New investment in innovative Australian ideas and emerging companies will be encouraged as part of enhanced Significant Investment Visa (SIV) and new Premium Investor Visa (PIV) complying investment framework arrangements announced today.
These investor visas offer pathways to permanent residency, subject to significant, complying investments being made in Australia by the applicants. These framework changes reflect months of extensive consultation.
Austrade and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection will continue to consult with stakeholders to explain the investment framework ahead of the changes to the programme being implemented on 1 July 2015.
The changes to SIV and introduction of a PIV are part of a suite of Government policy initiatives which aim to promote investment, innovation and commercialisation of Australian ideas, research and development which are critical to our economic future.
These policies include funding for investment promotion and facilitation, the Medical Research Future Fund, new rules around crowd source funding and employee share schemes and tax breaks for small business.
Minister Robb said: “Australian permanent residency is a great privilege – and the Government believes this warrants more dynamic investment in areas of the economy that will drive innovation and make a real difference.”
Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Michaelia Cash said the SIV programme provided a great pathway to Australian permanent residence for high net worth international investors.
“The Government is keen to attract international investors with business and entrepreneurial skills, who will bring the necessary capital to enhance investment into innovative Australian businesses,” she said.
Significant Investor Visa
From 1 July 2015, the Government intends that 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 in an eligible managed fund(s) or Listed Investment Companies (LICs) that invest in emerging companies; and
- A ‘balancing investment’ of up to $3 million in managed fund(s) or LICs that invest in a combination of eligible assets that include Australian listed securities, eligible corporate bonds or notes, annuities and real property (subject to a 10% limit on residential real estate).
The reforms to the SIV and introduction of the PIV were announced by the Prime Minister in October 2014 as part of the Government’s Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda.
Since the announcement, Austrade has undertaken extensive consultation with interested stakeholders, including public consideration of complying investment design options through two rounds of public written submissions (receiving approximately 170 submissions). The Prime Minister had announced that these changes would take effect from 1 July 2015.
Minister Robb said the previous SIV framework had set the bar too low, with investment largely directed into passive investments such as government bonds and residential real estate schemes – areas that already attract large capital flows.
“Direct investment in residential real estate has never been a complying investment for SIV and this will not change. Indirect investment in residential real estate through managed funds will now be restricted. Importantly, a SIV holder can still independently invest in residential real estate so long as it complies with foreign investment rules, but this would not count as a complying investment to qualify for a visa,” he said.
Department of Immigration and Border Protection will continue to apply robust integrity and compliance measures in its management and delivery of the programme, with applicants undergoing rigorous assessment, including mandatory character and security checks.
Premium Investor Visa
The Government intends to introduce a new PIV from 1 July 2015 targeting talented entrepreneurs and innovators with a minimum $15 million to invest. It will be available at the invitation of the Australian Government only, with potential applicants to be nominated by Austrade.
This programme will be rolled out over the next year, focussing on attracting a small number of highly talented and entrepreneurial individuals to Australia who can contribute those skills and talents into areas which deliver a long term economic benefit to the country. States and Territories will play an important role in helping to identify potential applicants.
Further information on the new complying investment framework for the SIV and PIV can be found on Austrade webpage: www.austrade.gov.au/invest/significant-investor-visa-and-premium-investor-visa-programmes. Any further enquiries about the complying investment framework can be directed to email@example.com.
Information on the process of applying for a SIV can be found on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s webpage: www.immi.gov.au/visas/Pages/188.aspx.
- Trade Minister's Office: (02) 6277 7420
- DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555