What Are The Recent Changes To The Investor Visa Programme?

 Australia has always tried to attract the best and brightest oversees skilled labour, whether through The Temporary Work (Skilled) 457 Visa or Significant Investor Visa (SIV), to meet skill needs and improve Australia’s competitiveness

On 24 November 2012, the SIV was to provide a boost to the Australian economy and at present are available for applicants having an eligible investment in Australia of A$5 million, for a minimum of four years.

Recently the government has proposed few reforms to encourage more individuals to make Australia home and to bring in additional foreign investment, while maintaining safeguards to ensure the migration programme is not misused.

Here are the key changes to be aware of:

Visa Process

The current visa application process is rigid and time consuming. The new changes will speed up the visa process to promote the programme globally while ensuring Australia’s interests are protected.

Investment Eligibility Criteria

The new changes will allow Austrade to align the investment criteria for with the Government’s national investment priorities by taking into account key economic and industry policies.

Premium Investor Visa (PIV)

Premium Investor Visa’s (PIV) will be introduced offering immigrants speedy permanent residency if they invest A$15 million or more in the country.

New responsibilities for Austrade

Within the new changes, Austrade will become a nominating entity for the SIV and will be the sole nominating entity for the PIV.

The above changes, especially the PIV, plans to attract high net worth individuals that are seeking investment migration while promoting investment in start up businesses. Currently, Australia still lags behind other developed nations in the area of venture capital being invested into startups. The changes can be classified as the first step towards correcting the market failures that created barriers for investement in startups. The Competiveness Agenda is definitely not the final chapter but it is safe to say that we are on the right track.

The changes to the SIV will take effect during 2014-15, with the Premium Investor Visa to be introduced from 1 July 2015.

Be sure to visit the LawPath blog for further announcements on 457 and SIV programmes.

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