#188(C) Significant Investor (Provisional) visa

Guidelines

The Significant Investor stream of the Business Innovation and Investment (provisional) visa is intended for high net worth individuals, who must invest no less than AUD 5 million into one or more ‘complying investments’ of benefit to Victoria. There is no age limit for this stream and applicants are not required to meet the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s (DIBP) points test.

Holders of this visa can qualify to apply for permanent residency in as little as four years provided they spend no less than 160 days in Australia over this time and maintain their AUD 5 million investment for the same period. It is the Victorian Government's expectation that the applicant will establish a residence in Australia.

Visa holders can also extend their provisional visa term by applying for a maximum of two additional provisional visas, bringing the maximum total period of their visa to 8 years.

‘Complying investments’ can be one or a mixture of the following:

  • Victorian Government Bonds - see Treasury Corporation of Victoria. View the investment rates for Treasury Corporation of Victoria Designated Investments. 
  • Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) regulated managed funds with a mandate for investing in Australia
  • Direct investment into private Victorian companies not listed on an Australian stock exchange.

Applicants can demonstrate ‘benefit to Victoria’ through one or more of the ‘complying investments’ and other business activities that they undertake in Victoria beyond the minimum ‘complying investments’.

Applications are evaluated on a case by case basis and factors taken into account would include:

  • The applicant’s business background
  • The potential contribution to be made to the Victorian economy by the applicant’s choice of investment(s)
  • The applicant’s settlement intentions
  • The applicant’s broader business agenda in Victoria
  • Whether the applicant has previously visited Victoria and gained an appreciation of both the business environment and lifestyle.

General

At the time of visa grant the applicant must show evidence to DIBP that they have placed their AUD 5 million investment into one or more complying investment products.

At the time of applying for Victorian Government nomination, an applicant need only show that they have identified at least one potential complying investment.

To qualify for Victorian Government nomination, applicants must show that their complying investment choice will make a contribution to the Victorian economy.  There are a number of easy ways in which this contribution can be shown. View more information on how to show your contribution to the Victorian economy.

Investing in Victorian Government Bonds

  • The applicant may choose to put part or all of their AUD 5 million investment into Victorian Government Bonds, which are available through the Treasury Corporation of Victoria (TCV). 
  • The applicant may withdraw part or all of their funds from Victorian Government Bonds at the end of the first 12 month investment period should they wish to reinvest in one or more alternative complying investments. 
  • The interest rate payable is subject to the prevailing rate on the day of bond purchase. 
  • Interest is payable biannually and credited to the applicant’s Australian bank account.
  • The process for investing in Victorian Government Bonds is as follows: 
  1. Complete a TCV application and transfer form
  2. Confirm the transaction with the Registrar 
  3. Post the original forms to the Registrar 
  4. Deposit the funds into TCV’s Australian bank account
  5. Await confirmation of investment. 
  • For further information, guidelines and forms, please see the TCV website.
  • Note: Victorian Government Bonds may also be purchased through the secondary market by a managed fund.

Investing in private companies

  • The applicant may choose to put part or all of their AUD 5 million investment into a complying private company.
  • The private company must provide their potential investor (the applicant) with sufficient information to enable a full commercial assessment of the investment proposal on offer.
  • The private company must provide the applicant with a letter confirming that it complies with DIBP’s Significant Investor provisional and residency visas (188C/888C) and stating the contribution to Victoria that the business will make. This letter should be attached to the online application form for state nomination. See an example letter from a private company (DOC, 40.5 KB) which shows what is required.
  • The applicant must provide the Skilled and Business Migration program with an acknowledgement that they have assessed the offer and intend to pursue it. The  acknowledgement document should show the applicant’s intention to invest in this company. It may take the form of a letter to the Skilled and Business Migration Program, in which the applicant confirms that they have assessed the information provided by the private company, and intend to continue commercial investigations into the investment. See an example acknowledgement (DOC, 34.5 KB) which shows what is required.

Investing in managed funds

  • The applicant may choose to put part or all of their AUD 5 million investment into a complying managed fund.
  • The fund manager must have provided the applicant with sufficient information to allow the applicant to fully understand the terms and conditions of the investment and the financial risk involved in that specific investment.
  • The fund manager must provide the applicant with a letter confirming that the fund complies with DIBP’s Significant Investor provisional and residency visas (188C/888C) and indicating the contribution to Victoria the fund will make. See an example letter from a managed fund (DOC, 32 KB) which shows what is required.
  • The applicant will also need to attach a completed DIBP Form 1413, available from the DIBP website as part of their online application for state nomination.

Standard nomination conditions

All offers of nomination are subject to conditions which must be personally acknowledged and endorsed by the applicant. Failure to comply with these conditions will adversely impact on the State Government of Victoria’s ongoing support for the visa. Whilst individual conditions for nomination are drawn up on a case by case basis there are a number of standard conditions.

  1. Upon signing the nomination application, the applicant confirms that he/she has demonstrated their capacity to meet all of DIBP's visa eligibility criteria.
  2. Victorian Government nomination is not transferable to any other Australian State or Territory.
  3. The applicant understands that the Victorian Government does not participate in the Migration Review Tribunal appeals process.
  4. The applicant agrees that the Victorian Government may share information relating to their application, and business/investment activities in Victoria, with DIBP.
  5. The Victorian Government reserves the right to make direct contact with the applicant.
  6. The applicant agrees to participate in any surveys the Victorian Government may initiate.
  7. Applicants residing overseas will have the details of their nomination application forwarded to the relevant Victoria Government Business Office (VGBO). The Commissioner of the VGBO may make contact with the applicant to discuss potential assistance in relation to long term business/investment activity in Victoria. Applicants residing in Victoria will be contacted by an Officer of the Department of State Development, Business and Innovation.
  8. The applicant agrees and undertakes not to change the investment choice detailed in their DIBP Expression of Interest (EOI) without the express written approval of the State Government of Victoria. Failure to notify the State Government of Victoria of an applicant’s intention to change their investment may result in cancellation of visa nomination.
  9. It is strongly recommended that applicants obtain professional legal and financial advice before investing or undertaking any business activity.
  10. The Victorian Government does not endorse any investment made or any business activity undertaken by the applicant nor does it accept liability for any financial loss, cost or expense incurred as a result of any business decision, business activities or investments of the applicant or any person in any way connected with this application or otherwise.
  11. The applicant acknowledges that failure to comply with the above conditions may adversely affect current or future Victorian Government nomination support.

Who can lodge a nomination application?

  • Within Australia: the Applicant, a Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARA) registered Migration Agent or an Australian Lawyer (eligible to practice).
  • Outside Australia: the Applicant, a MARA registered Migration Agent, an Australian Lawyer (eligible to practice) or an appropriately licensed or qualified individual or company i.e. in countries where licenses are required e.g. China. Evidence to support the claim of qualifications or license details may be requested.

Applying

There are three steps to applying for a state nominated #188(C) visa:

Step 1. Submit an Expression of Interest through DIBP SkillSelect

  • Lodge an Expression of Interest (EOI) in SkillSelect
  • When completing your EOI, designate ‘Victoria’ as your preferred destination.
  • Make sure to provide details on your intended investment, for example "Victorian Government Bonds", "Managed funds," or the name of the private company in which you are planning to invest. 

Step 2. Apply for state nomination

You will need to complete:

1. The online Nomination Application Form (Part A) at Apply for visa nomination (login required).

2. Appointment of An Agent & Nomination Conditions Forms (DOC, 229.5 KB). These need to be saved and uploaded at the end of your online nomination application.

3. If you are intending to invest in managed funds:  

  • A letter from the managed fund which states any benefit the fund may have to Victoria. See an example letter from a managed fund (DOC, 32 KB) which shows what is required. The name of the managed fund must be stated both in DIBP’s EOI and the online state nomination application.
  • DIBP’s Form 1413, available from the DIBP website.    

4. If you are intending to invest in a private company/ies:

  • A letter from the private company which states the economic contribution to be delivered to the Victorian economy. See an example letter from a private company (DOC, 40.5 KB) which shows what is required. The name of the private company should be stated both in DIBP’s EOI and the online state nomination application.
  • An acknowledgement that the applicant has assessed the offer and intends to pursue it.  Here is an example acknowledgement (DOC, 34.5 KB) which shows what is required. The name of the private company must be stated both in DIBP’s EOI and the online state nomination application. 

5. Any other relevant information that you would like to include. 

Step 3. If the application is successful in attracting state nomination

  • The applicant will receive an email ‘invitation’ from DIBP to lodge a formal visa application.
  • Apply for the #188(C) visa through DIBP.
  • Note that:
    • The invitation from DIBP to lodge a formal visa application is only open for sixty days and cannot be extended. Therefore, the quality of the preliminary assessment prior to lodging your application for state nomination is vital.
    • If you do not lodge your visa application with DIBP within that time, you will not be eligible to be considered for a second state nomination for up to nine months.

State nomination processing

  • We will confirm receipt of your application by email and provide a reference number which should be used for any future communication.
  • Email acknowledgement of receipt of your application will be sent within three working days.
  • Nomination requests are assessed as a matter of priority; applicants can expect an outcome within one week.
  • We will contact you if further information or clarification is needed.
  • If you experience technical difficulties, please email webmaster@liveinvictoria.vic.gov.au

Unsuccessful applications

  • You will be advised by email.