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South Australia to open 2021-22 business and investment visa nominations on 20 July

SA opens state nominations for Business & investor program. Source: Getty Images/Alexander W Helin

As South Australia announced the opening up of its nominations for the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa Subclass 188 from 20 July for the current program year, the state has removed two eligibility requirements that were essential earlier. Migration agents say the state is 'showing flexibility towards attracting investors'.

From 20 July, investors or business owners willing to invest in South Australia can apply for state nomination under four streams of the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa Subclass 188. Also known as BIIP, this visa is a two-step pathway to permanent residency.

After three years of staying on this visa, applicants can apply for the Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa Subclass 888. 


  • South Australia to open nominations for business visa on 20 July
  • Two eligibility requirements have been removed by South Australia for 188 visa
  • Federal government allocates 1,000 places to South Australia for 188 visa for 2021-22

The four streams for this visa are: business innovation, investor, significant investor and entrepreneur.

After applicants get their 888 visas approved, they can live in Australia permanently and are exempt from travel restrictions. They can enter and exit Australia freely.
Earlier, applicants were required to first submit their ‘Intent to Apply’ (ITA) form and undertake a physical exploratory visit to the state, or, be eligible for a virtual exploratory visit before applying for state nomination.

Under the current changes for the program year 2021-22, applicants will no longer be required to submit their ITA form and undertake an exploratory visit prior to the application.

The requirement of a virtual exploratory visit for applicants unable to travel due to COVID restrictions or visitor visa refusal, has also been dropped.

‘‘The process to apply for state nomination for this stream has been made simpler and flexible,’’ Sidra Shahab, a migration agent told SBS Hindi.

‘‘Earlier the requirement was to visit the state for at least three nights under the exploratory visit or be eligible for a virtual visit requirement before an applicant could apply for nomination,’’ she added.

Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) subclass 188 visa is a two way step for Permanent residency.
Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The state has made the process more flexible to attract investors, Sidra highlighted.

On its website, the South Australia government states that the nomination applications for visa Subclass 188 will be assessed in four quarterly periods during the 2021-22 program year to assist with the management of the allocation quotas provided by the Department of Home Affairs over the entire program year.

The indicative dates for the assessment quarters are as under:

First round: 2 August to 24 September

Second round: 25 October to 17 December

Third round: 31 January 2022 to 25 March 2022

Fourth round: 2 May 2022 to 24 June 2022

It added that the application access for the entrepreneur stream will follow in August and a further announcement regarding this will be provided in due course.

For each visa stream, an applicant is required to demonstrate a total net business and personal assets. For example, under the investor stream, successful investors or business owners must be willing to invest and maintain $2.5 million while those under the significant investor stream, will need to invest $5 million.

A spokesperson of the Department of Home Affairs told SBS Hindi that for Australia’s 2019-2020 migration program, ‘‘lodgements (for BIIP stream) increased by 5.8 per cent in 2019–20, with 15,784 first stage applications made compared to 14,922 first stage applications made in 2018–19”.

The spokesperson added that the BIIP pipeline for Australia has grown over the 2019–20 program year by 36.3 per cent, from 23,223 applicants as on 30 June 2019 compared to 31,661 as on 30 June 2020.

“There were 4,420 places delivered in the BIIP against a planning level of 6,862 places for Australia’s migration program 2019-20 and that included just over 550 places for South Australia,” the spokesperson elaborated.

For the program year 2021-22, the department has allocated 1,000 places to South Australia for its BIIP.

Unlike South Australia, Victoria, which opened nominations for visa Subclass 188 for 2021-22 on 13 July, requires an applicant to first submit an expression of interest with SkillSelect, have a STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medical) qualification, an MBA degree or relevant business history in a target sector. 

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