What is a subclass 188C visa?

Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) – Significant Investor stream for people who are willing to invest at least AUD 5 million into complying investments in Australia and want to maintain business and investment activity in Australia after the original investment has matured.


visa 188c australia


The benefits of the subclass 188C visa


Benefits Details
Residence Staying in Australia for up to 5 years (or previously up to 4 years and 3 months).
Social security Applicants are entitled to access some of social security benefits.
Including family members Family members can come to Australia together with the main visa holder.
Multiple entries Being able to travel outside Australia and return as many times as they want when the visa is valid.
Education and working Being allowed to work and study, especially being entitled for free English study.
Applying for Australian citizenship, if eligible Permanent resident visa holders have the opportunity to become Australian citizens.


Advantages of the subclass 188C visa

Differently from other business/investment streams, there are no following requirements:

  • Age
  • Migration Points
  • Education/business experience requirements

However, satisfying sources of fund requirement and choosing a low risky and profitable investment fund organization is very important. VEM’s migration specialist will provide you best advice and assistance.


Summary of core SIV criteria – Subclass 188C (Stage 1)

The requirements of subclass 188C visa (phase 1)


Requirements Details
Be nominated Applicants must be nominated by an Australian State before being invited to apply for this visa.

This visa is for people who invest at least 5 million AUD in investment funds regulated by the Australian Government.

  • at least 1 million AUD in venture capital and growth private equity funds which invest in start-ups and small private companies.
  • at least 1.5 million AUD in approved managed funds. The managed funds must invest in emerging companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.
  • a ‘balancing investment’ of at least 2.5 million AUD in managed funds.
English Score at least 4.5 IELTS, or an equivalent English test result (applicants can pay an additional fee if not meet the requirement).
Health Must meet the health requirements regulated by the Australian Government.
Criminal Records
  • Applicants and partners have no history of illegal business or investment in Australia.
  • Have no debt to the Australian Government. If so, applicants must have paid it back or have an approved arrangement in place to pay it back.
  • Have no criminal records.


In order to have proper preparation from the beginning and the best assistance through your visa process, let VEM accompany you. At VEM, Mr. Phong Cao – an Immigration Specialist licensed by the Australian Government (MARN: 1577877) is the person who directly advises and assists you with the whole process. Not only for the first visa stage, he will continue assist you with the PR stage when you come to Australia.


Summary of core SIV criteria – Subclass 888C visa (Stage 2)


Requirements Details
Length of stay in Australia with a subclass 188C visa 40 days/year (for applicants), or 180 days/year (for dependent applicants).
Be nominated

Having a nomination approval by the stage/territory where the applicant is investing before being invited to apply for the 888C visa.

Investment Maintain an investment of 5 million AUD throughout the 188C visa holding period.


How to stay in Australia if the subclass 188C visa expired?

No more extension of the visa is allowed except for the previous legacy visa holders.


Step-by-step of the subclass 188C visa

Step 1: Assessing applicant’s ability to qualify for this visa
Step 2: Preparing documents
Step 3: Submitting applicant’s Expression of Interest (EOI)
Step 4: Be nominated by a State or Territory, and then be invited to apply.
Step 5: Applying for the visa
Step 6: Additional documents if needed.
Step 7: Making the investment
Step 8: The subclass 188C visa is granted

As a client with VEM, our qualified migration specialist will advise and guide you through your whole visa process.


australian visa 188c


What must prepare for the subclass 188C visa documents


Documents Details
Identification papers
  • Passport photos.
  • Certified copies of the applicant’s passport.
  • Certified copies of the applicants’ ID cards.
  • Certified copies of the applicant’s birth certificate.
  • Marriage certificates (if any).
  • Proof of change of name, if applicable
Nomination letter Complete form 1414 and send it to the territory/state where you want to do investment.
Business and investment No requirements.
English Provide proof of the applicant’s financial capacity.
Judicial Records
  • Applicants and partners have no history of illegal business or investment in Australia.
  • Have no debt to the Australian Government. If so, applicants must have paid it back or have an approved arrangement in place to pay it back.
  • Have no criminal background.
Documents for accompanying person (if any)
  • Identification papers.
  • Proof of his/her eligibility.
  • Proof of the relationship with the main applicant.


The cost of the subclass 188C visa


Visa application charge installments Visa costs

(not including 1.4% surcharge)

Main applicants

Additional applicants
Over 18 years old Under 18 years old
First installment: the time of lodging a visa application. 13,860 AUD 6,930 AUD 3,470 AUD
Second installment: Additional applicants who are 18 years old or older have less than functional English (4.5 IELTS). 9,795 AUD 4,890 AUD 0 AUD


The processing times of a subclass 188C visa


Processing times
75% of applications 19 Months
90% of applications 22 Months


VEM’s CEO – Mr. Phong Cao who directly advises, appraises and supports customers to make documents. So if you apply for a subclass 188C visa with VEM, you have the right to expect your application to be processed smoothly.


Subclass 188C visa


Obligations of a subclass 188C visa applicants

Within 4 years and 3 months of holding a subclass 188C visa, applicants need to fulfill the following obligations to meet the conditions for applying for a subclass 888C visa:


Obligations Details
  • Applicants must have a genuine intention to live in the State or Territory whose government agency nominated them.
  • Continue business and investment activity in Australia.
  • Applicants must make a complying significant investment of at least AUD5 million.
  • Income that applicants earn from their complying significant investment in Australia may be subject to tax under Australian taxation law.
Company If applicants operate a business in Australia, applicants must comply with Australian workplace policy.


You should get advice and assistance from a qualified migration consultant to make sure you meet the requirements. Contact VEM for further information and assistance!


Frequently asked questions

Subclass 188C has a significant investment requirement (5 million), which is much higher that the requirement for subclass 188A or subclass 188B. What are the advantages of this subclass 188C stream?

  • There is no age limit.
  • Migration points are not required.
  • The subclass 188C visa application processing time is faster.
  • Much lesser Australian residential requirement for the second visa stage (888C).

If you are not sure of what stream suits you, please contact VEM’s If you are not sure of what stream suits you, please contact VEM’s immigration specialist for advice.

If the applicant is not qualified for a subclass 888C visa, can their spouse become the main?

  • The answer is yes if the applicant’s spouse has met the requirement of the main applicant.

I invested in Australia before applying for a subclass 188C visa. So can I add this investment to consider the investment conditions?

  • Unfortunately, the answer is no. The 5 million AUD investment must be made after you apply and before the subclass 188C visa is issued.

Are there any risks?

  • The answer is yes. Choosing a good management fund organization would help your investments be profitable and reduce risks.!


Can I include another family member with a subclass 188C visa?

Yes, you can if that person is eligible.

Where should I apply for a subclass 188C visa application?

Depending on the specific circumstances, you may be required to apply in Australia, or outside Australia. In order to get an accurate answer properly, you should schedule a consultation session with our qualified migration specialist.

Do I need to prove the source of funds for the investment?

This is a mandatory requirement.

Contact VEM’s qualified migration specialist to assist you with providing source of funds.

If I withdraw my 5 million AUD investment after being granted the subclass 188C visa, what will happen?

You must reinvest within 30 days. Otherwise, the Australian Government will consider canceling your visa.

Can I study and work while holding a subclass 188C visa?

Of course, you can. Your accompanying members can have the same benefits.

Can I live anywhere while holding the subclass 188C visa?

If Austrade (Australian Trade and Investment Commission) nominates you for a visa, you can reside anywhere you want. But if you are nominated by a state or territory in Australia, you can only stay in that state or territory.

Do I have to audit the company?

The answer is yes if the source of the 5 million AUD you invest comes from dividends, interest payments, or from revenues derived from the company.

If I apply for the subclass 188C visa with VEM, will VEM help me manage 5 million AUD of my investment?

VEM’s clients will be helped to choose a reputable investment management company to manage their investment.

When applying for the subclass 188C visa, do I have to have a business plan?

You do need a business plan to show how you do the investment.

If the investment at a loss, can I apply for a subclass 888C visa?

The Australian government only asks you not to withdraw your funds. A loss-making investment will not prevent you from applying for a subclass 888C visa.



In addition, another Australian Business/Investment visa that you can refer to is the subclass 188A visa. The requirements of this visa are more convenient for applicants.

Susan Le – VEM’s customer who is granted the subclass 188A visa – shared some useful information regarding a successful visa application for your reference.

VEM’s customer who is granted the subclass 188A visa

If you are not sure about any issues related to the subclass 188C visa, Mr. Phong Cao, VEM’s Australian licensed migration consultant, is willing to give you advice.


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