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Australia Significant Investor Visa Update

3 September 2015

The Australian government has updated its rules and minimum requirements for its Significant Investor Visa (SIV) and Premium Investment Visa (PIV), two of the visa streams in its Business Innovation and Investment Programme.

The SIV was suspended on 24 April 2015 pending the introduction of a new investment framework. The new rules took effect on 1 July when the program reopened. Under the new guidelines, applicants must invest AUD 5 million into a managed fund or funds in Australia. Of that sum, 10% must be invested into a Venture Capital fund and 30% into 'Small Cap' investments. The remaining 60% may be invested into other ‘balanced’ managed funds. It is not possible to make the investment directly into residential real estate and the investment must remain unencumbered for the full four years.  

The other requirements for the SIV remain unchanged and applicants continue to receive an initial four year temporary visa, which may be converted to permanent residence if 160 days are spent in Australia over that four year period.

An updated Premium Investment Visa (PIV) also came into effect on 1 July. This will require an investment of AUD 15 million for one year. There is no residence requirement and applicants will be eligible for permanent residence after 12 months of continuous investment. There are few other details available at this time, however the range of complying investments will be much broader than the SIV and will include government bonds and private unlisted companies.

All foreign nationals apart from New Zealand citizens must hold a visa prior to travelling to Australia. There are two types of migration for non-Australian citizens, temporary and permanent, and approximately 120 visas known as ‘subclasses’ for these two categories. The Business Innovation and Investment Programme includes four visa streams.

You must submit an Expression of Interest and be nominated by a state or territory government or Austrade on behalf of the Australian government before being invited to apply for any of the four visas in the Business Innovation and Investment Programme.