Business Innovation and Investment Class EB Subclass 188 Significant Investor Stream Or Business SIV (Subclass 188) Visa: Who Is Eligible To Apply
The Business SIV (Subclass 188) visa or 188C visa allows a person to bring their family to live in Australia and, who is willing and able to invest at least $5mil in complying significant investment in Australia for at least 4 years. You must also have at least $200,000 for your living expenses.
You can only apply for Business SIV (Subclass 188) visa if you are nominated by an Australian state or territory (click here if you are interested in Victoria government nomination), or Austrade. And invited by the Department of Immigration (Department of Home Affairs) to apply for the visa.
Can I live anywhere in Australia?
If you are nominated by Austrade, you can live anywhere in Australia. But if you are nominated by a state or territory, you must only live in that state or territory.
What do I have to invest?
Before the Department of Immigration grant you and your family the Business SIV (Subclass 188) visa, you are required to make a complying significant investment of at least $5mil over 4 years. The investment must be made through an Australian Financial Services (AFS) licensed manager having their business or domiciled in Australia. The funds manager must be independent of you and/or your partner (spouse or de facto partner). The investment can be made in the following proportions:
- at least 10% or $500,000 invested in venture capital and growth private equity funds (VCPE) registered with AusIndustry. The funds will be used to invest in start-ups and small private companies;
- at least 30% or $1.5mil in approved managed funds invested in emerging companies listed on the ASX; and
- at least $3mil in “balancing investment” in managed funds, can comprise of any combination of (1) and (2) above, that invest in a range of assets, including ASX listed companies, Australian corporate bonds or notes, annuities and commercial real estate.
You cannot make either direct or indirect investment in residential real estate or residential property through managed funds.
After making the complying investment, you cannot use these investment as security or collateral for a loan.
If this visa does not suit you, you may like to consider other Business visas (click here to learn more about Business 188A visa or Investment 188B visa).
How long do I have to invest?
You must make new significant investment and you must have a genuine intention to maintain the complying investment for at least 4 years from the date of visa grant. Before the Department of Immigration grant you the Business SIV (Subclass 188) visa, you will have to provide evidence that you have made the $5mil complying investment.
You must be able to demonstrate that your funds (that is, $5mil) are legally accumulated and you are able to trace back its source and must not be encumbered.
Acceptable source of funds can be gifts, bequests and inheritance. However, they must also be lawfully acquired by the benefactor. Funds earned from lawful gambling, such as, casino, sports, horse racing and public lottery wins, are also acceptable.
After you have been granted the Business SIV (Subclass 188) visa, you may switch or change between complying significant investment as long as the same mandatory amount or proportion (including any gain) is maintained. You cannot withdraw any gain made from the investment when you switch to other investment type. If there is a loss, the total sum reinvested must be at least the amount initially invested less the amount lost including any capital gain or loss for the duration of the visa. If you decided to change or switch investment, you have 30 days to reinvest or you will breach condition 8557 visa for not maintaining a complying significant investment and your visa may be subject to visa cancellation.
If your complying investment make a loss, you will not be able to sue the government.
The Business SIV (Subclass 188) visa is a provisional or temporary visa. However, at the end of the visa, you can apply for the permanent Business Innovation and Investment Class EC Subclass 888 visa (click here to learn more about Subclass 888 visa). To satisfy the criteria for the permanent Subclass 888 visa, you must have resided in Australia for at least 40 days in each year. Or your partner has resided in Australia for 180 days per year. You do not have to reside in Australia on a continuous stay on any 1 visit. This residency requirement is based on an aggregate period that may consist of any number of short visits. There is no residency requirement for all other secondary applicants.
If you, as the primary applicant, are unable to satisfy the permanent Subclass 888 visa criteria, for example, not being able to satisfy the residency requirement, you may apply for an extension. However, you must be nominated again and have held the Business SIV (Subclass 188) visa for at least 3 years. If granted the extension, your visa will be extended a further 2 years or 4 years if you are already holding the Business SIV (Subclass 188) Extension stream. In another word, you may request for 2 extensions. You must continue to hold the complying significant investment and satisfy the health requirement.
Adding family members
You may include new family members after you have been granted the Business SIV (Subclass 188) visa.
Children born in Australia have the same visa as their parents.
New family members can also apply for the Business SIV (Subclass 188) visa even if they are outside of Australia. Under policy, it is accepted that your family circumstances may change during the visa validity period making it easier for a new partner or child born outside Australia to obtain the same visa.
New family members (applying as subsequent entrants) will be assessed without having to reassess whether all the other visa holders in the family unit will satisfy the Business SIV (Subclass 188) visa criteria.
If you are in Australia when you apply for this visa, you may be granted a bridging visa to allow you to stay in the country until your application is finalised (click here to learn more about bridging visa).
Australian migration law is complex and difficult to understand, contact our immigration lawyer for a consultation (fee applies) to help you decide if you are eligible to apply for the Business Innovation and Investment Class EB Subclass 188 Significant Investor stream (click here to find out how an immigration lawyer or registered migration agent can help you). You may also refer to our FAQs for answers regarding visa application or visa cancellation by clicking here.
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This article is not intended to be or taken as migration legal advice. The author of this article disclaims any liability for any action or omission on the information provided or not provided in this article. You should always consult an immigration lawyer or a registered migration agent to form an informed opinion on your immigration matter.