must propose to engage in eligible business activity. An eligible business can be almost any commercial endeavour. However, the business must contribute to innovation in Victoria through one of the following:

  • Product innovation: A good or service that is new or significantly improved. This includes significant improvements in technical specifications, components and materials, software in the product, user friendliness or other functional characteristics.
  • Process innovation: A new or significantly improved production or delivery method. This includes significant changes in techniques, equipment and/or software.

Further information regarding these definitions can be found on the OECD website.

You must demonstrate strong connections in industry or expert skills between your current or previous business activity and your proposed Victorian business activity.

Export business activity

If you are proposing to engage in export activity, you must demonstrate how the proposed activity will provide a direct contribution to the Victorian economy, such as through:

  • 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
  • expansion of export markets.

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 the permanent visa nomination stage.

Applicants engaged in export activity must provide an accurate export summary table that includes all export activities undertaken in the past 12 months preceding the submission of the subclass 888A nomination application.

Parallel exporting

If your business has exported goods, you are required to demonstrate that you have not engaged in ‘grey market’ or ‘parallel exporting’. This includes activities where goods are sold in an export market without the consent of the trademark owner.

Evidence may include, but is not limited to:

  • Official certificate or agreement from the trademark owner authorising export activity, or
  • Authorisation from the trademark owner to the supplier/distributer to re-sell products with the acknowledgement of the likely export of goods by the business migrant, or
  • Evidence from the trademark owner that the applicant is purchasing goods with the intention of export (including consultations, meetings or correspondence), or
  • Partnership or contractual agreements between the trademark owner and business migrant.

For example, a Victorian business migrant purchases wine from a wine supplier/wholesaler. The brands purchased have existing and official export channels into the relevant country. The business migrant only has a receipt of purchase and no additional evidence from the trademark owner that they are aware of or consent to the business migrant exporting the wine. This is an example of ‘grey market’ or ‘parallel exporting’ and is not permitted in the Victorian Government’s Business Innovation and Investment Program.

Benefit to Victoria

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

Employees and Turnover of Victorian Business

You must agree to employ no less than two (2) full time employees in your main business for a minimum of 24 months within the 24 months prior to lodging your nomination application for the Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888). The eligible employees must work at least 30 hours per week consecutively within the 24 month period. More than 2 (two) individuals can be used to meet this requirement.

Eligible employees must:

  • be an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident, or holder of a valid New Zealand passport
  • not be a member of your family.

If the turnover of your eligible business is no less than A$1 million per 12 months, over a consecutive 24 month period immediately preceding the lodgement of your nomination application for the Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888), you are exempt from this employee requirement.

Living in Victoria

You must establish a residence and reside in the State of Victoria. This requirement extends to dependents listed on the visa nomination application.

Understanding of commercial challenges

You must demonstrate that you understand the commercial challenges you may encounter when engaging in the 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

If you hold a Victorian nominated Business Innovation (subclass 188) visa you are permitted to change your business activity from the proposal originally outlined in your nomination application. You are not required to advise the Victorian Government’s Skilled and Business Migration Program of changes to your business intentions. You must ensure the new business activity complies with the Department of Home Affairs’ Business Innovation and Investment (subclass 888) visa criteria and the Victorian nomination requirements relevant to your Business Innovation (subclass 188) nomination application.

See our glossary for specific definitions of words and phrases relating to this visa subclass.

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) to the Department of Home Affairs through SkillSelect and nominate 'Victoria' as your preferred destination.

Step 2: Submit an online application for Victorian visa nomination

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
  • Evidence of your relevant academic qualification/s (if applicable)
  • Evidence of your business experience in a Victorian Strategic Sector (if applicable)
  • Evidence of your English language competency/relevant passport.

All documents must be provided in English, with any translation being undertaken by a NAATI accredited translator.

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

Step 3: Lodge a formal visa application

If you receive visa nomination from the Victorian Government, an automatic invitation will be sent to you by SkillSelect advising you to lodge a formal visa application with the Department of Home Affairs within 60 days. Nomination can be provided to an individual applicant only once in a 12 month period. Please ensure the application EOI is correct at the time of nomination. You will be unable to use the nomination if an application is not lodged within the 60 day period or if there are substantial errors with the application. You will be required to wait 12 months to re-apply.

If your application for Victorian visa nomination is refused, you and/or your spouse must wait 6 months before you re-apply.

Obligations

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

Your obligations

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. I will make contact with the Victorian Government (at the contact points noted on this website) within one month of arrival in Victoria.
  6. I understand that I must agree to employ at least 2 eligible full-time employees in my eligible business for a minimum of 24 months or I must meet Obligation 7.
  7. I must meet a turnover in my eligible business of no less than A$1 million per 12 months, over a consecutive 24 month period immediately preceding the lodgement of my nomination application for the Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888), unless I have met Obligation 6.
  8. I understand that my proposed business must contribute to innovation in Victoria through either strong Product Innovation or Process Innovation.
  9. I understand that if I choose to engage in export activity in my eligible business, the export business activity must provide a direct contribution to the Victorian economy, other than taxation and payroll revenue.
  10. I have a genuine commitment to engage in ongoing, eligible business activity that provides economic benefit to Victoria within 23 months of visa activation.
  11. 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.
  12. I will establish a residence and reside in Victoria to successfully manage my business, to the exclusion of all other Australian states and/or territories.
  13. I shall not transfer my nomination to any other Australian State or Territory.
  14. I understand that it is my responsibility to approach the Skilled and Business Migration Program if I am uncertain of any conditions, to seek clarification.
  15. I understand these Nomination Conditions contain words and phrases with particular meanings as defined by the Skilled and Business Migration Program. A complete glossary of these terms can be reviewed on the Live in Melbourne website at any time.

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

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
  • have made a genuine attempt to fulfill all Victorian nomination conditions
  • 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, login to the Live in Melbourne portal and complete an online application for a subclass 188X - Extension visa.

You will need to provide a brief summary of:

  • why you are seeking visa extension nomination
  • what you have done to date to meet the Victorian Government’s nomination requirements for the Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888)
  • the actions you will undertake in the next 24 months to meet the Victorian Government’s nomination requirements for Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888)

You will need to upload the following forms to support your application, which are available from the supporting documentation and forms page:

  • Appointment of Agent / Representative for state nomination form (if applicable)

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 Government's Skilled and Business Migration Program with any queries regarding visa nomination eligibility or to update your details should they have changed.

A new and improved way to apply

We have made it easier for you to register, submit and track the progress of your application.

Our visa application forms are now mobile and tablet friendly with improved layout and helpful text fields.


Register now

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