- Ability to work, live or study in Australia
- Safe living environment and highest standard of living in the world
- High standard education and healthcare system
- Ability to bring eligible dependents:
- Spouse or de facto partner
- Dependent children under 18
- Dependent children between 18-23 years old
- No English language proficiency required
- No points test to satisfy
- No upper age limits
- Ability to extend provisional visa twice, each for a 2-year period, giving a maximum of 8-year provisional visa
- Pathway to Citizenship
- Provisional visa > Permanent visa > Citizenship
- Make a complying significant investment in the following proportions and have a genuine intention to hold that investment for at least 4 years:
- At least AUD 500,000 in venture capital and growth private equity funds which invest in start-ups and small private companies
- At least AUD 1.5 million in approved managed funds investing in emerging companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange
- A ‘balancing investment’ of at least AUD 3 million in managed funds that may invest in a range of assets
- If the investment is withdrawn, it must be re-invested into another complying investment within 30 days
- Investments of AUD 5 million must be made into complying investments for a minimum period of 4 years
- The applicant must prove that the assets or funds used for the complying investment have been lawfully acquired
- The applicant must meet Australian health and character requirements
- Physical residence of a minimum of 160 days over 4 years
- Have a genuine and realistic commitment to live in the nominating State or Territory and continue business and investment in Australia
- Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) via “Skill Select” online service in order to be nominated by a State or Territory Government
- Upon receiving a nomination from a State or Territory government and an invitation to apply, submission of an online visa application within 60 days
- Upon receiving the approval-in-principal of the visa application, the investor will be advised when to make the complying investment
- Upon making the complying investment, the temporary visa will be issued
- The visa has a duration of 4 years and 3 months (which can be extended up to 8 years) with a minimum requirement for physical residency in Australia
What is the difference between subclass 188 and subclass 888 of the Business Innovation and Investment visa program?
The Business Innovation and Investment Visa has a 2-stage process to obtain residency. The visa holder will first need to obtain a provisional visa (subclass 188) (i.e. a temporary residence visa) for 4 years. After complying with the necessary business and/or investment requirements, the visa holder may apply for a permanent residence visa (subclass 888).
Who may apply for 188c?
For investors who:
- Are willing to make a complying significant investment of at least AUD 5 million in an Australian state or territory for four years
- Receive nomination from an Australian State or Territory government agency or Austrade
Who may be included in the application?
- The Applicant can include their spouse and dependent children to the application.
- Dependent children are defined as the Applicant’s child, or their partner’s child, who is not engaged, married or in a de facto relationship and is:
- aged under 18 years, or
- aged 18 to 23 years and dependent on the Applicant or the Applicant’s partner, or
- aged 23 years or older and dependent on the Applicant or the Applicant’s partner due to a partial or total physical or mental disability.
How long is the provisional SIV valid?
The visa is valid for four years and three months from the date it is granted.
How do you apply?
Applications must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) and be nominated by a State or Territory Government. After submission of EOI and nomination from a State or Territory government, the Applicant will have 60 days to lodge the visa application through and then if the application is accepted the Applicant will be advised when to make the complying investment after which the visa will be issued
Are there any other requirements?
- Health – The Applicant and his accompanying family members must be in good health.
- Character – Police certificates from each country the Applicant has lived in for 12 months or more during the past 10 years after they turned 16 years of age. All family members are required to provide this even if they are not migrating.
- English requirement – There is no requirement to demonstrate the ability to speak English and the Applicant and family members can pay an additional fee to meet this requirement.
- There is no point test requirement or age limit.
Does the Applicant need to prove the source of funds for the investment?
- Yes. The onus is on the Applicant to provide relevant and reliable documentation to evidence how they accrued their funds.
What is a Complying Significant Investment?
To be a Complying Significant Investment, the following proportions shall be respected:
- At least AUD 500,000 in venture capital and growth private equity funds which invest in start-ups and small private companies;
- At least AUD 1.5 million in approved managed funds investing in emerging companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange;
- A ‘balancing investment’ of at least AUD 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.
- Direct investment in residential real estate continues to be prohibited and indirect investment in residential property through managed funds is now strictly limited.
- Investments must not be used as security or collateral for a loan.
What happens if the value of the complying significant investment falls below AUD 5 million?
The value of the complying significant investment must be at least AUD 5 million at the time the authority decide whether or not to grant the visa. Once granted, it does not matter if the complying investment falls below AUD 5 million.
If the Applicant withdraws his complying significant investment while holding the visa, he will need to reinvest it into another complying significant investment within 30 calendar days. If not, it will be considered as a breach of visa condition and the visa may be cancelled.
Are there any residence requirement for subclass 188c visa holders?
Yes. The Applicant must have been living in Australia for
- at least 40 days per year for the 4-year period OR
- at least 160 days over the 4-year period
Can the spouse of the Applicant meet the residency requirement if the Applicant cannot meet it?
Yes. The Applicant’s spouse or de facto partner can meet the residency requirement for the family. The spouse would need to reside in Australia for:
- at least 180 days per year OR
- at least 720 days over the 4-year period.
If this is the case, the Applicant would not need to meet the minimum residency requirement.
What if neither party can meet the residency requirement in the 4-year period?
The Applicant can apply for the SIV extension and extend the provisional visa for a further 2 years to allow them to meet the residency requirement. If an extension is granted that means the Applicant does have to meet a further residency of another 40 days per year bringing the total to 240 days over the 6-year period. The Applicant can apply for two extensions lasting up to eight years.
What is the processing time?
Approximately 12-24 months
Can current investments (investments prior to application for the provisional SIV) be counted towards the AUD 5 million’s investment?
No, Applicants are required to make a new investment after the application for the SIV, but prior to visa grant.
Are the Applicant and his family able to work or study in Australia as a provisional SIV holder?
Yes, there is no limitation with regard to the right to undertake work or study for the Applicant and his family.
What is the general residence requirement to become an Australian citizen?
The general residence requirement is based on the amount of time the applicant has lived in Australia. He must meet all of the following:
- has lived in Australia on a valid Australian visa for four years immediately before applying;
- must have been a permanent resident for the 12 months immediately before making an application and not have been absent from Australia for more than one year in total, during the four-year period, including no more than 90 days in the 12 months before applying.
Read also about the New Zeland investor visa
The present document is intended for guidance and general information only and does not constitute or purport to provide you with legal advice. Such information is subject to changes without notice. Each case is unique and depends on the facts and circumstances of the individual and due consideration should be taken if applying the general information to your personal situation. For an evaluation of your personal circumstances one of our legal team would be happy to assist.