There are several common criteria that apply to all stream of the Business Skills migration framework.


These include:


  • the requirement to be invited by the Department (DIBP) to lodge an application after lodging an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect
  • the requirement to obtain State, Territory or Austrade Nomination depending on the Stream
  • ensure that all funds and/or assets to be used in support of an application are lawfully acquired and all source of funds can be proven
  • ensure that the applicant, and the applicant’s spouse or de facto partner, do not have any adverse business history
  • if the dependants are to be included in applications, to ensure that all appropriate criteria for dependants are satisfied
  • ensure all public inter criteria are met


New South Wales Nomination update: 



Please feel free to contact us for a consultation so that we can better assess and service your business migration needs.




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Registered Migration Australia

Business Skills Stream

Subclass 188




The Business Skills Migration framework established within the subclass 188 and 888 provides the main avenue for people wishing to establish or develop new or existing businesses in Australia or who are looking to invest directly in the Australian economy.


Presently there are 5 main streams under which the subclass 188 visa application can be made:




Each stream has its own specific requirements, although there are certain subclass 188 requirements that are common to all streams.


Visa holders who have obtained a temporary provisional subclass 188 under any one of the above stream are able to transition to a permanent subclass 888 visa provided they meet the criteria necessary for the subclass relevant to their particular streams.


The Subclass 188 visas granted at first instance entitles the visa holder to be granted for a period of 4 years 3 months.



Note – The Extension streams permit the visa holder to the granted a visa for a longer period. A Business Innovation extension stream temporary visa allows a grants for 6 years from date of initial subclass 188 grant , as does a Significant Investor Extension Stream visa.

A Second Significant Investor Extension Stream Visa granted while the visa-holder already hold s a Significant Investor Extension stream visa will entitle the visa holder to be granted a period of 8 years from date of initial subclass 188 grant.



Common Criteria:

In all streams, there are certain common criteria that apply and must be satisfied irrespective of the individual stream chosen. The common criteria the you must apply in addition to any subclass 188 visa specific requirements for separate streams depending on what a visa applicant intends to apply for. The common criteria will be address in a separate section below and applicants will always need to be mindful of the common criteria above and beyond the specific criteria that applies to their own individual stream.


Common criteria include the requirement that the applicant is nominated by a State or Territory of Australia (or Austrade, for SIV and PIV streams) that the applicant is invited to apply the DIBP after lodging an expression of interest that any finds used to support the evidencing of financial requirements are lawfully acquired. The criteria in relation to the adding of dependants and the health and character requirement pertaining to all applicants are also applicable across all streams.



Satisfying Public Interest Criteria

All subclass 188, 188 extension and subclass 888 visa applicants and their dependants are required to satisfy relevant Pubic Interest Criteria (PIC) set out under Schedule 4 of the Migration Regulations 1994.


A summary of the Public Interest Criteria to be satisfied include the following:


PIC 4001 – the applicant must pass the Character test

PIC 4002 – the applicant must not be assessed by ASIO as a Security risk

PIC 4003 – the applicant must not be determined by the Foreign Minister as a person whose presence in Australia would be contrary to foreign policy interests or be directly or indirectly associated with proliferation of weapons of mass destruction

PIC 4004 – the applicant must not have any outstanding debts to the Commonwealth

PIC 4005 (and 4007 for Extension Stream and Subclass 888) – the applicant must satisfy Health requirements

PIC 4010 – the applicant can be established in Australia without imposing undue difficulties

PIC 4015 – if the applicant is a minor, the law of the applicant’s country permits the removal of the minor and the legal guardian of the applicant consents to the grant of the visa

PIC 4016 – no compelling reason for visa not to be granted to a minor

PIC 4019 – if the applicant has turned 18, they have signed a values statement

PIC 4020 – that there is no 3 year bar imposed by reason of the applicant being found to have provided false or misleading information or bogus document to the Department in the current or previous application

PIC 4021 – the applicant must hold a valid official passport unless it is unreasonable to do so



Health Requirements

The visa applicant and any dependants are required to satisfy the Department that they are free from tuberculosis and are free from any disease or condition that would make the applicant a threat to the public health of Australia or a danger to the Australian community.


The following Public Interest Criteria (PIC) are applicable:


PIC 4005 is prescribed for subclass 188 visa applicants

PIC 4007 is prescribed for subclass 188 Business Innovation Visa or 188 Significant Investor Visa (SIV) extension stream applicants and subclass 888 applicants.



Satisfying Special Return Criteria

Special Return Criteria (SRC) is imposed on certain visa subclasses whereby the applicant, in prescribed circumstances, needs to satisfy special conditions within the subclass.


A summary of the SRC that apply to the subclass 188 is set out briefly below:


  • SRC 5001 – An applicant must not have been subject to a deportation order under s. 200 of the Migration Act 1958 or be subject to via cancellation under s. 501, 501A, 501B or 501BA.
  • SRC 5002 – An applicant must not make an application within 12 months from being removed from Australia under 1. 198, 199, or 205 unless compelling or compassionate circumstance apply
  • SRC 5010 – if an applicant was granted a Foreign Affairs student visa or a government supported student visa in respect of a course lasting linger than 12 months, the applicant must have spent at least 2 years outside of Australia upon ceasing the course unless compelling or compassionate circumstance apply



Lawful Acquisition of Funds and Assets

In all streams, applicant must prove that their assets and funds are lawfully acquired. For the investment streams which are comprised of the Investor Visa, Significant Investor (SIV) and Premium Investor Visa (PIV) streams, there are specific requirements for the funds to be unencumbered.


‘Unencumbered funds’ – for funds to be encumbered, Department Policy specifies that there must not be a direct claim by a third party on the funds (e.g. a mortgage or lien on the funds or assets).

Note – if the funds are borrowed by the applicant using different assets as security for the loan, then the funds themselves are technically unencumbered.

Note – although the legislation pertaining to the Business Innovation stream does not specifically mention requirements for funds to be unencumbered, the necessity of showing unencumbered finds will still be relevant to the extent for proving net assets, given that any encumbrances will count towards liabilities for a net asset position.