Changes to Business Innovation and Investment Program visas (Subclass 188 and 132) for 2021

Starting 1 July, 2021, there will be a number of changes to the Business Innovation and Investment Program visas (Subclass 188 and 132). Below are the top 5 changes you need to know.

1. Three streams will be closed

The following 3 streams will be closed:

  • Premium Investor (Subclass 188D)
  • Significant Business History (Subclass 132A)
  • Venture Capital Entrepreneur (Subclass 132B)

It is important to note that it means Business Talent visa Subclass 132 will no longer be available. You can visit our website here for more information about 132 visa as one of the key benefits of 132 is that it is a permanent resident visa whereas the 188 visas are all provisional visas with pathway to permanent residency.

2. Five year visas and PR in three years

  • The 188 provisional visas’ validity will be changed from four years to five years.
  • Eligible applicants will be able to apply for permanent residency if they meet the requirements after three years.

These two changes allow the visa applicant more time to meet the Subclass 888 visa requirements, but they are able to apply for PR as soon as three years. Current 188 visa holders may have to wait for four years before they can apply for PR. Please check the pathway to PR sections in our website for each of these streams for more information.

3. Higher turnover and asset requirements for 188A visa

  • Annual turnover requirement has increased from AUD500,000 to AUD750,000
  • Assets requirement has increased from AUD800,000 to AUD1,250,000

There does not appear to be any other dollar amount related requirement changes for other streams (except 188E which is explained below).

4. State or Territory government endorsement required for 188E Entrepreneur visas

  • Entrepreneur visa applicants will need to be endorsed by a State or Territory government
  • The AUD200,000 funding threshold requirement will be scrapped

State or Territory government endorsement will be introduced for 188E so applicants will not only be required to meet the visa requirements, but will now require endorsement. Another change means the currently required AUD200,000 eligible funding agreement is no longer needed.

5. Changes to Extensions

  • 188C visa extension will be changed from a single 4-year extension to now 2-year extension for upto 2 times
  • 188A visa extension remains unchanged to a single 2 year extension

Given the 5 year visa validity change mentioned above, essentially all visas have been given additional time to meet their 888 visa requirements.

Source: Ministers Home Affairs website

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