188 – Entrepreneur stream
Queensland welcomes migrants who are startup and early-stage entrepreneurs who have been endorsed to develop their concepts.
This is a state-nominated 5-year provisional entrepreneur visa. It is a stream of the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) and a pathway to permanent residency through the Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888).
State nomination for this visa is managed by the Queensland Government, through Migration Queensland, in collaboration with the Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs.
To be considered for Queensland state nomination, you must first meet the Home Affairs Immigration Eligibility Criteria.
You must also meet the Migration Queensland criteria, which will be available in the coming months.
You must be under 55 years of age.
You must have at least Competent English.
You must also meet the Migration Queensland nomination criteria below:
This visa is for startup and early-stage entrepreneurs who propose a business based in Queensland that has strong capacity for growth, generating local employment. Your business plan needs to describe an entrepreneurial activity that leads to commercialisation of a product or service.
Key assessment criteria include:
- Commitment to Queensland
- The viability of the business plan for your entrepreneurial activity
- Adequate funding available to deliver your business plan.
Detailed criteria are:
Commitment to Queensland
- Queensland offers a vibrant innovation ecosystem with opportunities to establish business networks and strengthen connections, both locally and globally. Innovation and economic growth are being driven through a diverse range of priority sectors. Applicants who can demonstrate a capability to enhance Queensland’s innovation ecosystem will be highly regarded.
- You must have a genuine and realistic commitment to permanently live and work in Queensland and continue to contribute to Queensland’s economy and society through the entrepreneurial activity.
- Your proposed business must:
- be headquartered in Queensland, and
- have a registered ABN.
- Your business plan must demonstrate how the entrepreneurial activity will lead to the commercialisation of new or improved product(s) or service(s) or the development of a new business that has the potential to become a sustainable high growth startup.
- Applicants who have completed or are participating in a Startup Accelerator program or incubator program are highly regarded.
- The Business Plan needs to cover:
- Innovation and Competitive Advantage – what is innovative, unique or new about the product or service; what competitors exist in the market and how does it differ from competitors’ existing products and services; do you own or have access to any intellectual property associated with the product/service?
- Market Potential – what market(s) are you targeting; what is the known demand for the product or service; who are the targeted customers; is the business concept scalable?
- Viability – what is your plan to commercialise and market the product or service to secure customers?
- Budget – what is your anticipated funding required to develop the entrepreneurial activity including a breakdown of funding sources and expected business costs over an initial 3 year period; what is your personal contribution funding amount (see Funding section for further details)
- Capability – a Curriculum Vitae (CV) or Resume outlining your qualifications, skills and business background relevant to the entrepreneurial activity
- Connecting in Queensland – How will the entrepreneurial activity benefit Queensland’s economy and society (see Queensland Sector Preferences section for a listing of priority sectors). How will you connect with and enhance Queensland’s innovation ecosystem, including the local startup sector, hubs and precincts (see information on Service Providers within Queensland’s innovation ecosystem, below).
- You must evidence adequate funding has been secured from a funding provider to deliver the entrepreneurial activity. Preferred funding providers can include (but are not limited to):
- Australian Government agency
- Publicly funded research or innovation organisation
- Queensland higher education provider, or
- Investor registered as an Australian Venture Capital Limited Partnership or Early-Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership
- Australian Investment Council members - who are private capital investment firms
- Angel Loop Inc. - an Angel Investor Network.
- Other source of Funds
- You must have sufficient funds for settlement in Queensland.
- You will receive are required to complete a Settlement Funds Declaration form, if invited by Migration Queensland to lodge an application.
Queensland Preferred Sectors
- Priority will be given to applications that will build on Queensland’s competitive strengths. Although the list below does not represent an exclusive list, high regard will be given to applications supporting:
- Climate Change Mitigation
- Food or Agricultural Technology
- Advanced Manufacturing
- Digital Technologies, eg cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Extended Reality (XR), robotics, autonomy, software-as-a-service (SaaS)
- Screen Industry
- Hydrogen Industry Development
- Resources Recovery
- Mining Equipment, Technology and Services
- Applications that do not offer a unique/differentiated product, service or business model will be excluded from the 188 – Entrepreneurial stream. Generally, this would be business proposals in the following categories:
- Cafés and restaurants
- Consulting businesses
- Export/import businesses
- Retail businesses
- Property development
- Residential real estate
- Labour hire
- Purchase of an existing enterprise or a franchise in Queensland.
Service Providers within Queensland’s Innovation Ecosystem
- You are encouraged to make contact with a service provider within Queensland’s innovation ecosystem, who can provide useful support and connections within Queensland’s ecosystem.
- Service providers may provide a focus on specific industry areas or Queensland regions and may deliver or link to Startup Accelerator or Incubator programs. Service providers include (but are not limited to):
- Ag Tech Hub – Toowoomba
- CoLab Growth Hub – Logan
- Gold Coast Innovation Hub
- iLab Accelerator – UQ, Brisbane
- Innovate Moreton Bay
- QiHub innovation community
- Queensland AI Hub
- Queensland XR Hub
- Remote Area Planning and Development Board
- River City Labs
- Smart Precinct NQ – Townsville
- SunRamp Health Technology Accelerator – Sunshine Coast
Review your eligibility criteria, visa conditions, and document checklist on the Department of Home Affairs website and the Migration Queensland website. Ensure that you meet both the Home Affairs criteria and Migration Queensland criteria and that you have all your documentation ready before you apply.
For Queensland state nomination, submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) with SkillSelect. Ensure that all information, such as employment experience, is included in your EOI. Preference will be given to applicants who select “Queensland” as their nominating state of choice over applicants who select “Any” state.
Migration Queensland assesses all EOIs that meet the above Home Affairs and Migration Queensland criteria. If you are successful, you will receive an email invitation to lodge an application and be requested to provide the following documents.
- Queensland State Nomination Application form
- Business Proposal Form
- A Comprehensive Business Plan
- Evidence of adequate funding to deliver the entrepreneurial activity
- Settlement Funds Declaration Form
- Passport Bio-page
Note: You must upload these documents digitally through the Document Portal link in your invitation email. Migration Queensland no longer accepts documents sent by email or post. You can only upload one document per file. If you have multiple documents, please merge and save them as one file.
When you have received your invitation from Migration Queensland:
- upload the required documents, and
- pay the non-refundable application fee to finalise your application. Do not pay the fee until you have been invited to apply and all your documents have been uploaded.
Migration Queensland will then review your application and may contact you if further information is required.
Once Migration Queensland has received and approved your completed application, you will receive a confirmation of Queensland nomination and an invitation from the Department of Home Affairs to lodge your visa application. You will be given 60 days to lodge your application with them.
Note: If you realise that you have made a mistake on your submitted EOI after receiving a nomination, or if you miss the visa application lodgment date, you may have to wait 6 months before applying for Queensland nomination again.