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BUSINESS INNOVATION & INVESTMENT 188/888 VISA

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Most suitable for clients that are willing to invest in state government bonds and/or Australian based managed funds in order to retain control of their own business outside of Australia.

VISA REQUIREMENTS

1. OVERVIEW

There are four (4) streams under the Business Innovation and Investment Programme (Subclasses 188 and 888 visas)

There are two (2) stages to obtaining permanent residency status:

  • Stage 1 – Obtain 4-year Provisional Subclass 188 Visa with your current “qualifying business”; and
  • Stage 2 – Obtain Permanent Subclass 888 Visa with your “eligible business” in Australia.

2. STAGE 1 – PROVISIONAL VISA

There are four (4) streams under subclass 188 visa:

  • Business innovation stream
  • Investor stream
  • Significant investor stream
  • Premium investor stream

If you apply for the Business Innovation stream of this 188 Business Talent Visa, you need to be nominated and invited by the State, and you (or your partner, or you and your partner combined) must satisfy ALL of the following:

  1. be under 55 years of age, although this requirement can be waived if your proposed business will bring exceptional economic benefit to Australia.
  2. score at least 65 on the points test (Please see section 3 below  for more details).
  3. for two out of the four fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply, have had an ownership interest in an established business or businesses that had at least AUD500 000 turnover in each of those years.
  4. own at least one of the following percentage of your nominated main business:
    1. 51 per cent, if the business has a turnover of less than AUD400 000 per year.
    2. 30 per cent, if the business has a turnover of AUD400 000 or more per year.
    3. 10 per cent, if the business is a publicly listed company.
  5. have an overall successful business career.
  6. have a genuine desire to continuously own and maintain a management role in a business in Australia.
  7. total assets of at least AUD800,000 can be transferred to Australia.
  8. Pass Health and Character Tests.

If your nominated main business provides professional, technical or trade services, you must have spent no more than half your time providing those services, as opposed to general management of the business.

At the time of invitation, you, your partner, or you and your partner combined must have total net business and personal assets of at least AUD$800,000 that are lawfully acquired and available for legal transfer to Australia within two years of the visa being granted.

For the Western Australia State to nominate you, generally speaking, you will need to agree to invest into and maintain an “eligible business” in Western Australia and:

  • transfer the minimum funds required by Immigration, AUD$800,000; and
  • transfer an additional A$50,000 for settlement and ongoing living costs.

You must:

  • be under 55 years of age, although a state or territory can waive this requirement if your proposed investment will be of exceptional economic benefit to the nominating state or territory
  • score at least 65 on the points test.
  • have a high level of management skill in relation to the eligible investment or qualifying business activity
  • have at least three years’ experience of direct involvement in managing one or more qualifying businesses or eligible investments
  • have an overall successful record of eligible investment or qualifying business activity
  • have a genuine and realistic commitment to continuing your business and investment activity in Australia after the original investment has matured
  • have a genuine intention to live for at least two years in the state or territory in which you have made a designated investment.
  • You, your partner, or you and your partner combined must:
    1. for at least one of the five fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply, have directly managed one of the following:
      1. a qualifying business in which you, your partner or you and your partner combined had at least 10 per cent ownership interest, or
      2. eligible investments owned by you, your partner or you and your partner combined of at least AUD1.5million.
    2. during the two fiscal years immediately before you are invited to apply, have legally acquired net business, investment and personal assets of at least AUD2.25 million that are available for legal transfer to Australia within two years of the visa being granted
    3. make a designated investment of at least AUD1.5 million in a state or territory government security using unencumbered funds accumulated from qualifying businesses or eligible investments and be prepared to hold that investment for at least four years from date of issue in your nominating state or territory
    4. have had no involvement in unacceptable activities.
  • Income that you earn from your designated investment in Australia is subject to tax under Australian taxation law.

You must have a genuine and realistic commitment to:

  • reside in the state or territory whose government agency nominated you,
  • continue your business and investment activity in Australia after the conclusion of your provisional visa,
  • live in Australia for at least 40 days per year (calculated cumulatively) for the duration of your provisional visa, or your spouse to live for at least 180 days per year (calculated cumulatively) for the duration of your provisional visa.

You, your partner, or you and your partner combined must have net assets of at least AUD5 million that are legally acquired, unencumbered, and available to be used to make the complying investment in Australia.

You and your partner must not have been involved in unacceptable business or investment activities.

You, your partner and other family members aged at least 18 must agree not to bring any action against the Commonwealth for any loss relating to your complying investment.

Income that you earn from your complying investment in Australia is subject to tax under Australian taxation law.

You must also make a complying investment or a complying significant investment of at least AUD5 million over four years.

Important: You might want to seek legal advice in relation to ensuring that an investment made for the purpose of this stream is a “complying significant investment”. It is your responsibility to ensure your investment options comply. Complying Significant Investments for applications made after 1 July 2015 If you applied for a Significant Investor visa prior to 1 July 2015, see the rules below, which will continue to apply to you.

For applications made after July 2015 you must make a complying significant investment of at least AUD5 million over four years in the following proportions:

  • At least AUD500 000 in venture capital and growth private equity funds which invest in start-ups and small private companies.
  • At least AUD1.5 million in approved managed funds investing in emerging companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.
  • A ‘balancing investment’ of at least AUD3 million in managed funds that may invest in a range of assets, including ASX-listed companies, Australian corporate bonds or notes, annuities and commercial real estate.

Direct investment in residential real estate will continue to be prohibited and indirect investment in residential property through managed funds will now be strictly limited.

Investments must not be used as security or collateral for a loan.

Complying Investments for applications made prior to 1 July 2015 You must make a complying investment of at least AUD5 million in any of the following options, in any proportion, and hold that investment continuously for at least four years:

  • Commonwealth, state or territory government bonds
  • Eligible managed funds – that are limited to investing in any or all of the following Australian assets:
    • infrastructure projects in Australia
    • cash held by Australian deposit-taking institutions
    • bonds issued by the Commonwealth Government or a State or Territory government
    • bonds, equity, hybrids or other corporate debt in companies and trusts listed or expected to be listed within 12 months on any Australian stock exchange
    • bonds or term deposits issued by Australian financial institutions
    • real property in Australia
    • Australian agribusiness
    • annuities issued by an Australian registered life company in accordance with section 9 or 12A of the Life Insurance Act 1995
    • loans secured by mortgages over the investments listed above
    • derivatives used for portfolio management and non-speculative purposes which constitute no more than 20 per cent of the total value of the managed fund
    • other managed funds that invest in the investments listed above
  • direct investment into private Australian companies – in which you have an ownership interest.  The company needs to operate a qualifying business if you intend to apply for and meet the criteria for a Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888) in the Significant Investor stream.

The Premium Investor stream is by nomination of Austrade on behalf of the Australian government only. You must make a complying investment of at least AUD15 million in any of the following options:

  • Australian securities exchange listed assets.
  • Australian government or semi-government bonds or notes.
  • Corporate bonds or notes issued by an Australian exchange listed entity (or wholly owned subsidiary of the Australian listed entity) or investment grade rated Australian corporate bonds or notes rated by an AFS licenced debt rating agency.
  • Australian proprietary limited companies.
  • Real property in Australia excluding residential property.
  • Deferred annuities issued by Australian registered life companies.
  • State or territory government approved philanthropic contribution.

Income that you earn from your complying investment in Australia is subject to tax under Australian taxation law.

You must also have a genuine and realistic commitment to continue your business and investment activity in Australia after the conclusion of your provisional visa.

You, your partner (spouse or de facto), or you and your partner combined must have net assets of at least AUD15 million that are legally acquired, unencumbered, and available to be used to make the complying investment in Australia.

You and your partner must not have been involved in unacceptable business or investment activities.

You, your partner and other family members aged at least 18 must agree not to bring any action against the Commonwealth for any loss relating to your complying investment.

To be eligible to apply for this visa, you need to be nominated by the State, submit an expression of interest and obtain invitation from the Government to apply.

Upon receiving the invitation, you may lodge your application for the visa.

On granting of 188 Visa, you will be given 4 years temporary visa to enter and live in Australia.  You will need to invest in and main “Designated Investment”, “Complying Investment” or “eligible business” (as the case maybe) in Australia.

3. STAGE 2 – PERMANENT VISA

Either you or your secondary applicant can apply for this subclass 888 visa if you or your secondary applicant can satisfy the following requirements:

  • Have held subclass 188 visa for at least one year of the two years immediately before you apply.
  • had an ownership interest (and continue to have an ownership interest) and a direct and continuous management role in an actively operating business in Australia for the two years immediately before you apply.
  • had an annual turnover of at least AUD300 000 from the business in the 12 months before you apply.
  • owned at least one of the following percentages of the business in Australia in the year immediately before you apply:
    1. 51 per cent of a business with a turnover of less than AUD400 000 per year
    2. 30 per cent of a business with a turnover of AUD400 000 or more per year
    3. 10 per cent of a publicly listed company
  • You (or your partner, or you and your partner together) must also demonstrate that you have achieved at least two of the following requirements, that throughout the year immediately before you apply:
    1. a net value of business assets of at least AUD200 000 in your nominated business in Australia.
    2. a net value of personal and business assets of at least AUD600 000 in Australia throughout the year immediately before you apply.
    3. employed at least the equivalent of two full-time employees in your business:
      1. Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents, or holders of valid New Zealand passports; and
      2. not your family members.

If you are applying for this visa in the Investor stream, you must have been in Australia and held your provisional visa in the Investor stream for at least two of the four years immediately before you apply.

In addition, you (or you and your partner combined) must have held a designated investment with an Australian state or territory for at least four years.

If you applied for your provisional visa (subclass 188) in the Investor stream prior to 1 July 2015, you are eligible to apply for a subclass 888 visa after holding your provisional visa for 3 years and 11 months. If you applied for your provisional visa after 1 July 2015, you are required to hold your provisional visa for at least 4 years prior to applying for a subclass 888 visa.

If you are applying for a permanent visa (subclass 888) in the Significant Investor stream, you must have held at the time of application a provisional visa (subclass 188) in the Significant Investor stream or in the Significant Investor Extension stream.

You must have been in Australia as the holder of a provisional visa (subclass 188) in the Significant Investor stream or the Significant Investor extension stream for at least 40 days per year (calculated cumulatively) for the period of time you have held your provisional visa(s), or your spouse has been in Australia for at least 180 days per year (calculated cumulatively) on the basis of the period of time the primary applicant has held their provisional visa(s).

In addition, you (or you and your partner combined) must have:

  • held complying investments continuously for at least 4 years while holding 188C visa
  • operated a qualifying business under the private Australian company in which you have made a direct complying investment if applicable.

Note that the rules in force at the time you applied for you original subclass 188 visa in the Significant Investor stream will apply to you when your application for a subclass 888 visa is assessed.

If you applied for your provisional visa (subclass 188) in the Significant Investor stream prior to 1 July 2015, you are eligible to apply for a subclass 888 visa after holding your provisional visa for 3 years and 11 months.  If you applied for your provisional visa after 1 July 2015, you are required to hold your provisional visa for at least 4 years prior to applying for a subclass 888 visa.

If you are applying for a permanent visa (subclass 888) in the Premium Investor stream, you must have held a provisional visa (subclass 188) in the Premium Investor stream at the time of application and be nominated by the Commonwealth government.

You must have held your provisional visa for a minimum of 1 year.

You (or you and your partner combined) must have held complying premium investments continuously for at least 1 year, and for the entire time you have held your Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188).


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Tang can help every step of the way:

Your Current Situation Satisfies Requirements

Apply to State for Nomination & Interview with State Officer

Obtain State Nomination & Lodge EOI

Lodge Application for 188 Visa

Enter Australia & Commence “Eligible Business”, “Designated Investment”, or “Complying Investment”

Lodge Application for 888 Visa (Permanent Residency)