The implementation of the Government's Industry Innovation
and Competitiveness Agenda has seen changes to the existing
Significant Investor (SIV) subclass 188 and 888 visa streams and
the introduction of the new Premium Investor (PIV) subclass 188 and
888 visa streams.
*Additional charges apply if the applicant is assessed as
not having functional English, if there are additional applicants
and/or if the applicants are required to undertake health
assessments and police checks
Additional Nominating body
To initiate the investor visa processes, applicants are required
to lodge an expression of interest before they are invited to apply
for the relevant visa and are nominated by a nominating body. Where
previously applicants were required to be nominated by state or
territory government agencies only, Austrade has now become a
nominating agency for SIV applications (in addition to the State
and Territory governments) and has become the sole nominator for
the new PIV stream.
Flexible Requirement to Reside in Australia
Previously the primary applicant was required to reside in the
State or Territory whose government agency had nominated the
applicant for a certain number of days per year. This requirement
may now be fulfilled by the primary applicant's spouse or de
facto partner instead. However, for the requirement to be fulfilled
in this way, the spouse or de facto partner must have been in
Australia for at least 180 days for each year in which the
applicant has held the subclass 188. This is significantly longer
than the requirement as it applies to the primary applicant who is
only required to be in Australia for 40 days per year. In effect
this ensures investors with families make a genuine commitment to
Australia while allowing flexibility for the primary applicant to
The requirement to reside in Australia has been significantly
altered by the addition of Austrade as a nominating body as if the
applicant is nominated by Austrade, there is no requirement to
remain in the nominating state.
Increased Length of Visa Grant
Where previously a subclass 188 allowed the holder to travel to,
enter and remain in Australia for 4 years, as of 1 July 2015, the
temporary visa now permits the holder to travel to, enter and
remain in Australia for 4 years and 3 months from the date of
grant. This allows sufficient time for the applicant to fulfil the
requirements for the subclass 888 permanent visa, as to be eligible
for a subclass 888, the applicant must have held the complying
significant investment for 4 years.
Requirement to hold investment
Compared to the 4 year period that SIV applicants are required
to maintain their investment for before applying for permanent
residency, the PIV stream allows fast-tracked permanent residency
by requiring the investment to be maintained for a continuous
period of just one year. There is also no residency requirement for
eligibility for permanent residency as the nominator is
Notion of 'philanthropic
Within the premium investment stream only, a complying
investment may take the form of a 'philanthropic
contribution'. This phrase has purposely been left to its
broad, ordinary meaning in order to give the State and Territory
government agencies approving the philanthropic contribution the
flexibility to determine what may constitute a 'philanthropic
contribution' for the purposes of the Migration Regulations.
Further, although it is a requirement to obtain a subclass 188 that
the applicant has a genuine intention to hold the complying PIV for
the whole of the visa period, this requirement expressly does not
apply to philanthropic contributions.
This publication does not deal with every important topic or
change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute
for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's
specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of
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