188 visa – Investor Stream

The 188 visa Investor stream requires an investment in Australia or at least AUD1.5 million and maintain business or investment activity in Australia for at least 4 years. The 188 visa offers a pathway to permanent residency in Australia.

Step one. Submit an EOI, selecting your business destination state of choice.

The Expression of Interest (EOI) outlines your skills, qualifications and business experience and the state or territory you would like to operate in. You can submit your EOI in or outside of Australia.

You will receive confirmation that your EOI has been received.

You can change your EOI after you submit it if you want to apply for a different visa, or your circumstances have changed. However, you can’t change it once you are invited to apply for the visa.

Step two. The state or territory will assess your EOI and nominate you to apply. You will then be invited to apply for the 188 visa via the Business Investor stream.

If a state or territory nominates you, you will receive an invitation from Australia’s immigration department to apply for the 188 visa.

Age Limit

You must be under 55 years old to receive an invitation to apply for the visa. Exceptions can be made if the nominating State or Territory conclude your activity will make an exceptional economic benefit to that State or Territory.

Your visa application will be supported by supporting documents. These are:

Identity documents

Passport page: You’ll need your current passport page with your photograph and personal details and passport expiry date.

A national identity card if you have one.

Proof of name change if applicable.

If this applies to you, you will need to include documents that prove your change of name. This could be a marriage or divorce certificate, documents that show any other names you have been known by, a lodgement of a name change on the Australian Registry of Births, Deaths or Marriages or equivalent.

65 Points

You will need to score 65 points. Points are based on your:


English language level


Professional experience

Net personal and business assets

Special endorsements

English language Requirements

If you are applying for a 188 visa through the Entrepreneur stream, you will need to provide from that you have functional English.

Other family members you are including on your application who are over 18 years old will need to have functional English.

If other family members do not have functional English, you will need to include a statement outlining your intention to pay the second visa application charge for each person who does not have a minimum of functional English.

Investor Stream documents

Overview of your Business Plan for Australia

You will need to present an overview of your proposed business or investment activity in Australia. This can be:

a statement outlining your intended business or investment activity in Australia;

A description of your research in relevant Australian sectors;

If applicable, a description of your current business activities in Australia and the duration of your ownership.

Business Assets

You will need to demonstrate that for at least 1 of the past fiscal years prior to being invited to apply for this visa, you have managed a business where either you, your partner or both of you had:

a minimum ownership of at least 10%


an eligible investment of at least AUD1.5 million.

Combined Assets

You will need to show that for the 2 fiscal years prior to your invitation to apply for the 188 visa, either you, your partner or both of you together have business and personal assets with a minimum net value of AUD2.25 million. To do this you will need to complete the immigration department’s Form 1139A which is a Statement of Assets and Liabilities Position – the SALP.

Then you’ll need to provide evidence for each of these listed assets. Qualifying sources of evidence you can use, include: trust deeds, bank statements, mortgages, valuation certificates, loan agreements, statements, share or bond registers, shares or fixed interest securities, debentures, transfer certificates, loans listed on business statements.

Evidence of business assets you have owned can be in the form of historical company extracts, annual returns of directors and shareholders, partnership, trust or franchise agreements, purchase documents, share transfer documents.

Designated Investment Funds

         You will need to provide:

From your SALP, list the funds you intend to use for your AUD1.5 million Designated Investment;

Provide a summary describing how these funds were sourced from your qualifying business or eligible investment activities;

Evidence, if applicable, of long‐term employment, profits earned and retained in your business, or investment yields.

Business Experience

You will need to show you have at least 3 years’ experience managing a qualifying business or investment. To prove this you’ll need to present:

an overview of your management activities of the business covering at least 3 years, including at least one of the 5 fiscal years prior to being invited to apply for this visa;

evidence of your share of ownership of the business, such as a historical company extract, annual returns of directors and shareholders, partnership, trust or franchise agreements, purchase documents; share transfer documents.

You will need to provide evidence of your high level of skill in managing the business for the periods covered in the summary statement.

An organisational chart of the business, showing direct management reporting lines and functional responsibilities;

a business registration certificate or licence.

You can also supply evidence showing your successful record managing an eligible investment of at least AUD 1.5 million (this excludes your home). To support this, you should provide:

a summary of your management of eligible investments for at least 3 years, including at least one of the 5 fiscal years prior to being invited to supply;

Evidence of your high level of skill in managing the eligible investments for the periods covered in the summary statement.

SALPs for any of the three years that have not been provided above.

Evidence to support the ownership of all assets and liabilities and their values on the dates of each of the three SALPs provided (see above for examples of acceptable evidence).

You will also need to prove these assets have been lawfully acquired and can be transferred to Australia within 2 years of the 188 visa being granted.

AUD 1.5 million Investment

You will need to be able to make an investment of at least AUD1.5 million in your nominating Australian State or Territory.

The investment must be in either your name or your partner’s or both of your names.

And the investment must come from an unencumbered funds generated from qualifying businesses or eligible investments.

Business Experience

You will need to show you have at least 3 years experience managing one or more qualifying business or investment and your record of doing so has been successful. You will also need to prove you have performed a high level of management skill in the qualifying business activity or investment.

Partner documents

You’ll need to provide documents proving your partner’s’ identity (eg passport photo page) and their relationship to you.

Establishing your partner’s relationship to you can be done by providing a marriage certificate or providing 12 months of proof that you are in a de facto relationship, such as, joint bank account statements, billing accounts in both names, joint leases or mortgages.

Visa Tip: How to prove a de facto relationship

Dependents under 18 years old

You will need to include identity documents, proof of their relationship to you (such as a birth certificate) and character documents where applicable for dependents, such as children, applying with you on your 188 visa application.

You will also need to obtain the written consent (using Form 1229 or by providing a statutory declaration) from anyone else who has a legal right to decide where the child lives and/or is not coming to Australia with the child. This needs to include the signature and photograph of the person who provided this written consent. Written consent can also be a statutory declaration giving their consent for the child to travel to Australia on this visa, or you can present an Australian court order allowing the child to migrate to Australia or details of a law in your home country allowing them to migrate, adoption papers or other court documents.

If you have dependents who are over 18 years old, you will need to include Form 47a detailing the ways this applicant is dependent on you. You can also include other forms of proof, such as their tax records, evidence they are currently studying and/or they live with you.

If the dependents applying are over 18 years old, you must show how they are dependent on you or your partner. You can include evidence that they live with you, tax records, proof they are currently studying, banks statements showing you have financially supported them.

If one of the dependents applying on your application is over the age of 23 years old, contact us to learn what options are available to you.

You will be notified when to make the qualifying investments which will occur after you have lodged your visa application.

You must hold a complying investment continuously for the life of your provisional visa.

Income that you earn from your investment in Australia is subject to Australian taxation law.

Step three. The 188 visa is granted.

The 188 visa is valid for 4 years and 3 months and enables you to travel in and out of Australia and carry out business and investment activities in Australia.

Subclass 188 visa –  Investor stream obligations

You must maintain your investment in your nominating Australian State or Territory for at leat 4 years. You must also have a genuine intention to live in your nominating State or Territory for at least 2 years.

While you and your family hold a 188 visa, you must comply with the visa conditions and Australian laws, including workplace laws if you are running a business. All workers in Australia have rights and protections at work that include rates of pay and workplace conditions.

When can I apply for PR?

The subclass 188 visa – is a provisional visa. To extend your stay in Australia and obtain permanent residency in Australia, you can apply for the subclass 888 visa which gives the visa holder PR in Australia. You can begin the application process for the 888 visa after you have held the subclass 188 visa for 3 years and 11 month.