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Part 1: Information on the Entrepreneur Stream of the Business Innovation and Investor (Provisional) visa (subclass 188)

The Business Innovation and Investment visa has seven streams aimed at applicants who want to own, manage and invest in businesses in Australia. The newly established Entrepreneur Stream is specifically designed to facilitate entry into Australia of entrepreneurs with innovative ideas that will lead to a business development or commercialisation of a product or service in Australia. There are certain activities that are excluded under the Entrepreneur stream including investment in real estate, labour hire companies or the purchase of existing business or franchise in Australia. To apply for any stream of the subclass 188 visa, applicants must submit an expression of interest through SkillSelect in order to be nominated by a state, territory government agency or Austrade. It must be noted that an Expression of Interest lodgement is not equivalent to a visa lodgement, and visa applicants must first invited by the Minister to submit a visa application for the Subclass 188 Entrepreneur Stream. The invitation will specify the stream for which the applicant is invited to apply, and cannot be used to apply for any other class of visa or any other Subclass 188 visa stream. Once an invitation is issued, an applicant will have 60 days to lodge a visa application. For entrepreneurs that wish to be nominated to develop their innovative ideas in the state of New South Wales (NSW), the NSW Government has issued a standardised application form. To be nominated, the applicant must show the NSW Government that they have a business plan to undertake complying entrepreneurial activity, show a commitment to an ongoing relationship with NSW and demonstrate a funding agreement for at least A$200,000. The applicant must also show that they can support their settlement in Australia and living expenses. To be granted a subclass 188 visa, the applicant must also meet all the criteria set out by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP). To satisfy the DIBP requirements for the entrepreneurial stream the applicants must: • Be under 55 years of age at the time of invitation to apply for the visa or is going to be of exceptional economic benefit to the State or Territory. • Have competent English • Take on a complying entrepreneurial activity determined by the nominating State or Territory agency. • Have secured an agreement for funding of at least A$200,000 with at least 10% to be payable to the entrepreneurial entity within the first 12 months. • Hold ownership of at least 30% share in an entrepreneurial entity at the time of the funding agreement. • Have an appropriate business plan.

Part 2 of this article will dive into what constitutes a complying entrepreneurial activity.

It you would like further information or would like to apply for the Business Innovation and Investor (Provisional) (subclass 188) visa, Immigration Solutions Lawyers have the knowledge and expertise to assist you in all stages of the process.

Click here to read more about Immigration Solutions Lawyers and Anne O’Donoghue.

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