Australian 188 Visa
The country of Australia occupies the entire Australian continent and is one of the largest nations in the world. Comprised of six states and many territories, Australia is a developed country with the world’s 12th largest economy and the fifth highest per capita income. The nation is also a major player on the international world stage with memberships in the United Nations, G20, and the World Trade Organization.
Every year, millions of tourists flock to Australia in order to witness its rare animal species including kangaroos, dingoes, and koalas, to participate in aboriginal festivals and fairs, and to enjoy the nation’s beautiful scenery and unique topography.
In addition to the tourists, Australia also attracts hundreds of thousands of foreign investors every year. The nation’s exceptionally strong economy is based upon its tourism, financial services, and education sectors and the country is also particularly rich in natural resources and is a major exporter of wheat, wool, iron-ore, and gold.
In order to encourage foreign investment, Australia offers several investment-based immigration options that lead to permanent residence and ultimately citizenship.
Australia’s 188 Visa is the first step in a two step process that results in permanent residence. The country utilizes a points test in order to approve a foreign investor for this visa under one of the visas three sub-categories of business innovation, business investment, or qualification as a significant investor.
In order to qualify for the 188 Visa, the investor must be under the age of 55 at the time of application, have a clear plan to establish or participate in an Australian business or investment that the Australian state has deemed to be of exceptional economic benefit, and achieves at least sixty-five points based on the investor’s age, English language proficiency, educational background and degrees achieved, experience in business or investment, financial assets, previous commercial or economic innovation activities, and whether the investor is able to obtain a special endorsement from the nominating state or territory. Along with these requirements, the 188 Visa also demands that the investor demonstrate his/her genuine and realistic commitment to establishing the business or investing into an existing business. Moreover, the investor must also have a significant ownership interest in the business and hold a management or executive position in the business.
If the investor is approved for the 188 Visa, the investor and family receive visas that are valid for four years. At the end of the four years, they can apply for permanent residence.
The investor and family can then apply for citizenship after four years as long as they are persons of good character (meaning that they have clean criminal records and no immigration violations), possess proficiency in the English language and can demonstrate adequate knowledge of the country of Australia including the responsibilities and privileges of Australian citizenship. Additionally, the investor and family must also have the intent to continue residing in Australia after receiving citizenship.