Investor Stream (Subclass 188 Visa)

The Investor Stream of the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 188) lets migrants who can invest at least AUD2.5 million in Australian investments live in Australia while carrying out business and investment activities.



Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa holders under the Investor Stream can:

  • Carry out business and investment activities in Australia
  • Live in Australia for up to 5 years
  • Bring eligible family members to Australia
  • If eligible, apply for a permanent residence through the Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) Visa (Subclass 888)


To apply for the Investor Stream of the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa, candidates must:

  • Be under the age of 55
  • Be nominated by a state or territory government agency to invest at least:
    • AUD2.5 million that meets specific criteria
    • Have net business, investment and personal assets worth at least AUD2.5 million
  • Score at least 65 on the points test
  • Have at least functional English
  • Meet Australia’s health and character requirements


Candidates must meet the requirements below to qualify to apply for the Subclass 188 visa through the Investor Stream:

Management of a qualifying business or eligible investments:

Candidates must have directly managed one of the following for at least one of the five fiscal years immediately preceding the invitation to apply:

  • A qualifying business in which the candidate, their partner or the candidate and their partner combined had at least 10% ownership interest, or
  • An eligible investment of at least AUD2.5 million that the candidate, their partner own, or the candidate and their partner combined

Required assets:

For the two fiscal years immediately preceding the invitation to apply, the candidate, their partner, or the candidate and their partner combined must have business and personal assets with a net value of at least AUD2.5 million.

These assets must have been lawfully acquired and be available for transfer to Australia within two years of Australia granting the visa to the candidate.

Invest in Australia:

The candidate must invest at least AUD2.5 million in Australia and hold these investments continuously for the duration of their provisional visa.

The candidate must make their investment 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 AUD750,000 in approved managed funds. These funds must invest in emerging companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange
  • A ‘balancing investment’ of at least AUD1.25 million in managed funds. These funds can invest in various assets, including companies listed on the Australian stock exchange, Australian corporate bonds or notes, annuities and commercial real estate.

The right experience:

Candidates must have:

At least three years of experience managing one or more qualifying businesses or eligible investments

A successful record of eligible investment or qualifying business activity

Demonstrated a high level of management skill in relation to the eligible investment or qualifying business activity


The Business Innovation Stream (Subclass 188 Visa) application process has six steps:

Any immigration should always start with an eligibility assessment to determine if the prospective migrant meets Australia’s Subclass 188 Visa requirements.

The next step in the process, if the migrant is eligible to operate a business in Australia, is completing an English test.

English tests are a way to prove your English language skills. Most English tests have four parts that test your reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. Migrants most often use the IELTS, but other tests are also available.

With the English test completed, the migrant will submit an Expression of Interest (EOI). The EOI is the way in which a migrant shows their interest in applying for a Subclass 188 visa.

EOIs include the following details:

  • Personal information, for example given names and surname, date of birth, countries of citizenship and/or residence
  • Skills, qualifications and business experience
  • Any information related to state nomination
  • English language proficiency

Your EOI will be visible to state and territory governments for nomination if you scored at least 65 points. If you get a nomination, you'll get an invitation to apply for the Subclass 188 Visa.

Migrants whose EOIs are selected will get an Invitation to Apply. Invitations to Apply include the following information:

  • The visa subclass under which the migrant is getting an invitation to apply
  • The time frame within which the migrant must submit their visa application
  • Any additional information the Department of Home Affairs wants, if applicable

The migrant prepares and completes their visa application with all necessary paperwork and submits their application. The migrant can apply from overseas or while in Australia.

The migrant gets the outcome of their visa. They can be in or outside Australia while Home Affairs decides on their application.


No, the Subclass 188 visa is a provisional visa valid for up to 5 years. However, it is a pathway to permanent residence. Eligible candidates can apply for permanent residence through the Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) Visa (Subclass 888).

Yes, Subclass 188 Visa applicants can include immediate family members in their application. Candidates can also add dependent children to their application at any time before Australia decides on their visa application.

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