Business Visa 188C Significant Investor stream

Invest at least AUD5 million in Australian investments

Business Visa 188C INVESTOR

Investment Types

Investments must be provided by an Australian Financial Services (AFS) licensed manager domiciled in Australia, and must be independent of the applicant and their spouse/ partner. Investments are also permitted through a complying ‘Fund of Fund’ or an Investor Directed Portfolio.

Investment 10% in Venture Captial

A mandated minimum of 10% of the AUD5 million investment (or AUD500 000) is to be invested in Venture Capital and Growth Private Equity (VCPE) funds registered by AusIndustry.

Because the market for venture capital operates in a manner such that funds may not necessarily be called on immediately, funds will be taken upfront and held in a specified vehicle.

Applicants must enter into a commitment with a VCPE within 12 months of the date of EB188 visa grant; and the funds must be called on within the 4 year visa period to be eligible for the Business 188 visa.

Invest 30% in managed funds

A mandated minimum of 30% (or AUD1 500 000) is to be invested through eligible managed funds into emerging companies, with specific requirements. Contact us for more

AUD3000 000 in to other investment

The AUD3 000 000 balance of investments can be made up through eligible managed funds into any combination of a higher proportion into the two categories above; or a range of other complying significant investments. For further details please contact us.

The investor must be an individual and the complying significant investments must be made:

  • personally by the primary applicant or
  • with their spouse or defacto partner together or
  • through a company for which all issued shares are owned either by the primary applicant (or the primary applicant and their spouse or defacto partner together) or
  • through a valid trust for which the trustee is the primary applicant (or the primary applicant and their spouse or defacto partner together) and the beneficiary is the primary applicant (or the primary applicant and their spouse or defacto partner together).

Source of funds for the investment

 the funds used to make the complying significant investment:

  • must be unencumbered and
  • must be lawfully acquired.

the investment is lawful and prohibits the visa applicant from using the investment as a basis for security or collateral for a loan. This is the case whether the loan is in the applicant’s name or is being used as security for another person or an entity’s loan. It also requires that the investment not be used as security for a loan in a structured investment product.

Note: Gifts, bequests, and inheritance are acceptable sources of funds 

support ownership 

Evidence requested includes documents that assist in tracing investment funds back to legitimate business and investment activities, for example:

  • historical financial documents
  • evidence of dividends or retained profits in business available for distribution and
  • records of assets valuation, acquisition, and disposal.

The types of documentation will vary depending on a casebycase basis such as the source of funds, the applicant’s nationality and country of residence

As a visa requirement

Requires the applicant to make a new or fresh complying significant investments of at least AUD5 000 000

Requires the applicant to have a genuine intention to maintain the required complying significant investments for at least 4 years’ from the date the visa was granted

The investment must include:

  • a total of at least AUD500 000 invested, or to be invested, in one or more venture capital funds and
  • a total of at least AUD1 500 000 in emerging companies investments.

Any remaining portion of the investment may be invested in one or more balancing investments or in either of the two options listed above.

The value of the significant investment might fluctuate throughout the duration of the visa.

Subsequent value

Once the applicant has provided evidence that they held complying significant investments of a total value of at least AUD5 000 000 at the time of the decision, it is irrelevant whether the value of the investments subsequently changes when exposed to the market.

If the applicant does not switch between complying significant investments, they are required to maintain the AUD5 000 000 amount invested including any capital gains or reductions for the duration of the visa.

If the applicant does switch between complying significant investments, they are required to fulfill the same mandatory proportions of complying significant investments

If a venture capital investment is realized, the realized investment can go into any other complying significant investments

If the value of the complying significant investment has decreased as a result of market exposure, the total sum reinvested in other complying significant investments must be at least the amount initially invested minus the amount lost.

Dividends paid to the applicant are considered acceptable investment earnings

Managing the investment

The applicant is not required to have direct involvement in managing the complying significant investment. However, the applicant may be required to provide evidence that the investment is made genuinely and not contrived for migration purposes.

Switching period

switching period of 30 calendar days, being the time from which the funds are removed from the first investment until the time the funds are invested into the second investment

Inviting the applicant to make investment

the invitation to the applicant to make an investment should be the final stage of processing the visa application.

Standard letter

There is a standard letter officer should use when inviting an applicant to make an investment.

The visa ‘first entry’ date

The Grant letter indicates the date by which the applicant (and family) must first enter Australia (refer to the standard letter).

188 – Significant Investor Extension Stream

This visa is an extension to your current 188C – Significant Investor Stream. To be eligible for an extension, you will need to hold 188C for at least 3 years and you will be granted an additional of 2 years. Your reason to extend this visa is that you require more time for the investment to mature. You will need to provide the same documents provided from the previous visa just need to be updated with the improvements after 188C – Significant Investor Stream.

Transition to permanent resident

after 4 years of holding this visa, you will be eligible for a permanent visa application (subclass 888)

Residence requirements for a permanent visa

  • the primary applicant to reside in Australia for 40 days per year
  • OR the secondary applicant (spouse) to reside in Australia for 180 days per year.

Note: It is not necessary for the applicant to have been in Australia for 40 days each year in the period or the applicant’s spouse  to have been in Australia for 180 days each year in the period.

  • there is no residency requirement for all other secondary applicants. There is no requirement of continuous stay on any one visit


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