Significant Investor Visa Lawyer Melbourne.

Subclass 188C visa is reserved for skilled and experienced investors and business owners who are able to make complying investments’ in business in Australia with a minimum sum of $5 million for the duration of the visa period. The aim is to encourage and facilitate business innovation and investment in Australia. Subclass 188C, just like any other visa streams, is a temporary visa that leads to the significant investor stream of a Subclass 888 visa upon satisfying the eligibility.

Australian migration law requires the applicants to satisfy the eligibility criteria for a visa to be granted. In the visa scheme for significant investors, a subclass 188 investment provisional visa must be granted first before considering visa application for the permanent visa. Please be alert that Australian permanent residency is highly desirable and requires commensurate effort by the visa applicants. Furthermore, immigration law is voluminous and complex, which is the reason why visa applicant should always consult with registered migration agents and/or immigration lawyers.

Comparative Benefits

  • The range of business innovation and investment allowed in this stream is much broader in comparison to the investor stream;
  • No age threshold;
  • No English requirement;
  • No points test; and
  • Preferential processing.

State Comparisons

Immigration law preconditions government approval in which successful applicants must be nominated by a State or Territory government authority, or sometimes Austrade. Their deliberation process often pins on internal circumstances, such as economic and social ones. Different States have different visa nomination requirements.

South Australia and Northern Territory

The criteria by the Department of Home Affairs must be satisfied and the accurate contact details must be up-to-date with Immigration SA until the permanent residency is granted.


To qualify for Victorian Government nomination, it must be shown that the managed funds will make a contribution to the Victorian economy and business in two (2) key investment areas:

  • Venture Capital and Growth Private Equity fund is actively sourcing business innovation and investment in Victoria.
  • The managed fund provider maintains a business office in Victoria.

Western Australia

Applicants will be considered on a case-by-case basis, with the long term economic benefit to the Western Australian economy and business innovation and investment being the prime factor to be considered for approval of State nomination.

New South Wales & Queensland

  • The investors must commit to investing at least $5 million in business in compliance with the Austrade Complying Investment Framework.

Austrade – Complying Investment Framework

  • Any investment must be provided by an Australian Financial Services (AFS) licensed manager(s) domiciled in Australia
  • Fund managers must be independent of the applicant and their spouse
  • Investments are permitted through a ‘Fund of Fund’ (FoF) or an Investor Directed Portfolio Service (IDPS) into complying managed fund(s) only.
  • The funds may be held in cash for up to 30 days in a FoF or IDPS at the time of first investment by the applicant and during any switching period.

Visa Eligibility

  • The applicant may be nominated by a State or Territory government, or Austrade;
  • With Austrade nomination, the applicant is not required to live in a particular State or Territory;
  • With nomination by a State or Territory government, only one party (being either the visa applicant or his or her spouse or de facto partner) needs to demonstrate a genuine intention to reside in the State or Territory;
  • The applicant must make the complying investment of at least $5,000,000 for at least 4 years of holding the provisional visa; and
  • The applicant has a genuine intention to hold the complying investment for at least 4 years of holding the provisional visa.

Complying Significant Investment

A significant investor needs to satisfy the following requirements:

  • The visa application must be made by a natural person, that is an individual;
  • Investment funds must be unencumbered and have been lawfully acquired;
  • The investment portfolio must contain investments that are lawful in all aspects and do not form a basis for security or collateral for a loan; and
  • The portfolio must encompass:
  • $500,000 in Venture Capital and Growth Private Equity (VCPE) funds – The full amount are to be taken upfront for the visa requirements into either a Cash Management Trust (CMT) held in escrow, or an Australian bank account as security for a bank guarantee in favour of a VCPE, to meet capital calls by the VCPE over the investment horizon.
  • $1,500,000 in emerging companies – Fund Managers are to have and maintain a minimum $100m in firm-wide funds under management to offer complying funds to the applicants.
  • Remaining balance in government-approved investments – Real property in Australia is allowed subject to the 10% limit on residential real estate. Cash is to be no more than 20% of the fund.

Portfolio Management

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

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 this period (“switching period”) is less than 30 days, the investment is taken to have continued. Failure to re-invest the funds in another business within 30 days may result in refusal of the subsequent permanent visa application or cancellation of the temporary visa.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do I need to invest to get a business visa in Australia?

To get a visa for business in Australia, you need an investment portfolio with a minimum sum of $5,000,000 that comprises investments into venture capital funds, complying investments, emerging business and government-approved investments.

A Subclass 188 Business Innovation & Investment Provisional Visa lawyer in Melbourne can help, providing any advice you may need and helping you to get your business visa.