188 Extension Visa

Transitioning from a provisional Subclass 188 visa to a permanent Subclass 888 visa may not be smooth if the relevant criteria are not met by the near-expiry of the Subclass 188 visa. In this contingency, the eligible streams of Subclass 188 visa holders may apply for extensions. If granted, the visa holder may effectively stay in Australia for the maximum period of 6 years from the date of the initial grant of the Subclass 188 visa.

This option is only once for an 188A visa and twice for an 188C visa, and should be invoked carefully as a last resort. Failure to satisfy the requirements of the grant of a Subclass 888 visa by the end of the extended period would jeopardize your ability to receive permanent residency in this path.

Eligibility Criteria

The primary visa holder must have held the 188 visa for at least 2 years to be eligible to apply for an extension. In addition, other eligibility criteria apply:

Age

No age requirement applies. Holders of Subclass 188A visas may be older than 55 years old when applying for the extension.

Ownership Interest in Main Business

Holders of Subclass 188A visas must have had, and continue to have, an ownership interest in one or more actively operating main businesses in Australia for at least 2 years immediately before the application for the extension is made.

Failure to satisfy this criterion may result in a cancellation of the existing 188A visa pursuant to section 134 of the Migration Act. The power of cancellation is invoked if the Minister is satisfied that the holder:

  • has not obtained a substantial ownership interest in an eligible business in Australia; or
  • is not utilizing his or her skills in actively participating at a senior level in the day-to-day management of that business; or
  • does not intend to continue to hold a substantial ownership interest in and utilisz his or her skills in actively participating at a senior level in the day-to-day management of an eligible business in Australia.

Substantial Presence for Business Operation

In order to apply for the extension, holders of the Subclass 188 visas must demonstrate their need to be residing in Australia in order to operate their main business and manage its day-to-day affairs. This criterion does not require physical presence at all times, but the anticipated presence must be substantial.

Application Charges

First installment:

  • Base application charge: $645
  • Additional applicant charge for an applicant who is at least 18: $325
  • Additional applicant charge for an applicant who is less than 18: $165

Second installment: Nil

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