Processing of Significant Investor Visa (SIV) applications will be suspended from 24th April. Australian states will no longer be able to issue invitation letters, with Austrade taking over from 1 July.
The SIV programme is designed to provide a boost to the national economy through an increased inflow of investment and to enable Australia to compete effectively for high net worth individuals seeking investment immigration.
Following the 2014 review, including feedback from industry participants, the proposed changes are designed to see the full potential of the government’s investor visa scheme realised.
Currently, SIV Applicants are required to invest $5M into complying investments including government bonds and managed funds that invest in Australian assets such as cash, term deposits, shares and property trusts.
Under the new investment rules, it is proposed that half of the $5M be invested in areas that support innovation through early stage venture capital and small and micro company share funds. The balance can continue to be invested in Australian share and property funds (excluding residential), however more conservative investments including government bonds will no longer be eligible.
Applicants may continue to lodge expressions of interest during the suspension period, but no invitations will be issued until after 1 July 2015.
For more information on the transitional arrangements, go to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website or speak to a member of our professional community.