Australian Business Innovation And Investment Programme (BIIP)

Australian Business Innovation And Investment Programme (BIIP)

Australia is one of the leading countries, where citizenship through investments is widely common. Therefore, to  streamline the immigration process, few changes have been made to the Australian Business Innovation and Investment Programme (BIIP). The number of visa streams have been cut down from nine to only four streams.

The four BIIP streams are as follow:

  • Business Innovation Visa Stream- Applicant must establish and manage new or existing businesses in Australia
  • Business Investor  Visa Stream- Applicant must invest AUD 1.5 million in an Australian state government or local government bonds
  • Significant Investor Visa Stream- Applicant must invest AUD 5 million in an Australian state government or local government bonds
  • Entrepreneur Visa Stream- Applicant must commercialize an innovative business and obtain an investment agreement of AUD 200,000 and operate that commensurate business enterprise in Australia

Further details about how these visa streams function and important criteria to consider are explained below.

Business Innovation Visa Stream (Subclass 188A)

As an investor if you have already established a business that is profitable and operating well, then this is a visa stream that you can consider applying for. In order to put a measure to the success of your business, the following criteria needs to be met:

  • You have to ensure that you owned the business for a minimum of 2 fiscal years from 4 fiscal years.
  • Your business is making an annual turnover of no less than AUD $700,000.
  • Your age cannot be more than 55 years of age. This means a great opportunity for a lot of investors in their 40s and 50s wanting to start a business in Australia. Another vital aspect to note is that if you can prove that your business will be very profitable and will add a lot of economic value then certain states or territories may choose to  waive the age restriction.
  • In addition to that, you need to have a net asset of a minimum of AUD 1.25 million. This can be a combined net asset value for both yourself and your spouse.
  • Finally you need a score of 65 on the Expression of Interest (EOI) point test.

Once this Business Innovation stream visa (subclass 188A) is granted, you will get to live and run your visa for up to five years from the day of the visa grant.

After five years of this visa, if your business meets the minimum turnover and financial assets requirement, you can consider applying for permanent residence visa, though Business Innovation and Investment visa (subclass 888A).

However, if you don’t qualify for Subclass 888A, then you can choose to extend your 188A for another two years. It is important to know that this two year extension is only a single extension and you need to sufficiently prove that you are committed to running your business successfully in Australia.

In comparison to other countries’ investment programs. The Australian Investment Visa pathway is considered more secure. The reason is this pathway allows the investor to invest in their own business, rather than providing the funds to another company to invest for you. In countries like America, United Kingdom and Canada, the investment requires the applicant to invest the funds with other companies. This means that your investment return is dependent on someone else. Most of our investor clients prefer this pathway as they control the management of their investment.

At Path Migration, we have assisted clients from a number of countries:

  • Australia Investor Visa from India: We have assisted a number of Investor clients from India who have set up business in Australia. They have set up businesses in the IT sectors, e-commerce and setting up educational institutions. One of the main requirements that Australian Investor clients from India need to ensure is that the information on Companies House India is accurate at time of visa application.
  • Australian Investor Visa from Hong Kong: We have assisted a number of clients from Hong Kong. The Australian Government has provided certain exemptions to the requirements due to the political situation in Hong Kong. The processing of the Australian Investor visa for clients from Hong Kong is undertaken in Hong Kong. One of the key requirements that Hong Kong clients need to provide is property valuations from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. The Path Migration team includes a  Mandarin and and Cantonese speaking lawyer. You can contact Gary directly at
  • Australian Investor Visa from Bangladesh: We have assisted a number of Investor Visa clients from Bangladesh. One of the major considerations from Investor clients from Bangladesh is the source of funds. Path Migration has an in-house chartered accountant that assists with preparing the submission to satisfy the source of funds element of the investment visa.

Business Investor Visa Stream (Subclass 188B)

This is a temporary visa that is suitable for individuals who have had thriving experience in business ownership or investment management, which means the CEOs, senior managers and/or experienced investors. If you have had these experiences for no less than three years with a proven track record of success you can consider applying for this visa, given you meet the following criteria.

  • Similar to the last visa stream, it is required that applicants are not over the age of 55, however, if you can prove how economically beneficial your investment will be then certain states and territories may overlook the age requirements. If you feel that you don’t meet that requirement, you can consider the significant investor visa, discussed in the next section.
  • To be able to apply for this visa you have to make a minimum investment of AUD 1.25 million in Australian state government or local government bonds; and you need to maintain that investment plan for 4 years.
  • Your combined net asset is no less than AUD 2.25 million.
  • You have a minimum score of 65 on the Expression of Interest (EOI) point test.
  • You can sufficiently prove that you are committed to carrying on with business or investment activities in Australia after the maturation of your initial investment.

The Subclass 188B visa is granted for 5 years. Given the recent changes, if you want to pursue permanent residency then you can apply for permanent residency after three years of maintaining your investment. However, for your permanent residency visa to be granted you need to continue maintaining your investment for the fourth year. In addition to that, you need to live in Australia for two years during that period before you can apply for a permanent visa.

Significant Investor Visa Stream (Subclass 188C)

Unlike the prior streams we have looked into, this visa stream does not have any maximum age limit, therefore, as an investor if you are above the age of 55 this is a visa that is worthwhile to consider.

  • As an investor, you are required to make an investment of no less than AUD 5 million, and you have to sufficiently prove that you are intending to hold that investment during your visa duration.
  • If you are successfully granted this visa then you will be able to stay in or travel to and from Australia for five years.

Given the recent changes made in July 2021, after five years of this visa, you are able to get two two-year extensions of this provisional visa. However, you still need to hold your investment during this extended period of four years.

Alternatively, if you meet the business or residency requirements, then after three years of holding this visa, you can apply for permanent residency.

Entrepreneur Visa Stream (Subclass 188E)

If you are an investor with profitable entrepreneurial skills and a project that will be successful in Australia, this is one visa stream that you might consider applying for. With an investment requirement that is comparatively the among all the visa streams discussed above this stream is designed to attract investments from innovators and business acumen.

  • To be considered for this visa stream, you need to have an agreement with a verified entity to fund a minimum of AUD 200,000 to undertake entrepreneurial activities in Australia. However, this AUD 200,000 threshold will be scrapped, instead, you need to be endorsed by the state or territory.
  • For endorsement, you have to come up with a feasible and profitable business plan.
  • Furthermore, a good character requirement must be maintained by both yourself and your family.

Like the previous visa classes, this visa is also granted for a period of five years. While holding this temporary visa, if you can showcase a track record of successful entrepreneurial activities then you can apply for permanent residency through Subclass 888E.

Given the changes made, the number of places in the Australian Business Innovation and Investment Programme (BIIP) has increased to 13,500 for the fiscal year 2020-2021. Therefore, this is a very good opportunity for you to consider if you are planning to migrate to Australia.

As you look into investor visas, you might also need to consider the appropriate visa applicable for your family as well; along with understanding all the visa conditions and visa requirements. We understand that this can be a very complex and overwhelming process.

At Path Migration, we have a team of experienced immigration lawyers who are specialists in this field. If you are seeking professional advice regarding your personal situation and would like a partner to walk you through this process, you can contact us.


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