188A visa Victoria nomination is the Business Innovation and Investment or BIIP (Provisional) visa allowing the holder to live and operate a business in Victoria.
To apply for the 188A visa you must be nominated by a State or Territory, for e.g., by the Victorian Government. The 188A visa is valid for up to 5 years (a further extension is permitted) and after 3 years you can apply for the permanent visa (click here to learn more about Subclass 888 visa).
Currently there is no cost imposed by the Victoria Government for the 188A visa Victoria nomination and the nomination processing time is around 20 business days.
In order to apply for the 188A visa Victoria nomination, you must satisfy:
- be under 55 at the time of applying for the 188A visa, in some exceptional circumstances, the Victorian Government may waive the age requirement if you have an exceptional and innovative business proposal
- you must have vocational English (for e.g., at least 5 in each of the 4 test components in IELTS); exemption applies if you have completed at least a 3 year course taught in English and led to a degree (tertiary) qualification, or you have completed final year schooling in Singapore, Hong Kong, South Africa or NZ, or you completed other qualifications such as the International Baccalaureate or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English
- completed a STEMM bachelor degree (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics or Medicine), or a MBA
- have relevant 3 years business history (must be in a senior role, such as CEO or CFO in the last 10 years) if you do not have a STEMM degree, your business experience must be in health, medical research (e.g., providing medical services, or involved in medical education or R & D, and medical research can include drug development, clinical trials, health product manufacturing, medical devices and digital health) and life science (include medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical, or food processing, nutraceuticals and cosmeceuticals), or digital (for e.g., health/medtech, digital games, AI and analytics, education tech, robotics and automation, agri tech, fintech, transport tech, cloud software / Saas, cybersecurity, smart cities and infrastructure tech, device software, energy and resources tech and GPS, imaging and geospatial) or agri-food (including food R & D, innovation in developing food growth, modernisation and innovation of the agri-food sector such as adopting technology and innovative packaging to improve storage life), or advanced manufacturing (embracing new advances in technology such as additive manufacturing / 3D printing, digital technologies, industry 4.0 technologies, robotic and automation; includes defence, automotive, pharmaceuticals, medical technologies, aerospace, rolling stock, zero emission vehicles, renewable energy, advanced materials and composites, food processing, off-site and modular construction and new emerging technologies such as green hydrogen and green steel), or new energy, emissions reduction and circular economy (includes industries such as energy, renewables, bioenergy, carbon capture and energy storage, recycling and waste reduction)
- score at least 65 points (click here to calculate your points)
- explain how your proposed business will contribute to the Victorian economy through innovation and job creation (you may be refused Subclass 888 nomination if this is not shown after been granted the 188A visa Victoria nomination)
- explain how your proposed business will contribute to innovation through innovations in either product or process (you may be refused Subclass 888 nomination if this is not shown after been granted the 188A visa Victoria nomination); process innovation is a new or significantly improved production or delivery method, including significant changes in technologies, equipment and/or software (processes already commonly used in Victoria is not considered process innovation; product innovation is a good or service that is new or significantly improved, including significant improvements in technical specifications, components and material, software in the product, user friendliness or other functional characteristics (selling innovative products are excluded)
- explain how your proposed business will create jobs (must employ at least 2 F/T resident employees (F/T is at least 30 hours per week or 20 hours P/T over 12 months with 2 months of vacation and casual is not accepted; employees cannot be related to you and must be Australian citizen or PR or NZ citizen); you may be refused Subclass 888 nomination if this is not shown after been granted the 188A visa Victoria nomination); however you could be exempted if your business’ turnover is at least $1m (including GST) per year for the 2 years before you apply for Subclass 888 visa
If you are proposing an exporting business for your 188A visa Victoria nomination, the exporting business must provide direct contribution to the Victorian economy but cannot be “parallel exporting” or “grey market”.
Parallel exporting or grey market is goods sold in an export market without the permission of the trademark owner. For e.g., if you buy wine from a wine supplier or wholesaler where the brands already having an existing and official export channels into the countries you intended to export. In this case, you must have evidence that shows the trademark owner is aware of, or agrees to you exporting the wine.
You are considered to be exporting if your business report at least $2,000 of export sales in BAS.
Business activities not accepted
Your proposed business activities cannot be:
- property development
- gift stores
- convenience stores
- cafes or restaurants
188A visa Victoria nomination obligations
If your 188A visa Victoria nomination is successful, you must sign and comply with the nomination conditions. This nomination cannot be transferred to another state or territory, you must operate your business in Victoria.
You and your spouse must live (cannot with friends) in Victoria, and you must actively manage the day-to-day operation of your business.
You must notify the Victorian Government of any changes to your contact details, and participate in any surveys.
Changing business activities after granted 188A visa
If there are some circumstances beyond your control and you need to change your proposed business activities, you will need notify the Victoria Government’s Skilled and Business Migration Program before changing.
Permanent residence pathway
Once you meet the requirements, you can apply for the permanent Business Innovation Subclass 888A visa. The requirements for Subclass 888A visa are:
- business performance – you must explain how your business contributed to the Victorian economy through innovation and job creation
- business innovation – you must explain how your business contributed to innovation in Victoria through either product or process innovation
- job creation – you must show how your business created jobs in Victoria by employing at least 2 F/T resident employees, unless your business’ turnover is at least $1m per year for the 2 years before applying for the 888A visa
Extending 188A visa Victoria nomination
The 188A visa is issued with a 5 year validity and if you need more time to fulfil the Subclass 888A visa criteria, you will need to apply for a Victorian Business Extension Subclass 188X visa nomination. There is no nomination fee and the processing time is usually about 10 days.
To be eligible for the Subclass 188X visa nomination, you must:
- hold a 188A visa Victoria nomination for at least 2 years and 9 months, own and actively operated your Victoria business for at least 1 year and 9 months
188A visa Victoria nomination refusal
If your 188A visa Victoria nomination is refused, you will not be able to apply for 6 months, or request for a review of your nomination application unless there is an administrative error.
If your 188A visa Victoria nomination is successful and you failed to apply to the visa within 60 days or your SkillSelect EOI was incorrect when you are nominated, the Victorian Government will not renominate you but you can submit a new 188A visa Victoria nomination again.
Click here if you are interested in the 188B visa nominated by Victoria.
Australian migration law is complex and difficult to understand, contact our immigration lawyer for a consultation (fee applies) to determine if you are eligible to apply for a 188A visa Victoria nomination.
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This article is not intended to be or taken as migration legal advice. The author of this article disclaims any liability for any action or omission on the information provided or not provided in this article. You should always consult an immigration lawyer or a registered migration agent to form an informed opinion on your immigration matter.