close menu

An Australian visa for South Africans over 45

by Sam Hopwood | Jul 26, 2018
  • Many people are under the impression that there isn’t an Australian visa option for them. This is because the age limit for most Aussie visas sits at a strict 45. However, if you have a successful business, and you’re willing to relocate your business and yourself to Australia, you could be eligible for a Business Innovation visa. This particular visa allows you and your family to relocate to Australia together, so if you’ve ever thought about making the trek Down Under, this could be your opportunity to do so.

    First things first, are you eligible?

    One of the major advantages of the Business Innovation visa is that you only have to be under 55 (and even this age limit can be increased in special cases). However, there are other specific requirements regarding your business that need to be satisfied in order to qualify for this visa. They are as follows:

    • For two out of the four fiscal years immediately before applying for the visa, you must have had ownership of an established business or businesses that has/have at least AUD500,000 turnover in each of those years
    • You, your partner, or you and your partner combined must have total net business and personal assets of AUD800,000 that can be used to establish a business in Australia
    • You must score at least 65 points on the immigration points test
    • You must be under the age of 55*

    *A state or territory can choose to waive this requirement if your proposed business will be of exceptional economic benefit to the nominating state or territory.

    Why the Business Innovation visa is so great

    The Business Innovation visa allows you to move to Australia with the intention to own and manage a new business or bring an established business to Australia. The main goal of this visa is to attract experienced businesspeople to bring their skills, knowledge and entrepreneurial mindset to the land Down Under, boosting the Australian economy in the process.

    In order to attract highly skilled business people, possibly like yourself, the Australian government has made this visa extremely attractive. It offers opportunities for relocating your family and for gaining permanent residency.

    Bring your family with you

    One of the great things about this visa is that you can bring your partner, children/step-children, and your partner’s children/step-children with you to Australia. They will have the right to live, study and work in Australia for the duration of the visa.

    You will, of course, need to provide extensive documentary evidence of your relationship to each individual who applies as a dependant on your visa. Your dependants will also need to prove that they meet the health and character requirements in order to be granted their visas.

    A route to permanent residency

    Your Business Innovation visa, subclass 188, will be valid for four years and three months from the date it is granted. However, your aim should be to qualify for the Business Innovation visa, subclass 888, which is a permanent residence visa. The transition between the 188 to the 888 can be made after living in Australia for two years and requires you and your business in Australia to meet certain benchmarks, set out in the table below.

    Business criteria (two out of three must be satisfied) 1. Applicant (and partner) have held at least AUD200,000 net main business assets for the last 12 months
    2. Applicant’s main business has had at least two full-time Australian employees for the last 12 months
    3. Applicant (and partner) have held at least AUD600,000 net business and personal assets for the last 12 months
    Business turnover Applicant and partner’s main business generated turnover of at least AUD300,000 for the last 12 months
    Time spent in Australia Applicant must have spent one out of the two years preceding the application living in Australia
    Time of ownership of main business Applicant must have maintained ownership of the main business for a period of at least two years

    Things get complicated, so don’t go it alone

    The Australian immigration system is notoriously complex, and application fees are expensive, so beginning the process of applying for an Australian visa without the correct guidance can unfortunately lead to a lot of wasted time and money. Get the right advice from a MARA-registered immigration advisor before you begin this process to ensure your application has the greatest chance of success.

    We've been helping people migrate to Australia for over 20 years. Get in touch with our Australian visa experts in Melbourne if you're interesed in this visa. Fill in this form to contact us, email us at or leave a comment below.

    We are a professional services company that specialises in cross-border financial and immigration advice and solutions.

    Our teams in the UK, South Africa and Australia can ensure that when you decide to move overseas, invest offshore or expand your business internationally, you’ll do so with the backing of experienced local experts.

    • visa application
      What’s the difference between a UK Marriage Visitor visa and a spouse visa?
      Nov 08, 2019  |  by John Dunn
    • Sydney skyline
      Invest in Australian property and earn permanent residency for you and your family
      Oct 18, 2019  |  by Sam Hopwood
    • Australia-look-see.png
      Everything you should do on your look-and-see visit to Australia
      Aug 12, 2019  |  by Sam Hopwood
    • Porto cityscape
      10 reasons to move to Porto, Portugal
      Jul 29, 2019  |  by John Dunn
    • Oxford-street
      Everything you ever wanted to know about applying for a UK Tier 2 (General) visa
      Jul 18, 2019  |  by John Dunn
    • Australia skyline
      Landed a temporary job Down Under? Get an Australian working holiday visa
      Jul 08, 2019  |  by Guest writer
    • sydney-australia
      Australian visa processing times: How long you’ll wait for approval
      Jun 27, 2019  |  by Sam Hopwood
    • British passport and citizenship approved
      British citizenship and indefinite leave to remain: Why you need to know the difference
      Jun 25, 2019  |  by John Dunn
    • seven-corners-image
      The importance of purchasing travel insurance with a Tier 4 UK student visa
      Jun 13, 2019  |  by Guest writer
    • kangaroos
      Two new Aussie visa routes for skilled migrants
      May 23, 2019  |  by Sam Hopwood

    South Africa

    Cape Town

    Regent Square
    Doncaster Road
    Kenilworth 7708 +27 (0) 21 657 2120


    25 Richefond Circle
    Umhlanga 4320 +27 (0) 31 536 8843

    United Kingdom


    One Croydon
    12-16 Addiscombe Road
    Croydon CR0 0XT +44 (0) 20 7759 7514



    9 Yarra Street
    South Yarra
    VIC 3141 +613 (0) 8651 4500

    Sable International is a trading name of 1st Contact Money Limited (company number 07070528), registered in England and Wales. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA no. 517570), the Financial Services Conduct Authority in South Africa (1st Contact Money [PTY] Ltd - FSP no. 41900) and hold an Australian Financial Services Licence issued by ASIC to deal in foreign exchange (1st Contact Group - AFS Licence number 335 126).

    We use cookies to provide the best website experience for you. Using this website means that you agree to this. How we use cookies.