Australia’s Significant Investor Visa Program – Alive and Growing

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Despite recent negative publicity and questions surrounding real benefits to Australia from the Significant Investor Visa (SIV) program, there is no evidence to suggest the stream is about to be scrapped. In this article by Ivan Chait, registered migration consultant with Santa Fe, his experience is of continued strong interest in the SIV immigration pathway.

New Complying Investment Framework

There has clearly been some concern from prospective applicants about the new investment rules that came into effect on 1 July, 2015. This relates to the obligation to invest 10% of the $5,000,000 complying investment portfolio into venture capital or growth private equity funds, as well as 30% in emerging company managed funds. The balance of 60% can be in more conservative Australian based investments such as corporate bond funds.

It is important to note that Australian managed funds, that applicants are required to invest in for the $4.5M component of their complying portfolio, are regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC). This provides a level of protection for SIV Applicants.

For venture capital, the fund must apply to government body AusIndustry to be registered by Innovation Australia under the Venture Capital Act 2002. The funds are also required to meet quarterly and annual reporting obligations.

What do potential migrants to Australia think?

Ivan ChaitIvan Chait, General Manager, Visa Immigration at Santa Fe says:

“Having had numerous discussions with prospective clients regarding their concerns, it is evident that the issue with the new investment framework is more a lack of understanding, particularly of the Venture Capital (VC) component. There is a real need for education around the investment processes of these managers, and indeed the governance imposed by the regulatory bodies”.

Whilst every investment carries a level of risk, and venture capital clearly sits on the higher end of the spectrum, many managers have achieved some good outcomes for the underlying companies and their private investors, albeit over considerably longer investment time frames than the minimum visa period.

Benefits of the Significant Investor Visa stream

The SIV program continues to offer a range of benefits for intending migrants which are not available under other business and investment categories. These include:

  • no upper age limit
  • no minimum English language competency requirement
  • Potential tax advantages as temporary residents.

Importantly, the flexibility with residency during the provisional period is one of the key attractions, with the primary applicant only required to spend 40 days per annum or 160 days in total in Australia during the four year provisional visa term. This enables the intending migrants to continue their business interests overseas, as they plan their families move to Australia.

Alternatively their spouse can spend 6 months a year in Australia in order to qualify for permanent residence. It is also possible to extend the initial 4 year validity period by 2 further periods of 2 years each if the Significant Visa Holders elects to do so.

For further information on the Significant Investor Visa program and other Australian migration options contact Ivan Chait (Registered Migration Agent 9253612) on +612 9262 4477 or ivan.chait@santaferelo.com

Thinking Relocation? Think Santa Fe.

Santa Fe provides the full range of relocation services to support businesses with international interests from diverse industry sectors.  Core services are Immigration, Moving, Relocation, Real Estate and Records Management. Last year, Santa Fe handled 110,000 relocation’s globally. With offices in 56 countries across six continents, Santa Fe offers holistic relocation solutions to support businesses and relocating employees.

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