Changes to Australian investor visas

The Cost of Changing Investor Visas

The latest Review of the Australian investor visa streams is titled “A better deal for Australia”. While Australia may benefit from this review the question is at what cost for the average investors?

A post-Covid Australia

The Department of Home Affairs is now seeking submissions from stakeholders to inform its review of Australia’s Business Innovation and Investment Program. The program attracts migrants who have a history of success in innovation, investment and business, and are able to make a significant contribution to the Australian economy, including local start-ups and emerging companies.

Those ventures must demonstrate how they will benefit Australia’s recover from COVID. 

Since 2012, the program has resulted in more than $13 billion being invested in Australia’s economy.

Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge said the Government was looking to answer one simple question: can we get a better deal for Australia?

“Immigration to Australia is very attractive and we should be encouraging foreign nationals who want to come to Australia and invest in job creation,” Mr Tudge said. “Investment in Australia is a good thing. We need to ensure we are maximising the economic benefits of this program. “I encourage stakeholders to engage in the consultation process, to ensure we have the right settings in place to maximise the benefits to Australia.”

The consultation process focuses on several key points, including:

  • The opportunity to streamline the program, which currently includes three visas and nine visa streams.
  • How increasing investment thresholds and different investment types could provide better economic benefits to Australia compared to the current settings used for the Investor visa and Significant Investor visa.
  • How to encourage more investment and business innovation activity in regional Australia.

The take away points here, are the facts Australia wants to increase the minimum investment levels required while looking to control where business investors can place their investments.

What is driving the review?

This is not surprising as the USA in November increased their minimum investment level from USD$ 500K to USD $900K for residency under the EB-5 programme. As a bellwether for emigration-by-investment programmes the USA has re-set the bar. As skilled emigration becomes harder for individuals for various reasons, countries across the globe are now looking to maximise the financial benefit of migration programmes designed to attract wealthy investors.

As part of the consultation process, the Department of Home Affairs will be holding a series of roundtables with stakeholders.

We welcome these discussions and will continue to act in our clients best interests.

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