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Move your business and family to Australia: The Business Innovation visa

Do you own and run a successful business and wish to relocate to Australia? Then the Business Innovation visa (subclass 188a) might just be the solution you’ve been waiting for. This visa is available to anyone under the age of 55 looking to start or buy into a business in Australia. It’s valid for four years and three months, and allows you and your family members to live, study and work in Australia, and eventually be eligible for permanent residence.

The perfect Australian visa for those over 45

The cut-off age for most Australian visas is 45, making it difficult to move there if you’re around this age. The Business Innovation visa gives those over the age of 45 a route to Australia if they have experience in owning and running a successful business. The good news is that many business owners have the abilities and experience needed to qualify for this visa, but very few are aware of its existence.

Do you qualify?

The minimum requirements for the Business Innovation visa are easy to understand. You must:

  • Be under the age of 55 years*
  • Score at least 65 points on the immigration points test
  • For two out of the four fiscal years immediately before applying, have had ownership of an established business or businesses that has/have at least AUD500,000 turnover in each of those years
  • Either by yourself, or your business 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

*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.

Find out if you qualify

The Australian immigration points test

You must score at least 65 points to be eligible for the Business Innovation visa. The table below sets out the categories and points available in each category. Please note: You should always consult with a MARA-registered Australian immigration advisor before you apply for this visa. Do not assume that because you have the right amount of points that you will qualify. The visa application process is complex and without professional representation it is difficult to successfully navigate the regulations.

Estimate your point score



















English ability







Trade, diploma or bachelor’s degree



Bachelor’s degree in business, science or technology


Net financial assets (AUD)




1.3 million



1.8 million



2.25 million


Business annual turnover (AUD)




1 million



1.5 million



2 million


Business ownership experience

Four of the past five years



Seven of the past eight years


Untitled Document
Find out if you qualify

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.

Check that you satisfy the requirements

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

Find out if you qualify

Interested in applying?

If you’d like more information on this visa, or would like to discuss your immigration options in detail, get in touch with our registered MARA immigration advisors by simply filling in the form below.

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United Kingdom


Castlewood House
77/91 New Oxford Street
WC1A 1DG +44 (0) 20 7759 7514


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CR2 6PU +44 (0) 20 7759 7581



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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 License issued by ASIC to deal in foreign exchange (1st Contact Group - AFS License number 335 126).

Please note: Sable International is a trading name of Philip Gamble and Co. Ltd. Philip Gamble and Co. Ltd is registered in the UK with the Office of the Immigration Service Commissioner (OISC) under no. F2001-00004. Our staff based outside of the UK are not regulated by the OISC and may be involved in some client casework. However, they work to the same high standards as our UK staff and clients receive the same service regardless of which office they engage with.

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