188A & 188B Points Test (Business Innovation)


Points are allocated based on the age of the applicant at the time of their application. No points are awarded based on age for individuals aged 55 or over, and non-federal governments (i.e. territories and states) are required to submit an application for a waiver for individuals who exceed the upper age limit.

Points Age Range
20 Between 18 and 24
30 Between 25 and 32
25 Between 33 and 39
20 Between 40 and 44
15 Between 45 and 54
0 55 and over

English Language Skills

Business migration subclasses do not have a minimum required level of English, though individuals who do not speak at least a functional level of English may be subject to an additional English Language Charge in order to be granted one of these visas.

While there is no minimum requirement, points are still awarded for English language ability as follows:

  • Vocational English (minimum score of 5 in each of the 4 components of IELTS): 5 points
  • Proficient English (minimum score of 7 in each of the 4 components of IELTS): 10 points


Applicants holding a recognised degree, diploma or vocational qualification will be awarded 5 points. To be eligible, these qualifications must have been awarded by an Australian education institution or a recognised foreign education institution.

Applicants holding recognised qualifications in the fields of science, technology or business are awarded an additional 5 points for a total of 10 points.

Business Experience

Further points are on offer if the applicant can demonstrate that they have business experience that is relevant to the visa and stream for which they are applying. For example, applicants who have previously run their own business can be awarded additional points when applying for the Business Innovation Stream.

Points awards for individuals who are or have previously owned a business (188A) are as follows:

Points Have owned a business for a minimum of:
10 4 of the last 5 years prior to invitation
15 7 of the last 8 years prior to invitation

Investors (188B) who have made or held recognised investments with a minimum total value of AUD 250,000 may be eligible for the following points awards:

Points Have held eligible investments with a minimum total value of at least AUD 250,000 for:
10 Not less than 4 years
15 Not less than 7 years

Points can also be awarded based on an individual’s personal assets:

Points Applicant and their partner’s individual or combined assets for the previous two years
5 >AUD 1,250,000
15 > AUD 1,750,000
25 > AUD 2,250,000
35 > AUD 2,750,000

Business Annual Turnover

Applicants can be awarded points based on the annual turnover of any business they own:

Points Owned business turnover in at least two out of the four previous fiscal years
5 > AUD 750,000
15 > AUD 1,250,000
25 > AUD 1,750,000
35 > AUD 2,250,000


Applicants can be awarded points based on a number of innovation-related factors:

Points Innovation-related factor
5 Ownership or daily management of a joint-owned business for at least one year
10 Holding of a registered trademark used by applicant’s main business for at least one year
10 Ownership or significant part-ownership in applicant’s main business which has an average 20% turnover growth for three consecutive years and which employs a minimum of 10 full-time employees
10 Ownership or significant part-ownership in applicant’s main business which has received a government start-up grant in their home country of at least a value equivalent to AUD 10,000, or venture capital start-up or expansion financing of at least a value equivalent to AUD 100,000
15 Ownership or significant part-ownership in applicant’s main business for which export trade makes up at least half its annual turnover
15 Holding of a registered patent or design for at least one year which is used by the applicant’s main business in its day-to-day activity

Special Endorsements by non-federal government

State and Territory Governments have the ability to offer formal support to applicants by affirming that the business being proposed will bring a particular important benefit to the area for which they are responsible. Providing such a Special Endorsement will usually result in 10 points being awarded to the visa applicant.

Other 188 Visa eligibility streams:

  • for applicants able to invest at least AUD 1.5 million in Australian State or Territory bonds

  • for applicants of significant means who will invest a minimum of AUD 15 million into suitable investments in Australia

  • for appliants with a pre-existing funding arrangement of no less than AUD 200 000 for the purposes of legitimate entrepreneurial activities

NB: Obtaining a visa for the specific purposes of business migration can be time-consuming and complex. It is therefore critical that individuals seeking to apply for an Australian visa for business identify the business visa category that gives them the best chance of having a visa granted.

Book a meeting with our Registered Migration Agents in Melbourne to discuss your visa options commitment-free.