Flexible residency for wealthy Australian visa investor applicants
Posted on June 23, 2015
Australia is introducing new flexible residency arrangements for the Significant Investor Visa from the beginning of July, it has been confirmed.
There will also be other changes from 01 July covering the entire Business Innovation and Investment Programme (BIIP) which was created to attract investors and entrepreneurs from around the world.
It currently includes the Investor Visa, the Business Innovation Visa, and the Significant Investor Visa (SIV) and from July it will also include the Premium Investor Visa (PIV).
In order to be granted a SIV or a PIV, an applicant will need to make an investment that complies with the complying investment framework. The framework is designed to encourage investment in innovative Australian ideas and emerging companies.
Eligibility for the permanent SIV will require either the primary applicant to reside in Australia for 40 days per year or the secondary applicant, who can be a spouse or de facto partner, to reside in Australia for 180 days per year.
This residency requirement will be per year and will be calculated cumulatively over the period of the provisional visa; for example, 160 days over four years for a primary applicant or 720 days over four years for the secondary applicant.
Also from 01 July 2015, Austrade will become an eligible nominator for the SIV, in addition to State and Territory governments. Austrade will also be the sole nominator for the PIV.
Other changes affecting the SIV and the PIV include the reintroduction of role swapping, which will allow a secondary applicant to apply to fulfil the primary criteria for the permanent visa on behalf of the primary applicant. There will also be a reduction of the pass mark for the points test from 65 to 50 points.
Under the changes new SIV applicants will be required to invest at least $5 million in complying investments, which must now include at least $500,000 in eligible Australian venture capital or growth private equity fund(s) investing in start-up and small private companies. The Government expects to increase this to $1 million for new applications within two years as the market responds.
At least $1.5 million needs to be put in an eligible managed fund or Listed Investment Companies that invest in emerging companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and a ‘balancing investment’ of up to $3 million in managed funds or LICs that invest in a combination of eligible assets that include other ASX listed companies, eligible corporate bonds or notes, annuities and real property but there is a 10% limit on residential real estate.
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