Significant Investor Stream (Subclass 188 Visa)

The Significant Investor Stream of the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa (Subclass 188) lets migrants who can invest at least AUD5 million in Australian investments live in Australia while carrying out investment activities.



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

  • Carry out investment activity 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 Significant Investor Stream of the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) Visa, candidates must:

  • Be nominated by a state or territory government agency or Austrade to invest at least AUD5 million that meets specific criteria and have a genuine intention to hold that investment for the duration of their visa
  • Have at least functional English
  • Meet Australia’s health and character requirements


To get an invitation to apply for the Significant Investor Stream, candidates must make a complying significant investment of at least AUD5 million. Candidates must also have a genuine intention to hold that investment for the duration of their visa. 

Candidates must invest their AUD5 million in the following proportions: 

  • At least AUD1 million 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 AUD2.5 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
  • Commercial real estate


The Significant Investor 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 Business Innovation Stream 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

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).

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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