This page is regularly updated. The last update was: May 30, 2024

The Australian Government announced that it will close the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) from July 2024 and replace it with the new National Innovation Visa. Follow this link for more details about the National Innovation Visa.

188 Significant Investor Visa (SIV) Australia - Making the move

Australia is always the top desitnation for family to enjoy the quality of living standard, education and outdoor activities. Work Visa Lawyers has professional Immigration Lawyers and Agents to deal with your Visa matters. We also have trusted financial advisory partners who are eligible to manage your investment portfolio in Australia.

We understand it could be time-consuming to know if the SIV is for you or not. 

For a quick assessment of your best Australian Business Visa options, please visit our FREE assessment tool: Business Visa Compare

Business Visa Australia Assessment tool

What is the Significant Investor visa 188 Australia?

The SIV is part of the Business Innovation and Investment Program Visa 188 Australia, and is one of the fastest and easiest ways to get permanent residency and even citizenship in Australia.

SIV 188C is for investors who are interested in getting PR in Australia by investing $5 Million Australian Dollars in Complying Investment Framework being designated by Australian Government.

Visa 188C Australia Business Visa Australia 188 Visa Significant Investor Visa 188

Who can get the Significant Investor Visa Australia?

SIV is suitable for high net worth individuals who are able to invest AUD 5 million in Australia. The visa requirements are:

  • You must possess and be willing to invest AUD 5 million;
  • The investment must comply with the Complying Investment Framework (CIF);
  • There is no minimum English requirement for this visa. But if you have less than functional English then you will have to pay an 2nd Instalment fee;
  • You must reside in Australia no less than 40 days per year.

What are the advantages to the Significant Investor Visa (SIV) 188C?


Unlike other Business Innovation and Investment Visa 188 streams, which requires different criteria to be met, Visa 188C Significant Investor stream appears to be the easiest one which has much fewer requirements. Let's see the most advantageous points for applying for SIV 188C.

  • No upper age limit;
  • No English language requirement;
  • No points test;
  • Able to bring eligible dependants (spouse/partner, dependent children up to 23 years old);
  • No academic qualification requirement;
  • No business management skills or fund management experience requirements;
  • May be applied for from within Australia or outside Australia;
  • Ability to extend visa (up to 8 years in total);
  • Flexible residential requirement (you need only reside in Australia 40 days per year); and
  • Pathway to permanent residency.

Significant Investor Visa 188C Australia Requirement

RequirementSpecific Requirement for Significant Investor Visa 188 Criteria
Nominated by state or territory in Austrlia Visa 188C applicants must be nominated by an Australian state or territory government or Austrade before the lodgement date
Investment Distribution 

If you were invited to apply on or after 1 July 2021

To be granted visa 188 Significant Investor stream, you must make (on or after the time of application for this visa), a complying significant investment of at least AUD5 million when we invite 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 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

Each state has different requirement on Investment distribution such as New South Wales Significant Investor Visa with 50% in emerging companies in the state.

Concession may apply to some specific visa 188c holders during the pandemic who were affected by the travel restrictions. 

Please book an appointment here for the best advice from our Immigration lawyers and agents >>

For more details, please refer to the "State Comparison in Significant Investor Visa 188C Australia" below.

English Language 

There is no minimum English requirement for this visa.  You can get this visa with no English. But if you have less than functional English then you will have to pay an 2nd Instalment fee. 

The additional fee will be of AUD 9,795 for primary applicant, plus AUD 4,890 for any secondary applicants; 

Meet health and character requirement

You and any family members who apply for the visa 188C must meet both health and character requirement

Family members who are not coming to Australia might also have to meet our health requirement

Family members who have not applied for the visa 188C significant Investor must also meet the character requirement.

Good Credit Rating

You must have no debt to the Australian Government

You might not be eligible if you have had a visa cancelld or a previous application 

You must no have a history of involvement in unacceptable activities

State Specific Requirements for Significant Investor Visa Australia

Subclass 188C Significant Investor Visa New South Wales requirements:

Residential Requirements 188C Visa

You must have a genuine commitment to reside in NSW and contribute to NSW through your investment activity.

State’s requirements for 188C Visa

Your complying investments will make a contribution to the NSW economy.

At least 50% of your venture capital component must be invested in:

  • a venture capital fund that makes eligible investments in businesses headquartered in NSW; and
  • the general partner of the venture capital fund maintains an office in NSW

At least 50% of the emerging companies component must be invested in securities issued by a company or trustee headquartered** in NSW, that are either:

  • quoted on ASX Limited; or
  • securities (Australian non-ASX quoted securities) quoted on an Australian securities exchange other than ASX limited

At least 50% of your balancing investments must bring benefits to NSW. This can be shown where:

  • the funds have an office in NSW; or
  • the business of underlying investment is headquartered in NSW; or
  • the business activities of underlying investment are of economic benefit to NSW

**NSW defines 'headquartered in NSW' as:

  • having an ABN registration address in NSW; and
  • a sufficiently significant proportion of the company’s overall activities are in NSW as to merit it being described as a NSW company; and
  • the company’s activities are substantial in NSW and are not merely peripheral activity of the company

Subclass 188C Significant Investor Visa Victoria requirements:

Residential Requirements 188C Visa

You must intend to live in Victoria. You and your family cannot live in other states or territories of Australia.The visa holder is required to purchase or rent a residential home as evidence of their residence in Victoria.

State’s requirements for 188C Visa

Complying investments will make a contribution to the Victorian economy.

Victorian based Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership (ESVCLP), Venture Capital Limited Partnership (VCLP) or a Fund of Funds (AFOF). The fund must be registered with the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources and comply with the current applicable Complying Investment framework. This includes eligible Private Equity funds.

VC funds are considered “Victorian” if they have an operating business address in Victoria (not a home office – must be a reasonable commercial address that is fit for purpose) and have a dedicated employee resource located in Victoria.

All complying balancing and Emerging Companies investments made by Victorian Government nominated Significant Investor Stream visa holders must either ensure that the:

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

Any eligible investment under the Complying Investment Framework that includes investment into businesses, infrastructure, projects or ventures located in Victoria is considered to be a Victorian Investment.

Subclass 188C Significant Investor Visa Queensland requirements:

Residential Requirements 188C Visa

Demonstrate a genuine commitment to Queensland.

State’s requirements for 188C Visa

  • Complying Investment Framework (CIF)
  • 20% in Venture Capital & Growth Private Equity funds (VCPE) that invest in start-up and small private Companies
  • 30% in approved managed funds that must invest in emerging companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange
  • 50% in balancing investments of managed funds

Subclass 188C Significant Investor Visa South Australia requirements:

Residential Requirements 188C Visa

Intend to live in South Australia.

State’s requirements for 188C Visa

  • The complying investment fund must materially benefit South Australia.
  • The choice of investment options is based on the client’s own preference and Department of Home Affairs complying investment requirements.

Additional Visa 188c Significant Investor Visa requirement

Agree to register your arrival in South Australia and maintain current contact details for the duration of your visa.

Subclass 188C Significant Investor Visa Western Australia requirements

Residential Requirements 188C Visa

Applicants and any family members (dependents) residing in Australia are required to live, work and/or study in Western Australia.

State’s requirements for 188C Visa

Agree to re-invest the $5 million complying investments into any Western Australian assets, upon maturity of the complying investment.

Subclass 188C Significant Investor Visa Australian Capital Territory requirement:

Residential Requirements 188C Visa

Agree that you and any family members (dependents) live, work and/or study in Canberra.

State’s requirements for 188C Visa

Your complying investments will make a contribution to the ACT economy. For example:

  • Venture capital and growth private equity fund investing in start-ups and small private companies in the ACT; or
  • Venture Capital Limited Partner (VCLP) fund component in a fund that is actively sourcing investment in the ACT.

Subclass 188C Significant Investor Visa Northern Territory requirement:

Residential Requirements 188C Visa

NT Government nomination is not transferable to any other Australian state or territory.

State’s requirements for 188C Visa

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

Additional Visa 188c Significant Investor Visa requirement

You must notify Australia's Northern Territory (NT) Government of your contact details, including any changes.

Note: South Australia is one of the most welcoming States for significant investors. It does not have many additional requirements for the investment fund and does not require the 188C holder to reinvest to the State.

Significant Investor Visa 188C to Permanent Residency 888 Visa Requirement

As discussed, the best thing for Business Innovation and Investment stream Visa 188 Australia is its ability to obtain permanent residency (PR Visa 888) and even Australian Citizenship.

Live Work and Study in Australia with Significant Investor Visa 188

Each 188 visa stream has different requirement where the 188C Visa requirement is amongst the easiest one overall.

Let's look at how simple the requirement is:

Name of RequirementDetails of Requirement to Australian PR for Significant Investor Visa 188C

Residential Requirement for 188C Visa holders 

40 days per year for primary applicant, or 180 days per year for secondary applicants

Being Nominated

Be nominated by the state and territory that the Visa 188C holders invest in


Maintain the investment of $5M AUD during the time holding visa 188C

If you run out of time of Visa 188c and have not yet met the eligibility criteria, you can extend the 188C for another 4 years.

With Work Visa Lawyers, one of the best Immigration Lawyers in Significant Investor Visa 188C Australia, we value the time and investment you spend on this visa and will ensure to limit the risk of extending this visa 188C.

What is the application process for SIV 188C?

  1. Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI)
  2. Apply for state/territory nomination depending on where you plan to establish your business and live in Australia
  3. Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) once the state/territory nomination is approved
  4. Submit your visa application within 60 days of receiving the ITA
  5. Provide all supporting documents by mailing certified copies to the correct Department of Home Affairs (DHA) office
  6. Before your visa is granted you will be provided instructions to make the complying investments by transferring AUD 5 million into Australia
  7. Your visa will be granted once the investment is verified by DHA.

Other Frequently Asked Questions for Visa 188C Australia

Considering 188C Significant Investor Visa requires higher investment amount than the other streams and the benefits while holding 188C visa is similar to others, is it more difficult to apply?

We understand the amount of investment is higher than the other 188 Visa streams with a $5M ready to invest in. In return, you will receive a lot of advantages from applying for 188C Visa:

  1. NO age limits
  2. NO Minimum English requirement
  3. NO Business experience required
  4. NO require primary applicant to reside in Australia for a long period of time and flexible in residential requirements
  5. NO Academic qualification requirement
  6. NO Points test
  7. Faster Processing time for 188C Visa applications

Business Visa Compare is a unique tool in the market which helps you find the best Business Visa Australia options for you.

Compare Australian Business Visas

What is the residential requirement for 888 and what if I cannot meet it?

If you cannot meet the residential requirement but your partner can meet it, you are still eligible for the 888. Your partner must have been residing in Australia for a minimum of 180 days per year.

I have invested in Australia before the 188C Visa application, can I deduct that amount to the $5M AUD investment as the visa requires?

Unfortunately you cannot use any existing investment amount in Australia to meet the $5M investment required for 188C Visa.

You can withdraw the fund to add into what you have had before the application lodged because it is easy to prove the source of funds.

It is compulsory to invest exactly $5M at the application date.

Are there any risks around the 188C Visa application such as investment, application process, cashflow management?

Yes, there are a significant number of risks you might have to face if you do not follow professional advice from Immigration Lawyers:

  1. Investment fund risk: Choosing insecure fund or not satisfying Australian Government requirement
  2. Missing good investment opportunities because of delaying in documentation process: you might experience some delay if your documents are not clear, or in low quality scan and not updated regularly by your representatives
  3. Choosing wrong and misleading agencies can make your investment gone

Please choose agencies with excellent reputation and trusted partners to manage your fund. Work Visa Lawyers is proud to be one of the most professional Immigration Law firms in Australia.

Book an Appointment

I am completing the application process for Significant Investor Visa; can I change the investment fund distribution?

Yes, you can change the investment distribution given that you have notified the Australian Government and the fund goes to a complying investment framework of Australia.

Where can I apply for the Visa 188? Can I apply for 188 Visa onshore?

It depends on the situation. You might be required to apply for Visa 188C offshore or onshore.

Book an appointment to know the exact answer >>

Do I have to prove the source of the investment fund?

Yes, it is compulsory to prove the source of fund for Visa 188C application. Work Visa Lawyers has seen many applicants who were struggling with this process. To avoid it, please talk to professional immigration lawyer in Australia for the best advice.

Can I Study or work full time while holding Visa 188C?

Yes you can and your dependent will also be able to enjoy the benefit of Australian Education with paying domestic fee for most schools in Australia such as secondary school, high school or primary school and below bachelor degree level.

After being granted 188C Visa, Can I stay anywhere in Australia?

It depends on who invited you to apply. If Austrade invited you, you can stay anywhere in Australia. If you are nominated by a state or territory of Australia, you must reside in that state or territory.

How does Work Visa Lawyers deal with the $5M Investment to apply for 188C Visa Australia?

Work Visa Lawyers’ trusted partners will help 188C Visa clients manage their $5M AUD investment. Work Visa Lawyers manage all the documents necessary to the Visa 188 application and Permanent Residency 888 Visa application.

Why is Work Visa Lawyers a good partner for your Significant Investor Visa 188 in Australia?

An application for the Significant Investor visa must be handled with care as the visa involves demonstration of significant assets (AUD 5 million) and the preparation to liquidate AUD 5 million for transfer into the complying investments before the visa is granted. The team at Work Visa Lawyers has extensive experience in compiling financial and business documents from different countries and submitting the information in an organised manner for the DHA to process the documents smoothly.

Work Visa Lawyers works with accredited fund managers to provide options to our clients for the complying investments.

Our team of experience Immigration Lawyers and Migration Agents look forward to assisting you with your Australian visa.

Based in Adelaide South Australia, we provide Australian Immigration advice to people and businesses from all over the world.

Talk to us today and find out how we can assist with your application for a Significant Investor visa.


More about the Business Visa Australia Agents and Lawyers

Understanding the difficulties in choosing the best Australian Business Visa options, Business Visa 188 Agents and Lawyers team have worked together to create this tool to help experienced business owners or investors find their best Business and Investor Visa options in Australia.

Work Visa Lawyers has strong immigration knowledge and committed to keep updating our website and Business Innovation and Investment news in Australia.

Work Visa Lawyers ® is a migration firm founded by Lawyer Chris Johnston in 2011. Our team is focused on providing quality immigration services to our clients, wherever they are in the world. We speak English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Punjabi, Hindi, Tagalog (Filipino), Portuguese and Vietnamese.

We can help you with the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) for the following four streams and Global Talent Visa:

We are experts in Business and Investor Visas 188 and Global Talent Visa 858 in Australia. We help overseas business owners, investors to create a new life in Australia with their family much faster through those visa streams.

Business Visa Lawyers Australia Work Visa Lawyers

Learn more about our Business & Global Talent Visa Team >>


Book an Appointment

Learn more

10 Reasons to love the 188 Significant Investor Visa

Changes to Australia Business Visas – 188 Innovation, 188 Investor, 188 SIV and 188 Entrepreneur

7 Things You Need to Know About Australia’s 188C SIV Significant Investor Visa


Sign up to our Migration Newsletter

Work Visa Lawyers works on Kaurna Land
We acknowledge and pay respect to the past, present and future Traditional Custodians and
Elders of this land and this nation, and the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational
practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

This site's contents are for general information purposes only
We recommend you seek advice from a Registered Migration Agent and Lawyer
(such as Work Visa Lawyers) in relation to your factual situation and relevant migration laws

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation

Site by Adelaide Websites