This is a state-nominated provisional residence visa for business owners and investors. 

You have a choice of four streams:

  • Business Innovation: owners who want to relocate their overseas business or establish a new business in South Australia
  • Business Investment: successful investors or business owners willing to invest a minimum AUD $1,500,000 in South Australia for four years
  • Significant Investor: people willing to benefit South Australia and invest $5 million into a complying investment for four years 
  • Entrepreneur - people who have a funding agreement from a third party for at least AUD200 000 to undertake a complying entrepreneur activity that is proposed to lead to either the commercialisation of a product or service in Australia or the development of a business in Australia.

This provisional subclass 188 visa is part of a two-step pathway to permanent residency.

Nomination requirements

To apply for this visa you must be state nominated by Immigration SA.

You must meet Immigration SA’s nomination criteria as well as the Department of Home Affairs eligibility criteria.

Department of Home Affairs and State nomination requirements are different for each stream:

To meet the South Australian nomination requirements you must:

  • Meet Department of Home Affairs 188 innovation stream criteria
  • Have visited South Australia prior to nomination application. Evidence requirements are listed under 'before you apply'. (Applicants who have not visited SA will be refused State nomination)
  • Intend to live in South Australia
  • Intend to establish a business in South Australia that meets the permanent Department of Home Affairs 888 innovation stream criteria and state nomination requirements. Information on the proposed business in South Australia must be provided (Refer to 888 page for details on State requirements)
  • Agree to register your arrival in South Australia with Immigration SA and maintain current contact details for the duration of your visa.

To meet the South Australian nomination requirements you must:

  • Meet Department of Home Affairs 188 investment stream criteria
  • Intend to live in South Australia
  • Intend to invest AUD$1,500,000* into South Australian Government Financing Authority (SAFA) bonds for four years
  • Agree to register your arrival in South Australia with Immigration SA and maintain current contact details for the duration of your visa.

*Applicants over 55 years must invest AUD$5,000,000 into SAFA for four years.

To meet the South Australian provisional nomination requirements you must:

For a nomination for the Entrepreneur stream of the 188 Provisional visa, South Australia requires you to:

  1. Meet all criteria outlined by the Department of Home Affairs.
  2. Provide the business plan that will be presented to Department of Home Affairs as part of the state nomination application.
    - Therefore, this should be the final intended version and not a draft or incomplete business plan.
    - ​There should be evidence that the complying entrepreneur activity is, or will be, of economic benefit to South Australia.
  3. Provide a statement outlining how you intend to maintain an ongoing relationship with the South Australian Government and with South Australia in general during the period of your subclass 188 visa.
  4. Show sufficient net business and personal assets either alone, or together with a spouse/de facto partner, to support your settlement in South Australia.
    - This requires the same financial capacity required for South Australian general skilled migration (GSM) state nomination.  See no.7, “Financial Capacity” under the GSM skilled state nomination requirements.
    - For Australian international graduates, it is permissible to claim financial support from your parent(s), who will need to complete a Financial Capacity Declaration.

For the South Australian Government to maintain its support ahead of the potential permanent visa available via the subclass 888, we would ask successful visa applicants to:

  • meet with Immigration SA within two months of arrival (or visa grant if an onshore applicant).
  • meet with Immigration SA at least every 12 months during the course of the 188 visa. The purpose of these meetings are for the visa holder to outline their progress, and to learn where the South Australian Government may be able to assist with advice.
  • have their principal place of residence in South Australia.
  • have the primary physical location of their business (if applicable) in South Australia, noting that entrepreneurial activity may extend across interstate borders and internationally.

Before you apply

You must have ready, information and documents to support your state nomination application and prove the claims you make:

  • If you are applying for 188a Business Innovation Nomination you must have visited South Australia previously to be eligible for State nomination. Applicants who have not visited SA will be refused State nomination. Evidence must be provided at time of application for State nomination. Information to be collected is the date and duration of the visit, where in SA you have visited and the nature of your visit. The accepted evidence must include one of the following:

1.1.1  Meeting with Immigration SA (email confirmation of meeting)

1.1.2  Airline boarding passes – tickets are not accepted as they do not confirm the flight was taken

1.1.3  Receipts for accommodation in SA

1.2  If the above evidence is not available other submitted evidence maybe accepted, such as emails to confirm the meeting with SA companies. Photos are not required and will not be assessed.   

1.3  Your application needs to include an exploratory visit itinerary and details on the outcome from your visit. This information is being collected to help Immigration SA understand how your visit has benefited your understanding of business and lifestyle opportunities, it is not an eligibility requirement.

1.4   You must confirm that you have sufficient financial resources to support yourself and dependents to settle in South Australia and understand it is your responsibility to determine the cost of living in South Australia. Evidence of financial capacity is not required. However, Immigration SA reserves the right to seek additional information or evidence at a later stage if necessary.

For all four streams, you will be required to provide:

  • Scanned copies of the main applicant’s photo pages of your passport, and scanned copy of the spouse passport
  • Information about the proposed business activity in South Australia – applicable to Business Innovation stream only
  • Expression of Interest (EOI) reference number
  • Name of and information about the proposed complying investment(s) and its fund manager (Significant Investor Stream only)
  • Copy of simple estimate of financial plan – applicable to Business Innovation stream only, who propose to conduct a property development business in SA
  • English language test (Entrepreneur stream only)
  • Business plan (Entrepreneur stream only).

How to apply

  1. Ensure that you meet Department of Home Affairs visa criteria and South Australian state nomination requirements.
  2. Lodge an EOI through Department of Home Affairs SkillSelect  website. Choose South Australia as your preferred state and select the visa stream you want nomination for. Keep note of the reference number as you will need it for your state nomination application.
  3. Create an Immigration SA account and submit an online application for state nomination.
  4. If you are approved for state nomination, you will receive an invitation from Department of Home Affairs asking you to lodge your visa application within 60 days of nomination.

You will receive email notification once your State nomination application has been processed by Immigration SA.

More info

All Business Innovation and Investment visa streams

  • Applicants who have between 55 and 65 points can apply for exceptional circumstances for the additional 10 points from the South Australian Government. Priority will be given to investment proposals to be undertaken in country regions in South Australia.  These applications are not considered in the same timeframe for processing as applications that meet all requirements. These applications will be assessed on a case by case basis
  • In identifying qualifying investments applicants should seek a detailed business plan prepared by an independent source. If a business plan is required, it should include detail on the economic benefit that will be delivered to the South Australia economy.

Business Innovation (subclass 188) visa only

  • The choice of the business is based on the client's own preference; however a business which is solely on-selling imports (including bringing product into South Australia from other States/Territories) will require substantial justification via the business plan to demonstrate the benefit to state
  • It is up to the discretion of Immigration SA to approve an application to Department of Home Affairs for an extension (2 years) to their 188 visa
  • Approval for a proposed business undertaking property development is still at the discretion of the Manager, Business Migration for 188 and 888 with respect to the business required to be a sufficient business undertaking and not deemed as private investor property development, even if the minimum financial requirement is met
  • It is strongly recommended that applicants obtain professional legal and financial advice before investing or undertaking any business activity.

Significant Investor (subclass 188) visa only

  • The choice of investment options is based on the client’s own preference and Department of Home Affairs qualifying investment requirements
  • It is strongly recommended that applicants obtain professional legal and financial advice before investing or undertaking any business activity
  • The South Australian Government will not advise on any investment made or any business activity to be undertaken by the applicant nor does it accept liability for any financial loss, cost of expense incurred as a result of any business decision, business activities or investments of the applicant or any person in any way connected with the significant investor program or otherwise
  • The Federal and State Government require applicants to agree to not take legal action against them for any loss of capital arising from the complying investment
  • South Australian nomination requirements do not restrict investment into Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) regulated managed funds, providing one of the state requirements is undertaken. Department of Home Affairs have some specific requirements in relation to the nature of managed funds that are eligible for the purposes of this visa.

SAFA Bond Investment

  • The South Australian Government Financing Authority (SAFA) provides State Government bonds which meets the requirements for a ‘designated investment’.  Your investment into bonds helps to build a better South Australia
  • SAFA charges no upfront investment fees, ongoing management or account keeping fees. The amount you invest is the amount you earn interest on, and is returned to you at the maturity of your investment
  • To check current interest rates and to learn more about SAFA bonds and how to make your investment, read the Significant Investor information paper or the investor information paper
  • You may discuss a proposed investment with SAFA at any time. Please contact SAFA Operations on 08 8226 9420 or 08 8226 9450, or email for further information.