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188InnovationInvestor Visas

How do I apply for the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Subclass 188 visa (Entrepreneur Stream) in South Australia?

By 5 November, 2021No Comments9 min read

188 Entrepreneur visa

The 188 visa is a provisional residence visa for business owners, investors, and entrepreneurs to conduct business and investment activity in Australia.

There are 4 main streams of the 188 visa, namely:

  1. Business Innovation stream;
  2. Investor stream;
  3. Significant Investor stream; and
  4. Entrepreneur stream.

South Australia specifically has been allocated up to 1,000 places for the 188 visa in the 2021-22 program and this blog discusses the eligibility requirements for the Entrepreneur stream in this State. Both the South Australian State nomination requirements and eventual visa requirements are addressed separately below.

What are the South Australian nomination criteria?

Firstly, be aware that nomination is entirely at the discretion of the South Australian government. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee nomination. Your application will be considered based on its merits and the broader benefit to South Australia.

The general South Australian criteria is:


Have sufficient financial resources to support yourself and dependents to settle in South Australia and understand it is your responsibility to determine the cost of living in South Australia. Evidence of financial capacity is not required. However, Skilled & Business Migration reserves the right to seek additional information or evidence at a later stage if necessary.


Have competent English or be a passport holder or citizen of the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada or New Zealand.


Intend to live in South Australia.

Business requirements

Propose a business that (a) will be based South Australia that has a strong potential to achieve the Subclass 888 Entrepreneur stream Department of Home affairs visa criteria within 5 years, including the achievement of these success factors and (b) the potential to become a sustainable high-growth start-up, with the future potential to employ South Australians.

Support from Service Provider

Provide a letter of support from a selected Service Provider (see below) that has reviewed and approves your proposed entrepreneurial business activity.

Viability and economic impact

Provide detailed information on the viability and economic impact if the proposal to South Australia demonstrating (a) You have in-depth knowledge, expertise or track record in the target product or service (b) Your proposed business has the potential to become a sustainable high-growth start-up, with the future potential to employ South Australians (c) Your project will have the majority of its assets and staff located in South Australia.

Priority sectors

Priority will be granted to proposals that support South Australia’s priority growth sectors:

  1. Tourism;
  2. International Education;
  3. Defence industry;
  4. Food, Wine and Agribusiness;
  5. Hi-Tech;
  6. Health and Medical industries;
  7. Energy and Mining;
  8. Space industry; and
  9. Creative industries.

Limitations on certain visa holders

Certain visa holders will not be eligible for the endorsement by the South Australian government:

  1. Student Visas (subclass 500, 570, 571, 572, 573 and 574), Temporary Work (International Relations) (subclass 403) visa and the Transit (subclass 771) visa;
  2. If you are a holder or previously a holder of a Skilled Work Regional (subclass 491) visa or Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (subclass 494) visa, you must generally have held the visa for at least 3 years at the time of application; and
  3. Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa holders can participate if one of the service providers deems that you have an innovative idea and a strong business case.

What are the South Australian service provider requirements?

A key requirement is to secure the support of one of the following Service Providers:

  1. Stone & Chalk
  2. New Venture Institute
  3. Moonshots
  4. ThincLab
  5. The Innovation and Collaboration Centre

You can send an email to your selected Service Provider to explain your business concept. They will contact you directly if they require further information to support your application.

Processing times

Processing times for the Entrepreneur Stream nominations are estimated to be between 4 to 12 weeks.

South Australian nomination application fees (excluding payment surcharge and GST)

The government lodgement fee for the state nomination application is AUD $336.

What are the steps to apply for the visa?

To apply for the visa, you must:

  1. first submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) through the Department of Home Affairs (Department) Skill Select website;
  2. Create an account with South Australia and submit an online application for state nomination via the Skilled & Business Migration portal (this is the above nomination process);
  3. If South Australia wishes to nominate you, they will notify you and you will receive an invitation from the Department of Home Affairs asking you to lodge your visa application within 60 days; and
  4. Finally, you will need to submit your application with the Department within that allocated timeframe (see below).

What are the visa requirements for the entrepreneur stream?

Generally speaking, to be eligible for the entrepreneur stream of the 188 visa requires (in addition to the State nomination):

  1. you (or your partner) cannot have a history of involvement with a business activity or practices that are of a nature that is not generally acceptable in Australia. Generally, if the business is lawful, this requirement would be met;
  2. the applicant must not have turned 55 at the time of the invitation to apply for the visa (unless the State or territory nominating the applicant determines that there will be exceptional economic benefit to the State or Territory in which the agency is located);
  3. the applicant has a genuine intention to undertake, or propose to undertake, a complying entrepreneur activity.

Other requirements of the visa include:

  1. Meet health requirements;
  2. Meet character requirements;
  3. Sign the Australian values statement;
  4. Have no debt to the Australian government; and
  5. Not have had a visa cancellation or a previous application refused.

What is a complying entrepreneurial activity?

Your entrepreneurial activity should propose to either:

  1. lead the commercialisation of a product or service in Australia; or
  2. the development of a business or enterprise in Australia.

You must also have an “innovative business idea” and your business activity cannot be related to any of the following:

  1. Labour hire entity;
  2. Residential real property;
  3. Any existing entity (including a franchise);
  4. Government agencies;
  5. Publicly funded research organisations;
  6. Investors as a venture capital limited partnership or an early-stage venture capital limited partnership; or
  7. Certain higher education providers.

Processing times

Processing times for the Entrepreneur Stream 188 visas are not published, but generally are processed within 12 months.

What are the government fees for the 188 visa application?

The government fees for the visa application are as follows:

Primary ApplicantEssential

$ 4,115

exc surcharges

>18 dependent

$ 2,060

exc surcharges

< 18 dependent

$ 1,030

exc surcharges

What are the requirements to eventually obtain permanent residence through the 888 visa?

The 188 visa in the entrepreneur stream is a temporary visa, but can lead to eventual permanent residence through the 888 visa.

Time-sensitive requirements

At the time of application, you must have:

  • Held the 188 visa continuously for at least 3 years; and
  • Resided in Australia for at least 2 years while on the 188 visa in the Entrepreneur stream.


You do not need to provide a new EOI for the nomination, but you will have to ensure that the South Australian nomination is still current.

Successful record of entrepreneurial activities

The Department will assess your entrepreneurial activities by looking at success factors.

You will need to show either:

  • 2 key success factors; or
  • 1 key success factor and 3 supporting success factors.

Key success factors include:

  • employing 2 or more Australians, permanent residents or other eligible persons;
  • generating an annual turnover of at least AUD300,000;
  • filing a provisional patent or acquiring a standard or innovation patent;
  • receiving ongoing funding or investment in your entrepreneur activity;
  • entering into a partnership with a university; and
  • selling an entrepreneurial venture for AUD2 million.

Supporting success factors include:

  • adapting your entrepreneurial activities into other business areas;
  • receiving a statement of success from a State or Territory government nominator;
  • receiving sponsorship from the corporate sector;
  • starting at least 1 other business or contributing to at least 2 other businesses;
  • receiving formal awards or recognition; and
  • raising or contributing to social capital.

Other requirements

Many of the same requirements that were addressed in your 188 visa application and must still be met at the time of decision for the 888 visa. That is, you must:

  1. Meet health requirements;
  2. Meet character requirements;
  3. Sign the Australian values statement;
  4. Have no debt to the Australian government; and
  5. Not have had a visa cancellation or a previous application refused.

In addition, you must have:

  1. A realistic commitment to continuing entrepreneurial activities in Australia; and
  2. Your business operations must have followed Australian laws (including taxation, superannuation, and workplace relation regulations).

Processing times

Processing times for the Entrepreneur Stream 888 visas are currently not published, but generally processed within 12 months.

What are the fees for the 888 visa application?

The government fees for the subsequent visa application are as follows:

Primary ApplicantEssential

$ 2,935

exc surcharges

>18 dependent

$ 1,470

exc surcharges

< 18 dependent

$ 730

exc surcharges

Any questions?

Bear in mind that nomination requirements change frequently, so if you want further information about South Australia’s immigration programs, or the 188 visas, feel free to contact us by email at [email protected] or phone (03) 9016 0484 or (02) 8005 1484 for information about how we can assist.

This document does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Please consult an immigration professional for up to date information.
Lucinda Lim

Author Lucinda Lim

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