Visa 188 - Significant Investor Visa (Provisional)

This visa is for applicants intending to make a significant investment(s) in Australia for a period of at least four years. This visa leads to permanent residency with the option to extend the initial four year term of the visa (see Provisional Visa Extension below). The applicant has a genuine intention to reside in the State or Territory whose government agency nominated the applicant.

Western Australian State nomination criteria includes:

  • you have business and/or personal assets of at least AUD$5,000,000 which are available for investment within the complying investment framework in Australia immediately prior to visa grant
  • you have an additional AUD$50,000 which is available for domestic and/or settlement purposes
  • you will maintain your funds in Western Australia on maturity of your complying investments

Applicants will be considered on a case-by-case basis with the long term economic benefit to the Western Australian economy being the prime factor considered for approval of State nomination.

What is the complying investment framework?

Under the complying investment framework, Significant Investor Visa (SIV) applicants will be required to invest at least AUD$5 million over four years in complying investments, which must now include:

  • at least AUD$500,000 in eligible Australian venture capital or growth private equity fund(s) investing in start-up and small private companies. (Within two years of 1 July 2015 the Government expects to increase this to $1 million for new applications as the market responds)
  • at least AUD$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)
  • a ‘balancing investment’ of up to AUD$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)

Premium Investor Visa (PIV)

The Government intends to introduce a new Premium Investor Visa (PIV) from 1 July 2015, targeting talented entrepreneurs and innovators. The PIV will offer an accelerated 12 month pathway to permanent residency, for those meeting a AUD$15 million threshold. The PIV will be available at the invitation of the Australian Government only, with potential recipients to be nominated by Austrade. This program will be rolled out over the next year, focussing on attracting a small number of highly talented and entrepreneurial individuals.

A link to the Government’s announcement and further information on the new complying investment framework for the SIV and PIV can be found on the Austrade website. Information on the process of applying for a SIV can be found on the Department of Home Affairs website.

Significant Investor Stream Visa 188 holders will become eligible for permanent residence under the 888 Significant Investor Stream once they have held their complying investment(s) in Australia for four consecutive years and met the relevant Department of Home Affairs residence criteria of 160 days accumulatively over four years.

How to apply

Lodge an application for State nomination with the Business Migration Centre (BMC). A fee of AUD$750 applies to all provisional visa nomination applications lodged with the BMC.

If  you are granted State nomination you can proceed to lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) through SkillSelect.

Once nominated in SkillSelect by the BMC, you will receive an invitation from Department of Home Affairs to lodge your business visa application which must be completed within 60 days using Department of Home Affairs electronic lodgement system.

If you do not submit your visa application within 60 days as required by the Department of Home Affairs, your State nomination will no longer be valid. If you plan to continue with your visa application you will need to submit a new State nomination application and pay the application fee to the Business Migration Centre. Please note, as State nomination numbers are limited there is no guarantee your second application will be successful and a re-nomination is not guaranteed.

Provisional Visa Extension
Applicants may be eligible for a maximum of two additional two year extensions on their provisional visa. You must first obtain State nomination before you apply for an extension. Please refer to Department of Home Affairs extending your visa information in the “visa holders” section on SkillSelect.

Significant Investor Visa 188 Extension

You might be able to extend your stay under an extension stream if you hold this visa under the Significant Investor stream and need extra time to meet the criteria for a permanent (subclass 888) visa.

Provisional visa holders in the Significant Investor stream can apply for up to two extensions for a total of additional four years so your visa can last up to eight years.

The criteria can be found on the Department of Home Affairs website.

Next steps