188C AUD$5 Million Significant Investor Visa

From 24th November 2012, applicants are able to apply for subclass 188 visa under the Significant Investor Stream – AUD$5 million investments. This visa is part of the Australian Business Innovation and Investment Program which appeals successful business people and investors. This visa provides a competitive migration option to high income earners and pushes the development of Australian economy. The applicant is required to invest at least AUD$5 million into complying investments in Australia for four years.

You must have a genuine and realistic commitment to:

  • reside in the state or territory whose government agency nominated you,

  • continue your business and investment activity in Australia after the conclusion of your provisional visa,

  • live in Australia for at least 40 days per year (calculated cumulatively) for the duration of your provisional visa, or your spouse to live for at least 180 days per year (calculated cumulatively) for the duration of your provisional visa.

You, your partner, or you and your partner combined must have net assets of at least AUD5 million that are legally acquired, unencumbered, and available to be used to make the complying investment in Australia.

You and your partner must not have been involved in unacceptable business or investment activities.

You, your partner and other family members aged at least 18 must agree not to bring any action against the Commonwealth for any loss relating to your complying investment.​​

Income that you earn from your complying investment in Australia is subject to tax under Australian taxation law.

You must also make a complying investment or a complying significant investment of at least AUD5 million over four years.

Important: You might want to seek independent legal advice in relation to ensuring that an investment made for the purpose of this stream is a ‘complying significant investment’. It is your responsibility to ensure your investment options comply.

Complying Significant Investments for applications made after 1 July 2015

If you applied for a Significant Investor visa prior to 1 July 2015, see the rules below, which will continue to apply to you.

For applications made after July 2015 you must make a complying significant investment of at least AUD5 million over four years in the following proportions:

  • At least AUD500 000 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 investing in emerging companies listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.

  • A ‘balancing investment’ of at least AUD3 million in managed funds that may invest in a range of assets, including ASX-listed companies, Australian corporate bonds or notes, annuities and commercial real estate.

Direct investment in residential real estate continues to be prohibited and indirect investment in residential property through managed funds is now strictly limited.

Investments must not be used as security or collateral for a loan.

More detailed information about complying significant investments is available at Austrade.

Complying Investments for applications made prior to 1 July 2015

You must make a complying investment of at least AUD5 million in any of the following options, in any proportion, and hold that investment continuously for at least four years:

  • Commonwealth, state or territory government bonds

  • Eligible managed funds - that are limited to investing in any or all of the following Australian assets:

  • infrastructure projects in Australia

  • cash held by Australian deposit-taking institutions

  • bonds issued by the Commonwealth Government or a State or Territory government

  • bonds, equity, hybrids or other corporate debt in companies and trusts listed or expected to be listed within 12 months on any Australian stock exchange

  • bonds or term deposits issued by Australian financial institutions

  • real property in Australia

  • Australian agribusiness

  • annuities issued by an Australian registered life company in accordance with section 9 or 12A of the Life Insurance Act 1995

  • loans secured by mortgages over the investments listed above

  • derivatives used for portfolio management and non-speculative purposes which constitute no more than 20 per cent of the total value of the managed fund

  • other managed funds that invest in the investments listed above

  • direct investment into private Australian companies - in which you have an ownership interest. The company needs to operate a qualifying business if you intend to apply for and meet the criteria for a Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa (subclass 888) in the Significant Investor stream.

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