Changes to the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) (Subclass 188) Visa

On 1 July 2021, changes were made to streamline the Business Innovation and Investment Program (188).


The Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alex Hawke said that the 188 visa program changes would improve the quality of investments and maximise the economic benefits for Australia.


While there has been an overall increase to turnover, asset and investment requirements, applicants will be able to apply for permanent residence after holding the 188 for 3 years if all requirements are met. While any visa holder’s initial subclass 188 visa will be valid for 5 years, the direct to permanent streams will no longer be offered.


We have summarised some of the key changes below:


Changes to the Complying Investment Framework (CIF)

From 1 July 2021, the following CIF ratios will be applicable to the Investor and the Significant Investor Visa streams:

  • “20 per cent venture capital and Private Growth Equity funds (VCPE)
  • 30 per cent funds investing in emerging companies
  • 50 per cent in balancing investments”


Improvements to the Complying Investment Framework will include:

  • “A clearer definition of Fund of Fund (FoF).
  • Applicants will be given 6 months to enter into their VCPE agreement, in lieu of the previously allowed 12 months.
  • A tightening of Emerging companies rules to close previous loopholes.
  • Fund managers will need to complete an annual audit for all of the funds they manage. The managers we work with are all committed to these changes including the annual audits.”


Please contact our office if you wish to discuss the above-mentioned changes and or your eligibility under the 188 visa program.


Written by Farhan Rehman
Principal Partner at RSG Lawyers and Associates
Ph: (03) 9350 4440


The information contained in this publication is of a general nature only. It should not be used as legal advice. To the extent permissible by law, RSG Lawyers and Associates and its associated entities shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, defects or misrepresentations in the information or for any loss or damage suffered by persons who use or rely on such information. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation. Please refer to our website’s terms of use.

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