Significant Investor Visa (SIV) briefing was held on Wednesday 23rd September, 2015 hosted by the NSW Government Department of Industry. With opening remarks by John Sidoti MP, the panelists provided a progress update following introduction of the new investment framework from 1 July, 2015
Michaela Browning, Austrade said she is optimistic the program will deliver good quality applicants who will make a material difference to Australia’s future, based on the continuing interest in the program.
In her presentation Michaela also outlined the roles of Austrade, AustIndustry and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP).
The Premium Investor Visa (PIV) is a “talent play” for those with proven entrepreneurial skills. Being an invitation only visa, global networks will be identifying potential applicants such as through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
Kar Mei Tang, AVCAL said they have been fielding enquiries with interest in “unlocking the black box” of venture capital investing. Australian corporates are increasingly interested in the innovation coming out of VC funds. Other major investors include superannuation funds as well as Chinese institutions looking at Australian IT and clean technologies.
Kar Mei explained the “J Curve” cash flow of the investment life-cycle, with the first 5 years building the portfolio, then moving into the value add phase including operational improvements with a view to divesting and realising profits for the general and limited (investor) partners.
Rubel Heidmann, AusIndustry explained in his presentation, the tax concessions of the different VC structures, fund set up and ongoing compliance, and the interest they are seeing from a wave of new players in the sector.
With our new Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP having a focus on global innovation, now is a great time for the inclusion of Venture Capital into the program.
Chloe Bird, Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP), provided an overview of the new legislation. Drafting has been improved, including being more specific about loan back provisions not being permitted. Her presentation also covered the flexibility for the primary applicant if they cannot meet the 40 day pa requirement due to business commitments, by including their partner who can be in Australia for at least 180 days pa.
Chloe also shared the SIV stats through to the end of May, with an increase in applications ahead of the rule changes. Under the new rules effective 1 July, 2015 there have so far been 9 visa applications which is marginally higher than expectations.
Dominica Nelson, NSW Trade outlined in her presentation the financial outcomes to date with $328M invested so far from SIV plus $651M in Waratah bonds and 346 new jobs created. They are keen to hear success stories and case studies from industry participants.
Marketing Program for NSW Immigration
NSW Trade has recently hired a Marketing Manager who will be putting to get a program of activities to promote NSW as an investment migration destination. This will include for the first time SIV industry delegations to China (VIC has run several, including one currently).
SIV Nomination form for NSW
The new NSW SIV nomination form was launched and on recommendations from NAB’s SIV Concierge team includes under proposed investments “currently obtaining advice from a licensed financial advisor” to allow time to seek personal advice for suitable complying investments.
Questions included concerns from fund managers undertaking the AML process, getting funds out of China beyond the individual USD 50,000 limit and the consequences of funds if they become non complying?
In relation to complying investments, applicants must maintain their portfolios in line with the framework under which they applied. Whilst some investments are complying under both programs, applicants cannot change between underlying programs. Switching complying investments is permitted and provided the switch occurs within 30 days the complying investment is taken to be held continuously.
The various departments are also discussing how best to monitor investment compliance, but don’t want to put too much burden on fund managers. Currently the DIBP only reviews the investments at the end of the temporary visa period. Essentially it is up to the applicant to ensure their investments are compliant along with meeting other requirements of the visa.
Queensland Trade and Investment is holding a similar event on Tuesday 6th October, 2015 – details here.