188 visa – Significant Investor Stream

The subclass 188 visa Business Investor Stream is for applicants who will commit to investing at least AUD 5 million in qualifying Australian investments for at least 4 years. The 188 visa offers a pathway to Australian permanent residency. 

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 through 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.

You will have up to 60 days to submit your visa application prior to receiving the invitation to apply. The visa application is accompanied by supporting documents that verify the following points:

Your Age

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.

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.

Score 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

You will need to provide evidence that you have functional English abilities for the 188 visa.

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.

Investment Documents

The investment required to be eligible for the subclass 188 visa through the significant investor stream is to be distributed as follows:

A minimum of AUD500,000 in venture capital and growth private equity funds that invest in start ups and small private companies.

A minimum of AUD1.5 million in approved managed funds. Those managed funds must invest in emerging companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).

And the remaining balance of at least AUD3 million in managed funds. These funds can consist of Australian corporate bonds or notes, annuities, commercial real estate or companies listed on the ASX.

Non-complying investments are ones investing in in residential real estate; these will not qualify for the 188 visa.

You should also avoid using investments as security or loan collateral.

Business Asset documents

You will need to submit a Statement of Assets and Liabilities Position (SALP)  using Form 1139A with in 3 months of receiving your invitation to apply for the subclass 188 visa. This form will ask you to indicate which of your assets you plan to use to fund your AUD 5 million significant investment.

You will also need to present evidence of the value of your assets and liabilities and evidence of your ownership of them. This can include:

for cash assets: bank statements, showing the account name and balance

for real estate assets: title deed, valuation certificate by an accredited property valuer, or mortgage certificate.

for personal loans: loan agreements showing the borrower and lender, loan statements showing the amount borrowed and repayment schedule.

for stocks and bonds: share or debentures certificates, fixed interest securities, ownership and market value of claimed marketable securities such as bonds.

for business assets: financial statements for each business, prepared by an independent accountant to International Accounting Standards, including a balance sheet, profit and loss statement, and notes to the accounts.  Your share of ownership in each business must also be evidenced by documents such as: historical company extracts; annual returns of directors and shareholders; partnership, trust or franchise agreements; purchase documents; share transfer documents.

Making your AUD 5 million investment

You will be asked to supply a list of your intended complying significant investments and the amounts of each investment. With this, you’ll need to include a signed declaration listing the sources of funds in your asset portfolio and confirming these funds were legally acquired.

In addition, supporting evidence that proves the source of the funds will be required for:

business income: give us evidence of business ownership, performance and profit distribution. For example, company registration and shareholder records, financial statements or taxation records

investment income: give us evidence of investment activities and performance. For example, statements issued by stocks trading company, property purchase and sale contracts, leases or investment product contracts.

gifted or inherited assets: give us duly witnessed gift deeds or wills. Also give us other evidence demonstrating how the original owner accumulated the assets

historical accumulation of wealth where official verifiable evidence is no longer available: give us bank records demonstrating continuous ownership of funds over a substantial period.

assets held in Australia: give us evidence which links the assets to the declared sources

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 significant investment continuously for the life of your provisional visa.

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

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.

Dependents over 18 years old

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.

Step 5. 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 – Significant Investor stream obligations

You will need to hold the complying significant investment continuously for the life of your provisional 188 visa.

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.