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Important Changes to Victoria's Subclass 188A Criteria

From 4 January 2021, the minimum eligibility criteria for Subclass 188A (Business Innovation Stream) will be:


  • You must be under 55 years of age.

English Language

  • You must have a vocational level of English (or equivalent), meaning you must score at least 5 in each band of IELTS or equivalent results in accepted alternative tests (PTE Academic, TOEFL iBT, OET, CAE); or

  • You are a citizen of the USA, UK, Canada, Republic of Ireland or New Zealand.

Education or Business History

You must have completed at least one of the following:

  • Bachelor's Degree or higher in a STEMM field (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics or Medicine)

  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Alternatively, you must demonstrate that you have minimum 3 years business experience in one of the following fields in the past 10 years:

  • digital technologies

  • advanced manufacturing

  • health and life sciences

  • agri-food

  • new energy and emissions reduction

  • circular economy

  • priority precincts

Proposed Business Activity

You must propose to engage in eligible business activity that makes contribution to innovation in Victoria through one of the following:

  • "Product innovation: A good or service that is new or significantly improved. This includes significant improvements in technical specifications, components and materials, software in the product, user friendliness or other functional characteristics.

  • Process innovation: A new or significantly improved production or delivery method. This includes significant changes in techniques, equipment and/or software."

You must demonstrate that your current or previous business activity has strong connections in industry or expert skills to your proposed business activity in Victoria.

Employees and Turnover of the Victorian Business

  • You must agree to employ at least 2 full time employees in your main business within 24 months before lodgement of Subclass 888A.

Please note that all applicants who have been nominated by the Victorian Government under Subclass 188A program before 4 January 2021 will not be subject to the above changes.

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