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Business Innovation and Investment Programme

Under the Business Innovation and Investment Programme foreign-nationals conducting business or investing in the country, may obtain a temporary residency visa, together with their dependents, and eventually a permanent residency visa. To be eligible the foreign national must be nominated by a state or territory government or Australian agency.

To be nominated, the investor/entrepreneur must file an application for State Nomination with the Business Migration Centre (BMC).

Once approved, it is required to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through the SkillSelect Online process of the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

Once nominated in SkillSelect, he or she will receive an invitation from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to apply for a Provisional visa subclass 188.

After a certain period of time, depending on the business/investment stream, he or she may apply for a permanent visa subclass 888. After 4 years of permanent residency, he or she may be eligible to apply for citizenship.


Business Innovation stream

To apply for the provisional visa subclass 188 under the Business Innovation Stream, you must have scored at least 65 on SkillSelect test.

Two out of the four fiscal years immediately prior to the application, you have had an ownership interest in a business that had a turnover of at least AUD500,000.

And you own 51% of the nominated business that has a turnover of less than AUD400,000 per year, or, 30% of the nominated business that has a turnover of more than AUD400,000, or 10% of the nominated business if it is a publicly listed company.

You must also have a successful business career and a will to own and maintain a management role in a business in Australia.

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 AUD800,000 that are lawfully acquired and available for legal transfer to Australia within two years of the visa being granted.

After one year holding the provisional visa, you may apply for a permanent visa subclass 888 (permanent residency), provided that:
- You still have an ownership interest and direct and continuous manage role,
- Your business had a turnover of at least AUD300,000 (not required in all Australian states),
- You own 51% of the nominated business that has a turnover of less than AUD400,000 per year, or, 30% of the nominated business that has a turnover of more than AUD400,000, or 10% of the nominated business if it is a publicly listed company,
- You have obtained an Australian Business Number for each of your main businesses,
- Your company has submitted Business Activity Statements to the Australian Taxation Office for the two years immediately before you apply,
- You have not acquired the ownership in your main business (or two main businesses) from a person who was an applicant for, or a holder of, a permanent Business Innovation and Investment visa (subclass 888) or a permanent business skills visa (in subclasses 890, 891, 892 or 893), unless you and that person had a joint interest in the main business for at least one year before you lodged your application for this visa,
- You (or your partner, or you and your partner together) must also demonstrate that you have a net value of business assets of at least AUD200,000 in your nominated main business (or two main businesses) in Australia throughout the year immediately before you apply, and/or a net value of personal and business assets of at least AUD600,000 in Australia throughout the year immediately before you apply, and/or have employed at least the equivalent of two full-time employees in your main business (or main businesses), throughout the year immediately before you apply who are Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents, or holders of valid New Zealand passports and not members of your family.


- Be under 55 years of age (some states or territories may waive this requirement, provided that business will bring exceptional economic benefits to the country).
- Evidence that you have participated in the day-to-day management of the business for two of the four fiscal years prior application.
- Business registration certificate or license for your main business.
- Evidence of your ownership or share of ownership of the main business, such as evidence of purchase, share registers, company registers, or share transfer documents, historical company extracts, annual returns of directors and shareholders, partnership, trust or franchise agreements.
- Financial statements for your business for two of the four fiscal years prior to application, prepared by an independent firm.
- Organizational chart showing your position in the business, staff attribution, management reporting lines and functional responsibilities.
- Photos of business premises and business activities.
- Details if any of your businesses has operated at a loss, evidence if any of your businesses is or has been subject to insolvency, receivership or liquidation or evidence of bankruptcy of any of your businesses (if applicable).
- Summary statement outlining all your and your partner’s assets and liabilities on a day of your choice in the three months before you were invited to apply for this visa, with details of how those assets were acquired, including the source of funds.
- Evidence of your ownership of each of your assets.
- Business plan indicating your intentions and efforts to actively participate in and manage the qualifying business, describing your proposed business activities in Australia and indicating how they will benefit Australia economically.

Restricted Nationalities

No nationality is officially restricted

dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is recognized in Australia. You are not required to renounce your previous nationality to become a citizen of Australia.

Documents Required

  • Certified copy of passport
  • Two passport-size photos
  • Certified copy of ID Card
  • Original or Certified copy of Birth Certificate (if applicable)
  • Original or Certified copy of Marriage Certificate (if applicable)
  • Medical Certificate
  • Original Police Clearance Certificate
  • Evidence of language skills
  • Business Plan
  • Bank Statement
  • Proof of net wealth
  • Certified copy of Business License or Incorporation documents
  • dual citizenship Yes
  • Family members included Yes
  • land ownership Yes
  • Physical residence required No
  • Personal visit required Yes
  • Language skills required Yes
  • Interview required No
  • Investment Single -
  • Investment Family 4 -
  • Minimum annual income -
  • Time to citizenship 60
  • Time to permanent residency
  • Visa-free countries 189
  • Financing available No

Country details

English (Australia)
The Commonwealth of Australia is the sixth largest continent worldwide. Located in Oceania, the country occupies the main continental mass of the Sahul Shelf, in addition to some islands in the Pacific, Indian and Antarctic Oceans. The closest countries to Australia are Indonesia, East Timor and Papua New Guinea to the north, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and the French dependency of New Caledonia to the northeast, and New Zealand to the southeast. Its population barely exceeds 24 million inhabitants, who are mostly concentrated in the coastal cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and the capital Canberra.

Australia ranks second in the UN’s Human Development Index, only surpassed by Norway, and is the fourth freest economy according to the Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom. It has one of the highest income per capita rankings worldwide - slightly higher than the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and France in terms of purchasing power parity. Australia has a solid and stable economy, with reduced unemployment, controlled inflation, relatively small public debt, and a strong and stable financial system. Its currency is the Australian Dollar (AUD).

Visa Free Travel

With your new passport from Australia you'll be able to access 189 countries visa free


You will be considered a tax resident in Australia if your permanent domicile is in the country or you have been in Australia more than half a given year (unless your place of abode is outside Australia and you don’t intent to reside in the country) or you are an Australian employee.

Tax residents are subject to personal income tax on their worldwide income, whereas non-residents are taxed on their income derived from Australia.

If you hold a provisional visa, you will be considered a temporary resident, and therefore your foreign-source income may not be subject to taxation.

The personal income tax rate is progressive up to 45% for annual income in excess of AUD54,232 (AUD62,685 for non-residents).

An additional tax of 2% applies to income in excess of AUD180,000, both for residents and non-residents.

Capital gains are treated as ordinary income, though if the asset is held by a tax resident (excluding temporary residents) for more than one year, a 50% discount may apply. Nonresidents are also subject to a non-final withholding tax of 10%.

Dividends received from resident companies are taxable income, but a tax offset is usually available to prevent double taxation. For dividends received from foreign sources, a foreign tax credit may be also available. Interests and rental income are subject to taxation at standard rates.

Australia has enacted controlled foreign company (CFC) regulations. Foreign companies controlled by residents that fail the “active income test” (usually when passive income is more than 5%), might have their passive income subject to taxation, whether the income is passed at the personal level or not. Ranges to determine whether a company passes the ‘active income test’ or not, will depend on its jurisdiction of residence.

States and territories levy land taxes. Transfers of assets are subject to a stamp duty at rates up to 5.75%. There is no net worth tax, nor inheritance taxes in Australia.

There is a Goods and Services tax, which applies to transactions of goods and services. The standard rate is 10%.

Regarding corporate taxation, resident entities are subject to a 30% tax on their worldwide income. A reduced tax rate of 28.5% may apply for those companies whose turnover is less than AUD2 million. There are several available tax breaks and exemptions for companies engaging in R&D activities.

Dividends from resident entities are usually entitled to a tax offset. Dividends from a foreign source may be exempted if the parent company holds at least 10% of the shareholding of the payer entity, otherwise they may be taxable.

Capital Gains are treated as ordinary income. An exemption may apply to those from the disposal of shares, if the parent company holds at least 10% of the capital of the subsidiary.

Dividends paid to non-residents may be exempt from withholding taxes, provided that profits were already taxed, otherwise they may be subject to a 30% withholding tax. Payments on interests abroad are usually subject to 10% withholding tax, however certain interests may be exempt. Royalties are usually taxed at 30%. These rates may be reduced or eliminated under a tax treaty.

For further information on corporate taxation, legal framework and tax treaties, check out incorporations.io/australia.

This should not be construed as tax advice. We have access to a global network of qualified attorneys and accountants who can give you the proper advice for your particular circumstances. Contact us for further information.

  • Property tax Yes
  • Transfer tax Yes
  • Inheritance tax No
  • Net worth tax No
  • CFC law Yes
  • Tax residency days 183
  • Personal income tax rate 47%
  • Capital Gains tax rate 27.5%
  • Investment income tax rate 27.5%
  • Territorial taxation No

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Residency by Employment (Work Permits)
Residency by Entrepreneurship (Starting or Relocating your Business)
Residency by Investment in Real Estate or Securities
Residency by having sufficient means (Passive Income)

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Flag Theory is an internationalization and offshore solutions provider, and the creator of residencies.io. We offer expert consultation advice and assistance.

Your privacy is important for us and we will keep your information secure. View our privacy policy

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