Reported late last week it is expected that the Australian Federal Government could be getting tougher with their visa requirements in the Significant Investor Visa stream.
A new report, commissioned by the Australia Japan Business Co-operation Committee, said it expected Australia would react to recent political and economic developments by tightening the screws on this particular visa.
Designed exclusively to attract foreign investment into the country, applicants under this visa would have to commit to an AU$ 5 million invest over a four-year period. It was introduced as a new stream within the Business Innovation and Investment visa and the Business Innovation and Investment visa.
The purpose of the visa is to provide a boost to the Australian economy and to compete effectively for high net worth individuals seeking investment migration. Migrant investors will be required to invest AU$ 5million into complying investments for a minimum of four years before being eligible to apply for a permanent visa.
Now, according to reports in The Australian Financial Review the investor visa scheme will be altered to push money towards certain specific areas of the economy.
This announcement only narrowly precedes the government’s National Industry Investment and Competitiveness Agenda, which is to be released on Tuesday, 14 October 2014. It is believed that the areas benefiting from this announcement will include agribusiness, energy, mining technology, medical technology and advanced manufacturing.
While currently the complying investments for the Significant Investor Visa states investments can be made in:
• Commonwealth, State or Territory government bonds
• Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) regulated managed funds with a mandate for investing in Australia and
• direct investment into Australian proprietary companies.
The Australian Department of immigration and Border Protection states, “visa applicants may hold investments in each of the above investment options in any proportion and may also change between complying investments, provided they meet specified reinvestment requirements.”
Further requirements in some states and territories include:
• The applicant holds business and/or personal assets of at least A$5,000,000 which are available for investment in a complying investment(s) in Australia immediately prior to visa grant; and
• An additional A$50,000 is available for domestic and/or settlement purposes.
“Applicants will be considered on a case by case basis with the long term economic benefit to the Western Australian economy being the prime factor considered for approval of State nomination,’ states the department.
Visa applicants in this visa stream are urged to seek professional advice from a reputable immigration consultant before applying for this visa and making any financial commitments or investments.