Significant Investor Stream (188C)

Home Significant Investor Stream (188C)

Subclass 188C Significant Investor Visa Stream

Business Innovation and Investment
Provisional 188C Visa

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This 188C business visa is  available to applicants who are nominated by a State or Territory government agency or Austrade to invest at least  $5 million (AUD) that meets certain requirements and have a genuine intention to hold that investment for at least for 4 years. After 4 years, the applicant can apply for permanent residence through the Business Innovation & Investment (Residence) Subclass 888 visa. In order to be nominated, the applicant must lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) through the SkillSelect system.

Requirements of 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.


Our Company History

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Subclass 188A Business Innovation Stream

  • The applicant will need to be sponsored by a State/Territory Government
  • There must be an acceptable business proposal for the sponsoring State/Territory
  • 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;
  • The business turnover must be at least $500 000 for 2 of the previous 4 years
  • Applicant must be able to accumulate 65 points in the Points Test
  • Applicant should be under 55 years old

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Subclass 188B Investor Stream

  • under 55 years old
  • meet 65 points in Points Test
  • have a successful record of eligible investment or qualifying business activity
  • have at least 3 years experience in managing business(es) or eligible investments
  • have net business and personal assets of $2.25 million in past 2 years
  • there is no business turnover requirement
  • For one of past 5 fiscal years – either:

(a) Managed qualifying business & hold 10% of total value of business


(b) Managed eligible investments & net value of investments at least $1.5million

  • make a designated investment of $1.5 million into state/ territory bond for 4 years before the visa is granted

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Subclass 188D Premium Investor Visa Stream

  • Requires investment of $15 million
  • No residency requirement after visa grant
  • Accelerated process to permanent residence subclass 888 after 12 months
  • Criteria aligns with priorities of government’s national investment policy
  • Complying Investments are more flexible in terms of investment class


This is what is not allowed under the Premium Investor 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), but this investment will not be assessed for Premium Investor Visa purposes.
  • ‘Loan back’ arrangements where the investment is used as collateral by the applicant is excluded.

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Subclass 188E Entrepreneur Visa

The applicant is under 55 years old unless the applicant shows exceptional ability. For this Subclass 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

Unlike other Business Innovation & Investment streams the applicant in this stream must have Competent English (equivalent to IELTS 6 or PTE 50). Also, the applicant must undertake a complying entrepreneur activity  and is nominated by State/Territory Government.


What is a complying entrepreneur activity ?

  • commercialisation of a product or service in Australia; or
  • development of an enterprise or business in Australia.


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