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Overview of the Australia Business Innovation and Investment Programme Visas & Upcoming Changes

Overview of the Australia Business Innovation and Investment Programme Visas & Upcoming Changes


Business visa options are popular among overseas business owners seeking to obtain an Australian visa for their family to settle down and enjoy a better quality of life in Australia. There are a few different options and each has its unique criteria and obligations to fulfil. The six visa options available on 1 July 2015 are:

  • 188A Business Innovation
  • 188B Investor
  • 188C Significant Investor Visa
  • 132A Significant Business History
  • 132B Venture Capital Entrepreneur
  • Premium Investor Visa

Work Visa Lawyers has created a summary that provides an overview of the options. The summary includes new complying investment requirements for the 188C Significant Investor Visa (SIV) and the new Premium Investor Visa (PIV). Click on the images to load the table in a larger format.

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Do take note that the summary is an overview of the business and investment visa options available and your personal circumstances will need to be assessed to determine your eligibility for the visas available. Contact Work Visa Lawyers if you need our Registered Migration Agents to assess your eligibility for the visas above.

What are complying investments?

Complying investments are investment products designated by the Australian Government for the investment purposes of the 188C SIV and the new PIV.

Complying investments for a Significant Investor visa include:

  • At least AUD500,000 in eligible Australian venture capital or growth private equity fund(s) investing in start-up and small private companies. Note the Government expects to increase this to $1million for new applications within two years as the market responds;
  • At least AUD1.5 million in an eligible managed fund(s) or Listed Investment Companies (LICs) that invest in emerging companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX); and,
  • A ‘balancing investment’ of up to AUD3 million in fund(s) or LICs that invest in a combination of eligible assets that include other ASX listed companies, eligible Australian corporate bonds or notes, annuities and real property in Australia (subject to the 10% limit on residential real estate).

For a total investment of at least AUD 5 million.

Eligible investments for the Premium Investor visa will be investments in:

  • An Australian managed fund
  • Australian securities exchange listed assets
  • Australian government or semi-government bonds or notes
  • Corporate bonds or notes issued by an Australian exchanged listed entity (or wholly owned subsidiary of the Australian listed entity) or investment grade rated Australian corporate bonds or notes rated by an Australian Financial Services licenced debt rating agency
  • Australian proprietary limited companies
  • Real property in Australia (subject to the exclusion of direct investment in residential property and limit of 10% indirect investment in residential real estate as part of a fund’s net assets)
  • Annuities issued by Australian registered life companies that do not repay capital during the qualifying period
  • State and territory government endorsed philanthropic donations.

For a total investment of at least AUD 15 million.


Comments by Chris Johnston – Principal Lawyer and Registered Migration Agent at Work Visa Lawyers

The biggest change that will come into effect on 1 July 2015 is that investors on the 188C SIV will be unable to invest all their designated AUD 5 million into one passive investment product such as government bonds or real estate funds. With AUD 500,000 minimum required to be invested in venture capital or growth private equity funds, you may be better off considering the 132B where you are required to obtain AUD 1 million from a venture capital firm but obtain permanent residency from day 1. This is compared to having to wait 4 years under the 188C before being able to apply for a permanent resident visa. The 132 visas might be more attractive to business and investment migrants starting 1 July 2015.

Work Visa Lawyers is already working with relevant financial institutes which are lining up financial products that fulfil the requirements as a complying investment.



This information is accurate on 25 June 2015

Do you need help with an Australian visa application?

At Work Visa Lawyers we are experienced in assisting applicants in all matters relating to Australian visa applications. Our areas of expertise include Skilled Migration visas, Business Skills Migration visas – 188, 132 and 888, Employer Sponsored Work Visas, Partner and other Family Migration visas as well as Migration Review Tribunal, Judicial Review and Ministerial Intervention.

If you require further information regarding your Australia visa options you can contact us through:

(08) 7225 5091 or +61 8 7225 5091

or   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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