At the recent BasisPoint Significant Investor Visa (SIV) conference, following the keynote address by the assistant immigration minister The Hon Alex Hawke MP, there were lots of questions from the more than 200 industry participants in attendance.
SIV is one of the streams within the Business and Innovation program and more than 1,700 visas have been granted since commencement in 2012 generating $8.7B in complying investments, with 88.4% of applicants from China. In July 2015 there was a change to the complying investments framework to more active assets to contribute to Australia’s economic growth.
Whilst applications made under the new investment regime are starting to pick up, they are considerably lower than when the program first started when complying investments were simpler resulting in many applicants choosing government bonds for the four-year temporary visa term.
Announcement of a review of the SIV program
The government is aware of the interest in giving feedback on the design of the program. The assistant minister announced there would be a review of the program later in 2017, welcoming input from the industry.
He also mentioned the Productivity Commission Recommendations which had a negative view of the program, but stated that the government wants to ensure the investor migration program is appropriately targeted, relevant, successful and continues to expand.
Importance of Migration
China business engagement has been a key driver of modern Australia’s economic growth. Export of education with foreign students, the growth in tourism with the expansion of the middle-class in China, and import of capital and ideas.
Growth in two-way trade is important with trading agreements with a number of countries in the region and the China story within the prism of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) which is only 18 months old.
In relation to business migration, Mr Hawke said the results had been beyond expectations of the program and confirmed commitment to investor migration, encouraging engagement with the government and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).
Upcoming delegation and events
The NSW government is continuing to market business migration including the SIV program and investment in the state with it’s second annual roadshow to China earlier in the year, Malaysia and Vietnam and Hong Kong in June.
If you are interested in being part of upcoming discussion groups on investment migration and have comments on the proposed program review submission, please complete your details below to be kept up to date.
Stacey Martin is the founder of Expat Advisors Community, a network for professionals with internationally connected clients. With a background in financial services, today Stacey consults in investor migration managing relationships between Asia, in particular, China, Vietnam and India and Australia and New Zealand. For more information contact Stacey here.