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Business and investor visas for Sydney and NSW

The NSW Government welcomes successful investors and business owners who wish to invest and live in NSW. The NSW Department of Industry nominates suitable applicants to apply for a visa under the Commonwealth Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) to benefit the NSW economy.

Do you need a visa to start a business in Sydney and NSW?

All non-Australian citizens require a visa to live and work in NSW. There’s no better time to make the move and take advantage of the growing economy and abundant opportunities available in Sydney and NSW.

Sydney and NSW offer an internationally competitive and compelling location for potential business and investor visa applicants.

When you base your business or your workforce in NSW, you’ll access a wonderful quality of life and a dynamic business environment. NSW really is a world-class destination and the ideal place to launch into the future.

Below, we’ve included links to the NSW Business and Skilled Migration Program to help you make the leap.

Types of business and investment visas

The NSW Business and Skilled Migration Program has been established to support the NSW economy by attracting skilled business and investor migrants to NSW and nominating them to the Commonwealth for a visa.

There are several types of visas available and different eligibility criteria apply across all of them.

Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP)

NSW nominates suitable applicants to apply for a business or investor visa under the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP). To be eligible for NSW nomination you must meet the NSW nomination criteria and Department of Home Affairs visa criteria.

The Business Innovation and Investment visa program is a two-stage process for most applicants.

  • The Business Innovation & Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) is valid for four years and will allow you to move to NSW to undertake business or investment activity.
  • The Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888) is a permanent visa that you can apply for after you have fulfilled the requirements of your provisional visa.

The Business Innovation and Investment visa has several streams:

Business Innovation stream — for people who wish to own and manage a new or existing business in NSW

Investor stream — for people who wish to make a designated investment in NSW and want to maintain business and investment activity in NSW after the original investment has matured

Significant Investor stream — for eligible applicants who are willing to invest at least AUD $5 million into complying investments in NSW

Entrepreneur stream — for people who wish to undertake a complying entrepreneurial activity that leads to either the commercialisation of a product or service, or development of a business in NSW.

Significant Investor visa

NSW is the number one destination for eligible Significant Investor visa (SIV) applicants who want to live and invest in Australia. NSW offers the most flexible visa nomination and a range of services to support SIV applicants to settle and thrive in Sydney and NSW, including a dedicated NSW migration relationship officer.

The 188C SIV  is part of the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) run by the Department of Home Affairs and is a four-year provisional visa available to high net worth investors who invest at least A$5 million into complying investments.

If you hold a 188C SIV, you can apply for permanent residence (888C SIV) in as little as four years, provided that you meet eligibility requirements at the time. The 188C SIV can be extended twice and by two years each time. There are no English language or age requirements for the 188C SIV.

Business Talent (Permanent) (subclass 132) visa

This Business Talent (132) visa allows people to establish a new business or develop an existing one in NSW.

NSW nominates eligible applicants in the both the Significant Business History and the Venture Capital Entrepreneur streams.

Significant Business History (SBH) stream

The Significant Business History stream is for people with a highly successful business background who plan to be owners or part-owners and have a major management role in a NSW business.

Potential applicants for this visa who are considering a business in property development should consult the NSW Business and Skilled Migration team before preparing an application.

Venture Capital Entrepreneur (VCE) stream

The Venture Capital Entrepreneur stream is for people who have sourced venture capital funding from a member of the Australian Venture Capital Association Limited for a new business idea in NSW.

Skilled migration

If you want to move to Sydney and NSW on the basis of your skills, you may be eligible for a Skilled Nominated visa.

NSW nominates highly skilled people in a range of occupations to contribute to NSW skills needs. NSW's position as an appealing destination for skilled migrants is evidenced by the significant demand shown for NSW nomination for the Skilled Nominated visa.

There are two Skilled Nominated visa subclasses.

  • Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190) - The Skilled Nominated visa allows skilled workers to live and work in NSW as permanent residents.
  • Skilled Regional (provisional) visa (subclass 489) - The Skilled Regional visa provides a temporary visa allowing skilled workers to live and work in regional NSW for a period of four years. If you hold this visa, you may be eligible to apply for the Skilled Regional (permanent) visa (subclass 887) after you have completed the requirements of the provisional visa.

Need more help navigating business migration and visa eligibility?

For detailed information about applying for NSW nomination, please visit our Visas and Migration website.

For detailed information about visa requirements visit the Australian Department of Home Affairs website.