Australian 188 visas
Australian 188 visas

A guide to 188 Visas

Over recent years Australia has become the worlds leading destination for high net-worth individuals seeking a return on their investment that cannot be measured in monetary terms alone.

The popularity of 188 visas

Australia is exceptionally located benefiting from close links to the Asian economies while maintaining historical links to Great Britain, the USA and New Zealand. By providing world-class medical, educational and economic infrastructure Australia is able to deliver one of the highest standards of living in the world. 

How to qualify

There are four streams for investors, innovators and Entrepreneurs.  Each providing a four-year visa leading to Permanent Residency.

Our table below explores each option in more detail. While our experts are available to assess your eligibility and to answer any questions you may have regarding emigration to Australia.

Business and Innovation 188a Visa

This is a 4-year temporary option. Once you have established an ownership interest in an Australian company, you can apply for permanent residence through the Business Innovation & Investment (Residence) Subclass 888 visa.

A 2-year extension is possible once you have held the subclass 188 for three years, giving you six years from the date of grant of the original visa.

Do I Apply in Australia or Overseas?

You can either be in Australia or overseas when you lodge your application.

If you are in Australia, you must hold a substantive visa or a Bridging A, B or C.

Managed Solutions

We provide a complete tailored emigration by investment solution. Our qualified experts assist with both your emigration case and sourcing the Compliant Investment Framework most suited to your individual emigration requirements.

The Criteria

The Business Innovation Stream requires you to have owned a business and to be intending to establish business operations in Australia. You will need to meet the following specific requirements:

  • Ownership of a company with a turnover of at least AUD 500,000 for at least 2 of the last four fiscal years; and
  • Net personal and business assets of at least AUD 800,000; and
  • Under 55 years of age, unless the nominating state or territory certifies that you will make an exceptional economic benefit; and
  • Meet the pass mark in the Business Innovation and Investment Points test (currently 65)
  • Have an overall successful career in business

State/Territory Nomination

This is only available to applicants who are nominated by an Australian State or Territory government.

Eligibility for Permanent Residence

To qualify for a permanent Business Innovation & Investment (Residence) Subclass 888, you would need to meet the following criteria:

  • You have been in Australia on your subclass 188A for at least 12 months, within the two years before lodgement
  • Owned and operated a business in Australia for at least 2 years before the application with an annual turnover of at least $300,000 for the 2 of the last four years.
  • You or your partner must meet two of the following three criteria for the last 12 months:
    • Assets of at least $200,000 in the business
    • Net personal and business assets of at least $600,000 in Australia
    • Employed at least two Australian full-time employees in your business in Australia

Investor Stream 188b

The most popular class, used by those investors who meet the 65 points eligibility criteria as required by the Department of Home Affairs. 

If you would like to review your options speak to one of our experts.

Duration and Conditions

This is a 4-year temporary stream. Once you have maintained an investment in Australia for 4 years, you can apply for permanent residence through the Business Innovation & Investment (Residence) Subclass 888.

Do I Apply in Australia or Overseas?

You can either be in Australia or overseas when you lodge your application.

If you are in Australia, you must hold a substantive visa or a Bridging A, B or C.

The Criteria

This option requires you to have managed investments or owned a business, and to be willing to invest AUD 2.5 million within a licenced and compliant investment framework:

For at least 1 of the last 5 fiscal years, you have either:

  • Managed a business in which you hold a 10% shareholding; or
  • Managed “eligible investments” of at least AUD 2.5 million

“Eligible investments” for the purposes of the Investor Stream include:

  • Ownership interests in a business
  • Cash on deposit
  • Stocks or bonds
  • Real estate
  • Gold or bullion
  • Loan to a business

State/Territory Nomination

This visa is only available to applicants who are nominated by an Australian State or Territory government.

Eligibility for Permanent Residence

To qualify for a permanent Business Innovation & Investment (Residence) Subclass 888, you would need to meet the following criteria:

  • You have been in Australia on your subclass 188B visa for at least 2 years, within the 4 years prior to lodgement
  • Maintained your investment in Australian State or Territory bonds for the last 4 years.

Significant Investor Subclass 188c

The Significant Investor 188C visa provides a 4-year visa for an AUD 5 million investment in Australia. The Investment must be within a compliant and licenced investment framework.

As a benefit of investing AUD 5m. The investor is exempt from any restriction regarding age, points test or language ability.

Our team are happy to discuss your emigration options in more detail.

Duration and Conditions

This is a 4-year temporary option. Once you have maintained an investment in Australia for 4 years, you can apply for permanent residence through the Business Innovation & Investment (Residence) via Subclass 888.

You will need to spend at least 40 days per year in Australia on your Significant Investor permit for the last 4 years and be sponsored by a state or territory government to qualify for a permanent subclass 888.

Do I Apply in Australia or Overseas?

You can either be in Australia or overseas when you lodge your application.

If you are in Australia, you must hold a substantive visa or a Bridging A, B or C visa.

Applications can only be lodged online via the SkillSelect system.

State/Territory/AusTrade Nomination

This visa is only available to applicants who are nominated by an Australian State or Territory government or by AusTrade.

Visa Requirements

For grant of the visa, applicants must make an investment of at least AUD 5 million in a “complying investment”. A “complying investment” for the purposes of the Significant Investor Visa must be made up of:

  • At least $500,000 in venture capital and growth private equity funds which invest in start-ups and small private companies
  • At least $1.5 million in approved managed funds investing in emerging companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.
  • A ‘balancing investment’ of up to $3 million in managed funds that may invest in a range of assets, including ASX-listed companies, Australian corporate bonds or notes, annuities and commercial real estate.

Premium Investor Subclass 188e

The Premium Investor 188e is a 4-year visa for entrepreneurs with innovative ideas and financial backing from a compliant Venture Capital fund in Australia.

After spending 2 years in Australia and being sponsored by a state or territory government the entrepreneur may apply for a permanent residence through the Business Innovation & Investment (Residence) Subclass 888 visa. 

Do I Apply in Australia or Overseas?

You can either be in Australia or overseas when you lodge your application.

If you are in Australia, you must hold a substantive visa or a Bridging A, B or C.

Applications can only be lodged online via the SkillSelect system.

Nomination to emigrate

This is only available to those who are nominated by AusTrade or a state government.

Our team are happy to discuss your emigration options and to answer any question you may have.

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