188D Business Visa - Premium Investor Stream

Home Premium Investor Stream (188D)

188D Premium Investor (PIV) Stream

188D Business Visa
Premium Investor Stream

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The 188D visa is a temporary visa that allows the applicant to live in Australia up to 4 years and 3 months.  This is a pathway to apply for a permanent Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888) Premium Investor stream if certain requirements are met. First, the applicant must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). If Austrade accepts the EOI and nominates the applicant then the Department will invite the applicant to apply for this 188D Premium Investor visa.  Austrade will not accept unsolicited expressions of interest.

Eligible investments must be in Australian managed fund(s) or direct investment in:

  • Australian securities exchange listed assets.
  • Australian government or semi-government bonds or notes.
  • Corporate bonds or notes issued by an Australian exchange listed entity (or wholly owned subsidiary of the Australian listed entity) or investment grade rated Australian corporate bonds or notes rated by an AFS licensed debt rating agency.
  • Australian proprietary limited companies.
  • Real property in Australia excluding residential property.
  • Deferred annuities issued by Australian registered life companies and more.


NOT allowed under the Premium Investment Visa:

  • Cash is to be no more than 20% of a fund’s net assets and derivatives are to be used for risk management purposes only.
  • Direct investment into residential real estate is excluded and indirect exposure through investment vehicles is to be restricted to less than 10% of a vehicle’s net assets. Investors can invest in residential real estate (FIRB rules apply) – this investment will not be assessed for PIV purposes.
  • ‘Loan back’ arrangements where the investment is used as collateral by the applicant is excluded.

Other 188 Visa Eligibility streams

Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 188)

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Subclass 188A Business Innovation Stream

  • Applicant and the Partner must have a net business and personal assets of $800,000 which can be transferred to Australia within 2 years of visa been granted
  • Business turnover must be at least $500,000 for 2 of the previous 4 years
  • Pass 65 points in the Points Test
  • Under 55 years old
  • An acceptable business proposal for the sponsoring State/Territory
  • Sponsored by a State/Territory Government

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Subclass 188B Investor Stream

  •  The applicant has overall had a successful record of eligible investment activity or qualifying business activity.
  •  The applicant has had a total of at least 3 years experience of direct involvement in managing one or more qualifying businesses or eligible investments
  • The applicant has demonstrated a high level of management skill in relation to the eligible investment or qualifying business activity.
  • Applicant has net business & personal assets of $2.25million for 2 years immediately before application
  • For at least one of the 5 fiscal years immediately before the time of invitation to apply for the visa – either one of the following must apply:

(a)  both of the following to apply:

(i)  the applicant must maintain direct involvement in managing a qualifying business;  &

(ii)  the applicant & Partner had an ownership interest of at least 10% of the total value of the business;


(b)  both of the following to apply:

(i)  the applicant maintained direct involvement in managing their eligible investments

(ii)  and the total net value of the eligible investments was at least AUD1 500 000.

Need to make investment of $1.5m in government bonds when asked to do so, and before the visa is granted.

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Subclass 188C Significant Investor Visa Stream

  • Applicants must make an investment of at least $5million.
  • From 1 July 2015, the law requires the following $5million investments:
    • At least $500,000 in eligible Australian venture capital or growth private equity fund(s) investing in start-up and small private companies.
    • At least $1.5 million in an eligible managed fund(s) or Listed Investment Companies (LICs) that invest in emerging companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX); and
    • A ‘balancing investment’ of $3 million in managed fund(s) or LICs that Invest in a combination of eligible assets that include other ASX listed companies, eligible corporate bonds or notes, annuities and real property (subject to the 10% limit on residential real estate).


  • Direct investment in residential real estate is banned.
  • A portion of funds can be permitted to flow into commercial real estate, but only via managed funds.
  • There will be enhanced measures to improve protection for investors.
  • Need to spend 160 days in Australia over 4 years or for Spouse to reside in Australia for 180 days per year (over 4 years)
  • Need to prove that funds are unencumbered and source of funds are legitimate.

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Subclass 188E Entrepreneur Visa

For this 188E visa, the applicant must find a Partner from one or more of:

    • Commonwealth/State/Territory Government;
    • Publicly Funded Research or Innovation Organisation;
    • Investor registered as an Australian Venture Capital Limited Partnership or Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership; or
    • Higher Education Provider


Applicant must:

  • be nominated by a State or Territory Government
  • usually be under 55 years old
  • have Competent English (equivalent to IELTS 6 or PTE 50)

For this application to proceed, the applicant must undertake a complying entrepreneur activity.


The activity must be worth at least $200,000(AUD) with the Applicant holding at least 30% interest in the entrepreneurial entity. Further, at least 10% of funding must be payable to the entrepreneurial entity within 12 months from the day that the activity commences. The applicant is expected to provide a business plan showing how the innovative idea will lead to the commercialization of a product or service in Australia, or the development of an enterprise or business in Australia.

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