Almost 200 applications for Australia’s new significant investor visa have been received since it was introduced in November last year and the first one has been granted, officials have announced. The visa was introduced to attract potential migrants with a demonstrated history of success in business and investment and the first successful applicant is a Chinese toy manufacturer and his young family.
Under the scheme, significant investors must invest at least $5 million in the Australian economy under the business innovation and investment programme. They become eligible for a permanent visa after holding a provisional visa and maintaining the $5 million investment in Australia for four years. ‘Australia is in active competition with other countries across our region for successful, high wealth individuals and the capital and business acumen that comes with them,’ said Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Brendan O’Connor.
‘Significant investors bring with them their skills in business, their links to international markets and additional capital for investment in other projects in Australia that interest them,’ he explained. ‘The government is determined to manage our immigration programme in the best interests of all Australians. Attracting top flight business operators and investors is critical to continuing jobs growth for Australians,’ added O’Connor.
Investment options include Commonwealth, state and territory government bonds, managed funds and direct investment into proprietary Australian companies. State and territory governments are partnering with the Commonwealth to ensure the available visas are offered to the most experienced business people and high profile investors.
The Victorian state government nominated the first successful significant investor to be granted a visa under the scheme. Significant Investor visa applicants do not need to satisfy the innovation points test and there are no upper age limits. The visa stream features a residence requirement of 160 days spent in Australia over four years while holding the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) (Subclass 188) visa.
Visa holders can extend their visa term if they would like to given that they satisfy the extension requirements. They will be allowed to extend their provisional visa by an additional two years, with a maximum of two extensions permitted.
MAY 6, 2013