Since the advent of the COVID pandemic, countries worldwide have suffered due to its effects on their businesses, both big and small.
Australia is no exception, with its government being forced to close its borders to suppress the spread of the virus. Although having achieved its objective, this course of action did not come without repercussions, with the primary one being the drastic fall of the country’s net overseas migration during the 2020-2021 FY.
Given how essential it is for talented individuals and investors to migrate to Australia from Singapore and other countries for the nation’s economy, relevant authorities have deemed it necessary to further maximise the economic contribution of the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) in an effort to boost the country’s post-pandemic economic recovery.
With new changes now in effect reflecting this move, get in the know about the latest amendments to the program since June 2021.
Simplification of Subclass 188 Streams
The nine streams available in the BIIP (Subclass 188) visa shall be simplified and cut down to four (Entrepreneur, Business Innovation, Investor, and Significant Investor).
This means that the other streams, namely, Significant Business History, Significant Investor Extension, Business Innovation Extension, Premium Investor, and Venture Capital Entrepreneur streams, shall no longer be open to new applicants effective 1 July 2021. Additional changes also include a substantial increase of 11.3% in application charges for the remaining visas.
With these changes, the focus is fixated on bringing in higher value investors, business owners, and entrepreneurs ‘of scale’ to Australia for the purpose of heightening the economic return of the BIIP.
However, those who have applied prior to the effective date can still expect the Department to process their applications.
Extension of Subclass 188 Visas
All visa applications under the BIIP (Subclass 188) submitted on 1 July 2021 and onwards shall be granted five years instead of four, meaning holders will have more leeway to gather the requirements needed to transition into the Subclass 888 visa for permanent residency.
However, this change also comes with an amendment to the minimum time requirement in the eligibility of applying for the Subclass 888 visa from two years of Subclass 188 visa ownership to three years.
Significant Investor and Business Innovation Subclass 188 visa holders are still eligible for Subclass 188 Visa Extension
Although these two streams are already closed, their existing visa holders will still be eligible for an extension of up to two years in their visas in the event that they were unable to meet the residence and business thresholds within the initial period of their Subclass 188 visas. But to be eligible, they must fulfil the following requirements:
- For Business Innovation (188A) visa holders: exhibit the means and will to commit to continuing to manage a business actively operating within Australia in the last two years.
- For Significant Investor (188C) visa holders: demonstrate the ability to remain in compliance with their significant investment.
Business Innovation requirements increase
The requirements for the Business Innovation stream under BIIP Subclass 188 shall be increased effective 1 July 2021. The requirement changes are as follows:
- Applicants must now possess business assets worth AUD 1.25 million instead of AUD 800,000
- Applicants must now have an AUD 750,000 annual turnover instead of AUD 500,000 for a minimum of two out of the last four fiscal years
Scrapping of the Entrepreneur Stream AUD 200,000 funding
The Subclass 188 Entrepreneur stream’s original AUD 200,000 funding threshold requirement will be scrapped. Despite that, applications still require endorsement from a Territory or State government.
For those interested in migrating to Australia from Singapore, it pays to stay updated about current and future changes to BIIP. But since they are not always easy to understand without help, it is recommended to seek experts on the topic.
In such cases, NTRUST can step in as we know what exactly it takes to secure a successful visa application. In fact, we’re here to help you every step of the way. Check out our free Australia Immigration Webinar or simply get in touch with us directly at +65 6299 0245 to kick start your Australia PR application today, starting with discussing your eligibility with our resident consultants.