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Australia’s Abiding Allure

Tony Le Nevez

Tony Le Nevez

Tony Le Nevez is Managing Partner at Henley & Partners Australia.

Australia consistently ranks among the world’s top destinations for private wealth migration, drawing high-net-worth individuals from around the globe. In 2024, we expect to see a net inflow of 2,500 investors and their families, the fifth-highest globally. What makes Australia so attractive? The answer is that Australia ticks all the boxes, from its great climate and lifestyle to its world-class education and healthcare, distance from global crisis hotspots, and absence of inheritance taxes and death duties, supplemented by an attractive visa program aimed at attracting highly skilled professionals —  the Australia Global Talent Independent (GTI) Program.

Migration: An integral part of Australia’s identity

Australia’s history of large-scale migration dates back to the 1950s, when semi-skilled workers from central and eastern Europe ventured to the southern hemisphere. In recent decades, a significant influx of highly skilled professionals — many qualifying as high-net-worth individuals with investable wealth exceeding USD 1 million — have chosen Australia as their new home. Like many developed nations, Australia faces a severe skills shortage and an aging population and is keen to attract highly skilled individuals who contribute to the growth of key sectors.

View of Melbourne’s central business district, Australia

The Global Talent Independent Program: A blueprint for success

In 2023, Australia saw the second-highest net inflow of millionaires globally, of 4,000. While some will have entered through traditional investment migration and other migration routes, a significant number gained residence through the government’s GTI Program.

Launched as a pilot program in 2019, the GTI Program was designed to bolster Australia’s innovation and tech sectors by providing a streamlined pathway to permanent residence for highly skilled executives, businesspeople, entrepreneurs, and professionals. The program targets future-focused industries such as agri-food and agtech, digitech and fintech, education, health services, and renewable energy.

Globally mobile individuals applying under the program are drawn not only by Australia’s desirable lifestyle and excellent public services but also by its reputation for personal safety and political stability. Furthermore, Australia’s proximity to Asia makes it an ideal base for doing business with China, Japan, and the growing economies of Southeast Asia.

Since its inception, more than 25,000 GTI Program visas have been issued, with a further 4,000 places allocated for the 2024/25 financial year. This program has proven to be a key driver in attracting the world’s top talent to Australia. 

New National Innovation Visa program  

In its recent budget for the 2024/25 financial year, the Australian government announced that the GTI Program will be replaced by a new National Innovation Visa (NIV) program by the end of 2024. The new NIV is expected to retain most of the eligibility requirements of the GTI visa but will be strengthened by the inclusion of an additional pathway for major investors. In the budget announcement, the government confirmed its intention to continue targeting exceptionally talented migrants who will drive growth in sectors of national importance. In keeping with the success of the GTI Program, the new NIV program will provide a permanent visa pathway for highly talented individuals such as high-performing entrepreneurs, major investors, and global researchers. 

Australia’s great appeal for high-net-worth families

Wealthy individuals are drawn to Australia due to a combination of factors. With a strong focus on work–life balance, Australia provides an unmatched quality of life. The emphasis on outdoor activities, cultural events, and family-friendly policies makes it an ideal place for high-net-worth families to settle. 

Modern pull factors include a robust and dynamic economy, high levels of personal safety and security, and relative remoteness from current global geopolitical hotspots. Australia’s resilience in the face of global economic fluctuations and its political stability offer a secure environment for investments and business operations. This is a significant factor for individuals looking to protect and grow their wealth. Additionally, as part of the Asia Pacific region, Australia is strategically aligned with some of the world’s fastest-growing economies.

Furthermore, successive governments have acknowledged that Australia is in a global competition for talent. They recognize that the migration of highly skilled professionals and entrepreneurs adds significant societal value. Visa initiatives such as the GTI Program have proven highly effective in luring top talent to Australia’s shores.

Sustainability and innovation: New pull factors

In addition to the established drawcards, new drivers are emerging that make Australia even more compelling for high-net-worth families. The country’s commitment to sustainability and renewable energy is appealing to environmentally conscious investors. Australia’s investment in green technologies and sustainable practices offers a forward-thinking and eco-friendly lifestyle.

Cities such as Sydney and Melbourne, which rank among the Top 50 World’s Wealthiest Cities, are becoming renowned innovation hubs with thriving tech ecosystems. This environment is particularly attractive to entrepreneurs and business leaders looking to be at the forefront of technological advancements.

Luxury real estate market  

With Sydney ranking 6th in the World’s Most Expensive Cities with the average square meter price of a prime 200 to 400 square meter apartment in the city a cool USD 22,700, Australia’s luxury real estate market offers a range of high-end properties in desirable locations. From waterfront homes to urban penthouses, the diversity and quality of the housing market are major draws.

Australia’s unique combination of lifestyle advantages, economic opportunities, and strategic initiatives continues to make it a top destination for talented and affluent individuals. The country’s proactive approach in attracting high-net-worth individuals through innovative visa routes such as the GTI Program and the new NIV Program, along with its commitment to sustainability, innovation, and quality of life, ensures that Australia remains a preferred choice for the world’s best and brightest global citizens. As its new drivers gain traction, Australia’s appeal is set to grow even stronger in the years to come.

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Henley & Partners assists international clients in obtaining residence and citizenship under the respective programs. Contact us to arrange an initial private consultation.


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