This is possible for some of the streams under subclass 188. As you refer to investments, I'll cover the two investment pathways: investor (referred to as 188B, based upon a $1.5-million bond investment) and the significant investor visa (188c, based upon a $5-million structured investment). For the investor visa, it is possible for either the main applicant or partner to qualify as the main applicant for the subsequent subclass 888 permanent residence visa provided their name is also included in the designated investment of the $1.5 million government bond. The required residency period of 24 months would also be met by the partner. For the significant investor visa it is partially possible, but the rules are different. If the partner has separated (including being widowed) from the main applicant, then it's possible for the partner to do his or her own application. Otherwise the main applicant will remain the same but it is possible for the partner to meet the qualifying stay requirements in Australia. In this case the partner must show at least 180 days for each of the four years instead of the usual 40 days for each year for the main applicant.
Can dependents meet the physical presence requirements for the principal applicant and make the family qualify for Australia’s 888 visa category?
I was told that all visas under Australia’s 188 category are temporary residency visas. Applicants who want to obtain permanent residency in Australia have to maintain their investment for a certain period of time and meet the physical presence requirement. This is in order to transfer to the 888 visa category and obtain permanent residency. Currently, I run several businesses in my home country and I am afraid that I might not meet the physical presence requirements. However, my spouse is able to do so. I am wondering if a spouse can stay in Australia on behalf of the principal applicant.
The residency requirements for a primary applicant in the 188C significant investor visa category are much less than that required for a secondary applicant. The main applicant is required to spend 40 days per year in Australia, whereas his/her spouse is required to live in Australia for 180 days per year. This is perfect for families who wish for their children to attend school in Australia but still operate businesses offshore, while still qualifying for the permanent 888 after a period of four years.
That depends on which stream you had applied for under the 188 subclass visa program. For the 188 business innovation visa, she would need to be named as the co-business owner in Australia in order to qualify as the primary applicant for 888 and be the one directly managing the business under the "role swop" provision. If you had invested in state bonds under 188 innovation stream and your wife was named co-owner of the state bonds, she would be able to do a "swop" with you at the 888 stage to apply for the PR if she was the one fulfilling the physical presence requirement. Under the significant investor stream, though, you would have needed to name her as the principal from the start, otherwise she can't be the primary applicant for the 888 application. You are strongly advised to get professional help to qualify for the 888 application.