188 (Significant Investor) Visa


  1. What is the 188 (Significant Investor) visa?
  2. 188 (Significant Investor) Visa Eligibility
  3. 188 (Significant Investor) Visa Checklist
  4. 188 (Significant Investor) Nomination Requirements

What is the 188 (Significant Investor) visa?

If you wish to carry out investment activity in Australia, you may wish to apply for the 188 Business Innovation and Investment visa, in the Significant Investor stream.

With this visa, you can:

  • carry out investment activity in Australia
  • stay up to 4 months and 3 years
  • apply for a permanent Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888) Significant Investor stream if certain requirements are met


188 (Significant Investor) Visa Eligibility

You must be:

Nominated by an Australian State or Territory government agency or Austrade before being invited to apply for this visa

Make a complying investment of at least AUD 5 million:

  • To be granted this visa, you must make (on or after the time of application for this visa), a complying significant investment of at least AUD5 million when the Department invites you to, and have a genuine intention to hold that investment for at least 4 years. It must be invested in the following proportions:
    • at least AUD500,000 in venture capital and growth private equity funds which invest in start-ups and small private companies
    • at least AUD1.5 million in approved managed funds. The managed funds must invest in emerging companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange
    • a ‘balancing investment’ of at least AUD3 million in managed funds
  • The managed funds can invest in a range of assets, including companies listed on the Australian stock exchange, Australian corporate bonds or notes, annuities and commercial real estate.
  • You cannot make direct investment in residential real estate, and indirect investment in residential property through managed funds is strictly limited.

You and your partner must have had no history of involvement in business or investment activities that are of a nature that is not generally acceptable in Australia.

Meet the health, character and English language (unless you pay the second instalment of the visa application charge) requirements.

Have no debt to the Australian government, and not have had a visa cancelled or a previous application refused.


188 (Significant Investor) Visa Checklist

You can find the complete document checklist under the ‘Gather Your Documents’ page on the Department of Home Affairs website.


188 (Significant Investor) Nomination Requirements

NSW The Significant Investor stream is for eligible applicants who are willing to invest at least A$5 million into complying investments in Australia.

To qualify for Victorian Government visa nomination, you must show that your complying investments will make a contribution to the Victorian economy in two key investment areas:

1. Venture Capital and Growth Private Equity investment

To demonstrate economic benefit to Victoria through your Venture Capital and Growth Private Equity investment you will need to show that:

  • the Venture Capital and Growth Private Equity fund is actively sourcing investment in Victoria, or
  • the Venture Capital and Growth Private Equity fund provider maintains an office in Victoria.

2. Emerging companies and balancing investment

To demonstrate economic contribution to Victoria through your combined ‘emerging companies’ and ‘balancing investment’ components, you will need to show that:

  • Victorian investment is included in the chosen investments, or
  • the managed fund provider maintains an office in Victoria.

Your fund manager can provide you with a fund compliance form that indicates the contribution the fund will make to Victoria.


Your fund manager must provide you with sufficient information to allow you to fully understand the terms and conditions of an investment and the financial risk involved in that specific investment.


Nomination requirements

  • Must be able to meet the Department of Home Affairs visa requirements
  • Must genuinely intend to live in Tasmania permanently and continue to contribute to Tasmania
  • Have an agreement to invest at least AUD 500 000 into a Complying Significant Investment that is of economic benefit to the Tasmania. For example:
    • minimum $500,000 investment in a venture capital and growth private equity fund actively investing in start-ups and small private companies in Tasmania;
    • minimum $500,000 investment in a ‘balancing’ investment component that includes significant Tasmania based investments.

First to be considered for Queensland nomination for the SIV, you must first:

  • meet the Australian Government’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s (DIBP) criteria. Visit the DIBP website for detailed information. www.border.gov.au/Trav/Visa-1/188-
  • demonstrate that you have at least A$5 million in assets readily available for transfer into complying investments in Australia
  • meet the complying investment frameworks set by Austrade and provide details of your complying investment intentions to BSMQ
  • demonstrate a commitment to Queensland with an intension to reside in Queensland and any additional investment.
South Australia

To meet the South Australian provisional nomination requirements you must:

ACT This is a provisional (4 year) visa for people who want to invest AUD$5 million into a Complying Significant Investment. The SIV Balancing Investment must have an economic benefit to the ACT.
Northern Territory

This visa is if you are intending to invest at least AU$5 million into complying investments in Australia and want to maintain business and investment activity in Australia.

A state or territory government or Austrade can nominate you on behalf of the Australian Government.

Australia’s Northern Territory (NT) Government targets genuine, high calibre applicants who are willing to invest and do business in the NT.

The prime factor considered for approval of NT nomination is the long-term benefit to the NT economy.

Nomination criteria will change from time to time to reflect the NT’s emerging needs.

Western Australia

Western Australian State nomination criteria includes:

  • you have business and/or personal assets of at least AUD$5,000,000 which are available for investment within the complying investment framework in Australia immediately prior to visa grant
  • you have an additional AUD$50,000 which is available for domestic and/or settlement purposes
  • you will maintain your funds in Western Australia on maturity of your complying investments

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

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