The Investor stream of subclass 188 allows individuals with an overall successful record of eligible investment or qualifying business activity to move to Australia with their immediate family.

The main qualifying requirements are that the main visa applicant must:

  • Be younger than 55 years of age – though a state or territory can waive this requirement if the proposed business or investment activity will be of exceptional economic benefit.
  • Score at least 65 on the applicable points test.
  • Have a high level of management skill in relation to eligible investments or qualifying business activity.
  • Have at least three years’ experience of direct involvement in managing one or more qualifying businesses or eligible investments.
  • Have a genuine and realistic commitment to continuing the business or investment activity in Australia after the original investment has matured.
  • Have (individually, or combined with the main visa applicant’s partner or spouse) total assets of at least A$2.25 million for the two fiscal years immediately before being invited to apply for the visa by the Department of Immigration. These assets must have been legally acquired and able to be legally transferred to Australia within two years of the visa being granted.
  • Have an overall successful record of eligible investment or qualifying business activity with no involvement in unacceptable activities.
  • Be prepared to make an Australian Government approved Designated Investment of A$1.5 million, using funds accumulated from direct involvement – for at least one of the five fiscal years before you are invited to apply for the visa – in one of the following activities:
    • Managing eligible investments that total at least A$1.5 million
    • Managing a qualifying business in which the visa applicant owned at least 10% of the equity

Note: A Designated Investment is an interest paying Bond issued by a State or Territory Government in Australia, which is arranged as the final stage in the visa application process.

The 188 visa is a provisional or temporary residency visa, which allows individuals holding such a visa to be in a very attractive tax position – as discussed more fully here.

It has a validity of 4 years, and before the expiry of the visa another visa must be applied for – this is usually the subclass 888 permanent residency visa, which is available once the Designated Investment has been maintained for 4 years.

Requirements for the subclass 888 permanent residency visa are discussed here.

There are significant tax consequences of moving from a provisional visa to a permanent residency visa which all intending permanent visa applicants should be aware of when considering their visa strategy.

Our Managing Director has many years of experience in Australian visas and tax – he is a qualified Chartered Accountant and a Registered Migration Agent – so will understand planning and compliance requirements as you move towards the granting of a permanent residency visa.

GM Investors works with our clients on the basis of fixed fees, and a wish to have a long term relationship based on our expertise, trust and a quality service.

We look forward to hearing from you.