October 27, 2021

Investor visa Australia – subclass 188B requirements

Snapshot of the Business Innovation and Investment (investor stream) visa.

Mark Walsh

On 1 July 2021, the Australian government introduced new legislation to update the eligibility requirements for Business Innovation and Investment (subclass 188) visas.

Let's take a look at the requirements for the Investor stream, also known as the 188B visa. Here's a snapshot of the main eligibility requirements.


  • Must be under 55 years old (exemptions available to applicants with unique and important benefit to a State/Territory)

English language
  • Have 'Functional English' (IELTS 4.5 overall of equivalent) or are willing to pay a second visa application charge.
Business/ Investment career
  • Have a successful record of eligible investment or qualifying business activity
  • Have at least three years experience of direct involvement in managing one or more qualifying businesses or eligible investments
  • Has high-level management skills with eligible investment or qualifying business activity
  • For at least one out of the last five financial years, directly managed one of the following:
  1. A qualifying business (or two main businesses) in which you, your partner or you and your partner combined had:
  • For a publicly listed company: at least 10%ownership interest; or
  • For a private company, with a turnover of greater than $400k – 30% ownership interest; or
  • For a private company with a turnover of less than $400k – 51% ownership


        2.   Eligible investments owned by you, your partner, or both combined of at least AUD 2.5 million.

Business & Personal Assets
  • For the last two financial years, have net personal and business assets (for you and spouse) of at least AUD 2.25 million, available for transfer to Australia within two years


Complying Significant Investment
  • Willing to make a 'Complying Significant Investment' in Australia of AUD 2.5 million with a realistic commitment to maintain the investment for the whole visa period (up to 5 years)
  • Funds used to invest were accumulated from the qualifying business or eligible investment activities of the applicant.

Future Commitment to Australia
  • Have a realistic commitment to maintaining business or investment activity in Australia after 'Complying Significant Investment' matures.


Points Test
  • Pass the 'Business, innovation and investment points test' (65 points minimum*)
  • Points calculated based on the following:
  1. Age
  2. English language
  3. Education
  4. Business/Investor experience
  5. Financial Assets
  6. Business turnover
  7. Business innovation
  8. State/Territory endorsement

Summary of the main changes to the 188B visa

 So, here's the changes in a nutshell.


Level of investment
  • Required Investment lifted from AUD 1,500,000 to AUD 2,500,000


Specified types of required investment

 The previous 'Designated investment', i.e. purchase of State/Territory bonds, now changes to 'Complying Significant Investment'.

'Complying Significant Investment' is broken down as follows:

  1.     20% of total investment in 1 or more venture capital funds;
  2.     30% of total investment in emerging companies investment; AND
  3.     The remainder in any of the following:
  • One or more venture capital funds;
  • Emerging companies investment; or
  • One or more balancing investments

Points Test

The same baseline score on the 'Business, innovation and investment points test' is required (65 points). However, various states/ territories have their quirks.

Some states now require a higher score to pass the test; for example, Victoria now requires 80 points.

Other states specify which applicants' nomination applications will be prioritised based on specific aspects of the points test. For example, NSW will prioritise applicants with points in investor experience& business innovation or higher points in financial assets.

 If you are considering a Business Innovation and Investment (subclass 188) visa, contact us for a consultation to provide you with a clear assessment and strategy moving forward.

Photo By Daniel Sessler on Unsplash


The information provided in this article or anywhere on this website is of a general nature, it does not relate to your specific circumstance. This general information must not be used to form any assessment or opinion on individual visa eligibility. For an individual assessment you must contact us for a consultation session to confirm if you are eligible for any visa. 


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