Further Changes to 188 Visas

Over the last two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the necessity of being able to adapt as situations quickly change and develop. Australia's migration systems have not been exempt from this, and as a result, the Department of Home Affairs has released additional, and significant, changes to the 188 visa framework in recent months. We have summarised the changes below.

Changes to the framework

Perhaps the most significant change is the adjustments to the framework of the 188 visa subclass. From 1 July 2021, several streams of the 188 visa will be closed to new applicants, specifically:

  • Premium Investor stream
  • Business Innovation Extension stream
  • Significant Investor Extension stream

Accordingly, the 188 visa subclass will have four remaining streams open to new applicants:

Detailed information on each of these visa streams and their respective requirements is available at the links above. Some of the specific changes which have now come into effect will be outlined below.

Changes to specific requirements

All subclass 188 visas, once granted, are now valid for 5 years. This is an increase of 9 months from the previous regulations.

Subclass 188A - Business Innovation Stream

  • The minimum revenue of the relevant business has increased from AUD500,000 to AUD750,000, within any of the four previous fiscal years.
  • The total net worth of assets and equity in the business has increased from AUD800,000 to AUD1,250,000.

For a more extended outline of the requirements for this visa type, please follow the link here.

Subclass 188B - Investor stream

  • The total net worth of the applicant has increased from AUD2,250,000 to AUD2,500,000, within the two years prior.
  • Where the applicant previously had to commit to investing AUD1,500,000 in state or territory bonds, they must now commit to investing AUD2,500,000 in the following proportions:
    • At least AUD500,000 into venture capital or private equity;
    • At least AUD750,000 in approved management funds; and
    • At least AUD1,250,000 as a balanced investment.

For a more extended outline of the requirements for this visa type, please follow the link here.

Subclass 188C - Significant Investor stream

  • The proportions for a complying investment have also been changed for this subclass, to the following:
    • 20% (AUD1,000,000) into venture capital or private equity;
    • 30% (AUD1,500,000) in approved management funds; and
    • 50% (AUD2,500,000) as a balanced investment.
  • The 188C visa can now be renewed twice, every two years. This extends the term of the 188C visa from 5 years to a possible 9 years.

For a more extended outline of the requirements for this visa type, please follow the link here.

Changes to the South Australian process

The South Australian state government has also made some changes to its state nomination process, which have been in force since 20 July 2021, and to be applied to the 2021/22 program. Two steps have been removed from the application process:

  • There is no longer a requirement for applicants to visit South Australia prior to making an application.
  • The Intention to Apply stage has been removed entirely.

Both of these changes are made as a result of some difficulties presented by the pandemic. The changes are positive for applicants, as they make the process significantly more streamlined, especially in a world where travel is more difficult than ordinary.


If you have any questions about any of the information presented above, please do not hesitate to contact our office to discuss your migration matter today.