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Subclass 188C: Significant Investor Visa


The significant investor stream is reserved for skilled and experienced investors and business owners who are able to make ‘complying significant investment‘ in a minimum sum of $5,000,000 in Australia for the duration of the visa period. In comparison to the investor stream, the range of investments allowed in this stream is much broader. The comparative benefits also include:

  • No age threshold;
  • No points test; and
  • Preferential processing.

Primary Criteria

  • Nomination is approved by either Austrade, or a State or Territory government authority;
    • If nominated by Austrade, the applicant is not required to live in a particular State or Territory;
    • If nominated by a State or Territory government authority, either only one party being either the applicant, or his or her spouse or de facto partner, needs to demonstrate a genuine intention to reside in the nominating State or Territory;
  • The applicant must make a complying significant investment of at least $5,000,000; and
  • The applicant has a genuine intention to hold the complying significant investment for at least 4 years.

Complying Significant Investment

Investment by a person is a complying significant investment if all of the following requirements are met:

  • The investor must be a natural person, that is an individual;
  • The investment must be unencumbered and have been lawfully acquired;
  • The investment must lawful in all aspects, and not form a basis for security or collateral for a loan; and
  • The investment portfolio must encompass:
    • $500,000 in a venture capital fund or funds;
    • $1,500,000 in emerging companies; and
    • Remaining portion in a range of government-approved investments.

Management of Complying Significant Investment

It is not necessary to have direct involvement in managing a complying significant investment, but the applicant may be required to provide evidence that the investment is made genuinely and not contrived for migration purposes. Success (or otherwise) of the complying significant investment is not a relevant assessment criteria for the prospective visa applications.

Switching Period

This term refers to a period from which the investor withdraws funds from the investment or cancels the investment, to which the investor makes the re-investment(s) with the funds. If the switching period is less than 30 days, the investment is taken to have continued during the switching period. Failure to reinvest the funds within 30 days may result in refusal or cancellation.

Application Charges

Subclass 188 visa is payable in 2 installments.

First Installment

  • Base application charge: $5,375
  • Additional applicant charge for an applicant who is at least 18: $2,685
  • Additional applicant charge for an applicant who is less than 18: $1,345

Second Installment

  • Primary applicant without functional English: $9,795
  • Secondary applicants who do not demonstrate functional English: $4,890