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Investing first then becoming an Australian permanent resident with a Subclass 188A visa

Despite business purposes, many people tend to choose a Subclass 188A in order to become a permanent Australian resident or to sponsor another family member to Australia. With a low standard investment and amazing benefits, a Subclass 188A may be worth considering to many businessmen.



What is a Subclass 188A?

This is a temporary visa for investors to come to Australia to do investment and/or business by buying an existing business(es) or establishing a new one(s). It is a great potential opportunity for them to live, study and work in such a wonderful country.

Holding this visa also allows you and your family members to become permanent residents by applying for a Subclass 888A if you meet the requirements.


visa 188a victoria
What is a Subclass 188a visa?


The benefits of an Australian subclass 188A visa

With a Subclass 188A, applicants can:

    • Operating a new or existing business(es) in Australia.
    • Staying in Australia for up to 5 years.
    • Being able to bring your eligible family members with you.
    • Applying for a Business Innovation (Permanent) Visa Stream if you meet certain requirements.

The requirements of a Subclass 188A visa

You cannot directly settle down in Australia with a 188A visa. But after holding this visa, if you meet the requirements, you can absolutely have the opportunity to apply for a 888A visa for permanent residence.



Under 55 years old at the time of the visa lodgement.

Be nominated

Applicants must be nominated by a state/territory government in Australia to come to Australia. Clients using VEM’s Australian visa services will not have to worry about this issue.

Own a business
    • The applicant owns a business and directly operates it for at least 2 years.
    • The amount of shares held by the applicant in those 2 years:
      • At least 51%: if the business’s turnover is less than 400,000 AUD/year.
      • At least 30%: if the business’s turnover is from 400,000 AUD/year.
      • At least 10%: if the business is managed by a publicly listed company.

Net assets

    • Minimum personal and business assets: 1,250,000 AUD (can be combined with spouse’s assets).
    • Applicants must demonstrate the origins of recently owned property.
    • The above assets must be available to move to Australia within 2 years of the visa being granted.
    • 2 out of the 4 financial years before the applicant receives an invitation from Australia, the turnover of the business must be at least AUD 750,000 (if the applicant owns 30% of the shares).
    • If the turnover is less than 750,000AUD, the applicant must own 40% of the shares.
MIgration point

Applicants must score at least 65 points.

    • Score at least 4.5 IELTS, or an equivalent result (applicants may be required to pay an additional fee if not eligible).
    • If you don’t meet the English requirements, you do not need to worry, contact VEM for solutions.
Health and character

Meet the health and character requirements of the Australian Government.

    • Have no debt to the Australian Government. If so, it must be refunded before submitting the application.
    • Have no criminal background.
    • Have not had a visa refused or canceled by the Australian Government.
Where to lodge a visaDepending on your situation, you can apply for it onshore or offshore.
Where to receive a visa


If you find yourself eligible for an Australian Subclass 188A visa, please continue to see the information below. In case you consider yourself not eligible, please contact VEM! Maybe you already meet the requirements for a Subclass 188A visa, you just didn’t check properly.

At VEM, you will be consulted and assessed by our migration specialist – Mr. Phong Cao. Phong Cao has been an Australian investment consultant for over 10 years and has helped many clients successfully apply for visas. So he has the ability and experience to accompany you on your investment journey to Australia.

In addition, you may refer to a Subclass 188B visa.

The requirements of a Subclass 888A visa

After applying for a Subclass 188A visa and after you’ve met all the requirements from the Department of Home Affairs, you can start your visa application for a Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) visa – Subclass 888A.


Residence time

Have resided in Australia for at least 1 year in the last 2 years from the time of applying for a Subclass 888A visa.

Operate a business

During the 2 years prior to applying for the 888A visa, the applicant must:

    • Maintain business ownership (applicant can have up to 2 businesses).
    • Still directly managing business operations.
    • Have submitted a business activity report to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO).

In the year before applying for a visa, the turnover of businesses must reach at least 300,000 AUD (can include businesses of spouses).

Property and Staff

Within 1 year before applying, the applicant (can include spouse) must meet at least 2 of the 3 following requirements:

    • Corporate assets: from 200,000 AUD.
    • Personal and business assets: from 600,000AUD.
    • Have at least 2 qualified employees who are Australian permanent residents/citizens or New Zealand citizens. Furthermore, these people are not family members of the applicant.
Be nominatedApplicants need to obtain a new nomination from the state where they are investing.
CommitmentApplicant commits to continue doing business and investing in Australia.

Have no debt to the Australian Government. If so, it must be refunded before submitting the application.

    • Applicants must always comply with Australian laws.
    • Do not engage in illegal business.


For more information about the requirements of the Subclass 888A visa, contact VEM today. Our professional migration consultant who is licensed by the Australian Government (MARN: 1577877) will support you to make sure you are eligible for this visa.

How to get migration points for a Subclass 188A


AgeFrom 18 to 24 years old.20
From 25 to 32 years old.30
From 33 to 39 years old.25
From 40 to 44 years old.20
From 45 to 54 years old.15
Over 55 years old0
English level IELTS 5.0 or higher5
IELTS 7.0 or higher10
Academic level
    • Trade certificate, Bachelor’s degree from an educational institution in Australia.
    • A Bachelor’s degree is awarded by a qualified educational institution.
Graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in business, science or technology from an Australian institution/recognised educational institution.10
AssetTotal personal and business assets of the applicant and his/her spouse in the last 2 financial years:
From 1,250,000 AUD and over5
From 1,750,000 AUD and over15
From 2,250,000 AUD and over25
From 2,750,00 AUD and over35
Business revenue In 2 out of 4 financial years prior to the time of application, annual business revenue of the enterprise:
From 750,000 AUD and over5
From 1,250,000 AUD and over15
From 1,750,000 AUD and over25
From 2,250,000 AUD and over35
Total investmentPrior to applying for a visa, the applicant must have owned at least AUD 250,000 in investment funds:
More than 4 years10
More than 7 years15
Has registered for a patent at least 1 year before.15
Has registered a trademark 1 year ago.10
Applicants are always directly involved in business management for at least 1 year before applying for a visa.5
The applicant’s shares are equal to or more than 50% of the company’s annual turnover from the export trade.15

In the last 5 years:

    • There are 3 consecutive financial years where the average annual revenue growth is higher than 20%.
    • At least 1 in 3 of those 3 years the business has at least 10 employees working. The minimum total working hours of these employees must be equal to those of full-time employees.
    • The business owner received at least 10,000 AUD in subsidy from a local Government agency during the period of starting the business, or
    • The minimum venture capital is 100,000 AUD (within 4 years before the applicant is invited to start an early stage business, commercialize the product, develop the business or expand the business).
CertificationsA state or territory government in Australia certifies that the applicant’s business is the only entity of particular interest to the region.10


VEM clients will be consulted by experts to accumulate points from the very beginning.

Step-by-step of a Subclass 188A visa

    • Step 1: Preparing your documents.
    • Step 2: Applying for nomination of the Australian state or territory government agency.
    • Step 3: Submitting your Expression of Interest (EOI) after receiving the nomination approval.
    • Step 4: Applying for a Business Innovation Visa Stream when receiving the invitation.
    • Step 5: Being granted a Subclass 188A Visa.


visa 188a australia
Process of applying for a Subclass 188a visa


How to prepare for your Subclass 188A visa documents


Identification papers
    • Copies of your certified birth certificate.
    • Copies of your valid certified passport
    • Card images.
    • Marriage certificates (if any).
    • ID card.
    • Proof that you’ve changed name before (if any).
Business documents

Business overview

    • The applicant describes the business that he/she owns.
    • Describe the business activities of the company.
    • Organization chart of the business.
    • Photos of the location and business activities (no more than 6 pictures).

Proof of business ownership

The applicant provides proof of owning a business, such as:

    • License for establishment of the company.
    • Business Registration Certificate.
    • Submitted documents which prove the applicant’s annual capital contribution in the company.

You can schedule a consultation with VEM for a complete list of required paperwork and documents!

Running the company


Provide evidence demonstrating the continuity of direct management and business direction for the enterprise.

These proofs must be within 2 out of 4 financial years before the nominated applicant submits the visa application.

Proof of the originality of the assets

Applicants must provide documents proving their assets are transparent such as:

    • If the asset is cash: provide a bank statement.
    • If property is real estate: certificate of the ownership.
    • If the property is a personal loan: loan agreement, loan statement and repayment schedule.
    • If assets are stocks and bonds: certificate of ownership of shares.
    • If assets from operating activities: financial statements.

Providing proof of the above documents is not easy. In fact, many entrepreneurs take lots of time to prepare the documents because the information provided is not clear and convincing enough. Therefore, VEM’s migration consultant are always dedicated to guiding and supporting their clients.

 Proof of business loss (if any)If the business is at a loss or is no longer able to pay, the applicant needs to describe this in detail.
English certifications

Provide proof of your eligibility.

Migration points
Documents for accompanying person (if any)
    • Identification papers,
    • Proof of his/her eligibility.
    • Proof of the relationship with the main applicant.


If your application does not include any of the above documents, please quickly add them to the application. In case you aren’t confident in making an application, come to VEM for advice and support from consultant – Mr Phong Cao – a member of the Migration Institute of Australia (MIA: 12648).

The cost of a Subclass 188A visa

The visa application fee is 6,085 AUD (not including 1.4% surcharge) for the main applicant. There is an additional fee for each family member who applies for this visa with you:

    • Additional applicant who is over 18 years old: 3,045AUD (not including 1.4% surcharge).
    • Additional applicant who is under 18 years old: 1,520AUD (not including 1.4% surcharge).

Furthermore, each applicant who is at least 18 years old and does not meet the functional English requirements. This fee is also called a second instalment which you are required to pay before the visa is granted.

    • Main applicant: 9,795 AUD (not including 1.4% surcharge).
    • Family member: 4,890 AUD (not including 1.4% surcharge).

Any kind of refund is impossible when your application is rejected. Additionally, when the Department of Home Affairs doesn’t approve your visa for the first time, any visa applications in the future will be much harder and much more complex.


How to stay in Australia when the Subclass 188A visa expired?


During 4 years and 3 months of holding an Australian subclass 188A visa, you need to meet visa requirements of a Subclass 888A visa. But if not satisfied, you can renew the Subclass 188A visa once to continue to temporarily reside in Australia and accumulate more.


The total time you can stay in Australia with 2 times of holding a Subclass 188A visa is:

    • 8 years: if you are eligible for preferential policies because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
    • 6 years: if not affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

If you are a VEM’s client, your entire Subclass 188A visa application journey is always accompanied by VEM to remind you of the conditions that you need to meet. This helps you limit the renewal of the Subclass 188A visa.

The processing times of a Subclass 188A

The DHA said that normally, a Subclass 188A visa applicant will wait about 2.5 years to receive the application results.


Processing times
75% of the applications31 months
90% of the applications33 months


Moreover, your application might take longer if you are misleading and do not include all the documents that are required or fill it in the wrong way. It takes the DHA longer to verify your information. Your processing could also not be done by paying the wrong application charge.

VEM will help you step by step with your documents, fees and applications. Do not hesitate to contact us for help. It is our pleasure to assist you!

Clients successful story

Clients applying for a Subclass 188A visa with VEM always receive more than just a visa. For example, Ms. Thu Giang Nguyen – a client accompanied by VEM, is now preparing for the final stage of applying for a Subclass 888A visa.

Listen to her experience during the visa application process in the following video.



If there’s any further questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment or call our hotline. VEM will contact you as soon as possible.


Find out more about other 188 Visa streams:

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