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Major Changes in Australia’s Business Migration Strategy: BIIP Closure and Introduction of the National Innovation Visa

The Australian Government has announced significant changes to its business migration strategy, impacting the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP). These changes are part of a broader effort to revitalise the country’s approach to attracting global talent and investment, ensuring economic benefits for Australia.
Closure of the BIIP
The Government has decided to permanently close the BIIP from July 2024. This means no new Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) (subclass 188) visa applications will be accepted. This decision follows a comprehensive Migration Review, which found that the BIIP delivered poor economic results. Studies by the Treasury and the Productivity Commission also support these findings.
Introduction of the National Innovation Visa
As part of the new migration strategy, the Government is considering a new talent and innovation visa, the National Innovation visa, which is expected to be available by the end of 2024. This new visa aims to attract individuals with exceptional talent and innovative capabilities, aligning with Australia’s goal of fostering a dynamic and forward-looking economy.
Processing of Current Subclass 188 Visa Applications
There is no need to worry for those who have already applied for the subclass 188 visa. The Government will continue to process current applications in line with its priorities and Migration Program planning levels. However, policy guidance for the BIIP will be tightened to ensure that all business migrants coming to Australia have had a successful business career and will bring economic benefits to the country.
Pathway to Permanent Residency
Holders of the subclass 188 visa who meet the criteria for the Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) (subclass 888) visa can continue on this pathway even after the closure of the BIIP in July 2024. Additionally, those holding a subclass 188 visa in the Business Innovation stream or the Significant Investor stream can still apply for the extension stream of the visa. This extension will provide more time to meet the requirements for the subclass 888 visa.
Refunds for Visa Application Charge

Refunds for the subclass 188 Visa Application Charge (VAC) will be available starting September 2024 to accommodate those who may want to withdraw their applications. The Department of Home Affairs will provide more detailed information on the process for withdrawal and requesting refunds when it becomes available.

The closure of the BIIP marks a significant shift in Australia’s approach to business migration, reflecting the Government’s commitment to ensuring that migration programs deliver tangible economic benefits. The introduction of the National Innovation visa represents a forward-thinking strategy aimed at attracting top global talent and fostering innovation within Australia.

Visit the Department of Home Affairs website for more information and updates on these changes.

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