Subclass 188A:
Extension Visa

Transitioning from a provisional Subclass 188 visa to a permanent Subclass 888 visa may not be smooth if the relevant criteria are not met by the near-expiry of the Subclass 188 visa. In this contingency, the Subclass 188A visa holder may apply for an extension. If granted, the visa holder may effectively stay in Australia for the maximum period of 6 years from the date of the initial grant of the Subclass 188A visa.

This option is only available once, and should be invoked carefully as a lifeline. Failure to satisfy the requirements of the grant of a Subclass 888 visa by the end of the extended period may jeopardise the visa holder’s ability to receive permanent residency.

Eligibility Criteria

The primary visa holder must have held the 188A for at least 3 years to be eligible to apply for extension. In addition, there are other eligibility criteria:


No age requirement applies. Holders of Subclass 188A visas may be older than 55 years old when applying for the extension.

Ownership Interest in Main Business:

Holders of Subclass 188A visas must have had, and continue to have, an ownership interest in one or more actively operating main businesses in Australia for at least 2 years immediately before the application for the extension is made.

Substantial Presence for Business Operation:

In order to apply for the extension, holders of Subclass 188A visas must demonstrate that they need to be residing in Australia in order to operate their main business and manage its day-to-day affairs. This criterion however does not require physical presence at all times.

Application Charges

First instalment:

  • Base application charge: $645
  • Additional applicant charge for an applicant who is at least 18: $325
  • Additional applicant charge for an applicant who is less than 18: $165
  • Second instalment: Nil