• Ability to work, live or study in Australia
  • Safe living environment and one of the 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

Investment Options

  • 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  • If the investment is withdrawn, it must be re-invested into another complying investment within 30 days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
  • 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 188b?

For investors who:

  • Are willing to make a complying investment of at least AUD 1.5 million in an Australian state or territory for four years
  • Are under the age of 55
  • Have at least 3 years’ experience managing one or more qualifying businesses or eligible investments
  • Have assets of AUD 2.25 million for the 2 fiscal years immediately before being invited to apply
  • Score at least 65 on the points test
What categories do you get points for?
    • Age
    • English language ability
    • Qualifications
    • Business experience
    • Net personal and business assets
    • Business turnover
    • Innovation
    • Special endorsement
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:

    1. aged under 18 years, or
    2. aged 18 to 23 years and dependent on the Applicant or the Applicant’s partner, or
    3. 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 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 are 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 – If the Applicant and family members are not able to demonstrate function English (i.e. score 4.5 on the IELTS test) an additional fee is payable.

Is the income earned from the complying investment in Australia is subject to tax under Australian taxation law?


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.

When is the Applicant required to make the investment?

The Applicant is only required to make the investment after submission and successful application and a request letter for the investment has been sent. Within 70 days of the date of the letter request, the Applicant must be able to evidence the transfer of funds to the nominating state or territory, which assets have been liquidated and used, and if the source of the funds came from those evidenced in the application.

Are there any other requirement relating to the investment funds?

The investment must be made from unencumbered funds generated from qualifying businesses or eligible investments. Investment funds may not come from loans.

Are there any residence requirement for subclass 188b visa holders?

Subclass 188b visa holders must have lived in Australia for at least 2 of the 4 years immediately before he/she apply for subclass 888b permanent residence visas.

How long is the subclass 188b visa valid?

The visa is valid for four years and three months from the date it is granted.

Can the subclass 188b visa holder extend the visa?

No. This is only available for the 188a (Business Innovation Stream) and 188c (Significant Investor Stream).

How long is the subclass 888b visa valid?

The visa is a permanent visa, meaning that it allows the holders to stay in Australia permanently.

How long is the processing time?

It is approximately 18-24 months.

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.