Business and Investment Visas

Business and investment visas give an opportunity for migrants to move to Australia permanently, and to establish a business or investment within the country at the same time.  The Australian government is very keen to attract people with capital and business experience to Australia. Australia provides a very safe and easy environment to do business or to invest.

Daniel McKinnon is a Fellow of CPA Australia, and has decades of experience helping entrepreneurial companies to achieve their commercial aims.  These include:

Lonely Planet Publications, where he was  Manager of Business Systems, reporting to the CEO.

LookSmart, an Internet search engine listed on the NASDAQ index and was innovating in targeted search marketing, before Google moved into this space.  Daniel was the Revenue Manager at LookSmart.

Myinternet Limited, an Australian company that provided managed Internet services to half of the schools in Australia. Daniel was Commercial Manager at Myinternet.

Reuters Publishing, where, as Commercial Manager, he managed the transition of tax and accounting products for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

Mission Australia Housing where, as Finance Director, he helped establish an affordable housing business, acquiring $350 million AUD in assets in its first year.

If you have a history of business ownership or investment, why not contact Top Class International for a free initial assessment of your options? Or simply complete our online visa assessment form.


This is a permanent visa that is designed to attract talented business people to Australia. It is divided into two streams:

  • Significant Business History stream, and
  • Venture Capital Entrepreneur stream.

Advantages: Permanent residence, no set minimum investment into the Australian business or investment.

Disadvantages: More difficult to obtain than other business visas.



This is the most popular business visa. It is a temporary visa, but opens the way to proceed to a permanent subclass 888 visa. The Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional)(188) visa is subdivided currently into 4 principal streams and extension streams:

  • Business Innovation stream,
    • Business Innovation Extension stream,
  • Investor stream,
  • Significant investor stream,
    • Significant Investor Extension stream, and
  • Premium Investor stream.

The visa application (including the Extension streams) must be supported by a nomination by a prescribed authority, and the nomination has not been withdrawn.

  • For the Premium Investor stream, the nomination must be from Austrade,
  • For other streams, the nomination can be from either Austrade or a State/Territory government.

All applicants must pass a points test, which awards points for age, English level, education, assets, turnover, business experience etc.

Other requirements for the Business Innovation and Investment visa include:

  • the applicants (and partner) have no history of involvement in business or investment activities of a nature not acceptable in Australia;
  • the applicants meet the relevant public interest criteria, including good health and character.

Advantages: Relatively easy to obtain, allows flexible options, leads to a permanent visa. Government bond investments are safe.

Disadvantages: Temporary visa. May require active business or investment management in Australia. Other options demand high level of investment. Government bond investments have low yield.


This is a permanent visa, and will be the final objective of must applicants for a Business Innovation and Investment visa. To apply you must be the holder of a provisional Business Innovation and Investment visa (subclass 188) and have met all the requirements of your visa stream.

Generally, this involves holding the visa for two or four years, or one year in the case of the Premium Investment stream.

Advantages: Permanent visa.

Disadvantages: No real disadvantages.


The Investor Retirement visa is designed to offer a pathway for retired business and professional persons with significant assets, who are prepared to live in Regional Australia (although this is not compulsory), and to invest their money in Australia.

The 405 visa is a temporary visa, and applicants require a sponsorship from a State/Territory government.

The main applicant must have turned 55 at time of application, and may include a partner aged under 55, but they must not have any other dependants. The visa is usually granted initially for 4 years, then every 4 years upon rollover. 405 visa holders (including partners, if any) can work in Australia for up to 20 hours a week

There are health requirements for this visa, but as long as the applicant is free from tuberculosis or a disease or condition which may result in threat to public health or danger to the Australian community, they will be eligible for the visa extension.

The applicant is not covered by Medicare, and needs to take out comprehensive medical insurance cover with an Australian insurer for his/her intended period of stay.

The applicant must have a minimum amount of money available to support themself and their partner, and to place in a government bond.

Advantages: Relatively easy to obtain, does not require running a business, can work part time.

Disadvantages: Temporary visa. Must be renewed every 4 years. Must have health insurance.