Over 700 Vietnamese nationals applied for Australia’s Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa, known as Visa 188, in 2017, the second-highest of all countries that year behind only China, according to the Australian Ministry of Home Affairs.
Between the 2012 and 2015, the number of Vietnamese Visa 188 applicants grew by nearly five times, from 61 to 299.
The number experienced a slight drop in 2016, to only 237 applicants, before bouncing back in 2017 to reach a record high of 716 people applying for the temporary residency visa.
Visa 188 is granted to business innovators and investors who want to establish, develop and manage a new or existing business in Australia or make a designated investment of at least AUD1.5 million (US$1.1 million) into the country.
Visa holders can reside temporarily in Australia for up to four years and three months, after which they must return to their home country or apply for a permanent residency investment visa (Visa 888).
According to the Australian home affairs ministry, more than 40,000 applications for the Visa 188 were submitted between 2012 and 2017, but only 52 percent of which were approved and granted.
Chinese nationals made up the largest group of applicants from a single country, with over 8,700 applications submitted in 2017.
The number was more than 12 times higher than runner-up Vietnam.
Only around half of 716 Vietnamese applications for the Visa 188 last year were successful, according to a ministry report.
In the same five-year period, merely 18 Vietnamese nationals were eligible to apply for the Visa 888, which allows the holder to stay in Australia indefinitely.
Only five Vietnamese applicants were granted the permanent residency visa between 2012 and 2017, making up less than one percent of all successful Visa 888 applications worldwide in the period, according to the statistics.