New arrangements for investor visa applicants that will encourage investment into innovative Australian research and development and emerging local companies come into effect today.

Expressions of Interest for the enhanced Significant Investor Visa (SIV) can now be submitted to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection under new requirements that mandate investment into small and emerging companies and venture capital funds.

Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb said the new investor visa requirements would stimulate dynamic sectors of the Australian economy.

Minister Robb said: “The Government has implemented these changes to foster innovation and the local commercialisation of Australia’s world-leading research and technologies. We want budding entrepreneurs to have access to the investment dollars they need right here in Australia to grow their businesses and create new jobs in the dynamic industries of the future.”

Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Senator Michaelia Cash, said the enhanced SIV programme had been designed to attract entrepreneurial applicants with $5 million to invest into the Australian economy.

“The enhanced Significant Investor Visa has been designed to attract talented international entrepreneurs and business people who are willing to invest into sectors of Australia’s economy that are in need of capital. In return, the SIV programme offers a four-year pathway to permanent residency – it’s a win-win for applicants and the Australian economy,” Minister Cash said.

The new Premium Investor Visa (PIV) programme has also come into effect today. The PIV has been introduced to attract a small number of highly talented and entrepreneurial individuals who can translate those skills and talents into areas which deliver a long-term economic benefit to Australia.

The PIV will be an exclusive program available at the invitation of the Australian Government. It will be developed over the next year by Austrade, which is the sole nominator.

The changes to the SIV and introduction of the PIV were announced by the Prime Minister in October 2014 and are part of a suite of Government policy initiatives to promote investment, innovation and commercialisation of Australian ideas, research and development. 

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 businesses.

Further information on the Significant and Premium Investor Visas is available on the Department of Immigration and Border Security website: www.border.gov.au and the Austrade website: http://www.austrade.gov.au/Invest/Doing-business-in-Australia/significant-and-premium-investor-programmes

Overview

New SIV Complying Investment Framework:

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 the 10% limit on residential real estate).

Premium Investor Visa:

The PIV is a separate visa stream that will target talented entrepreneurs and innovators with a minimum $15 million to invest. Please note that nominations for the PIV are by Austrade invitation only. Austrade will not accept unsolicited expressions of interest for the PIV.


* Media release amended since first issued to specify reference to "Australian listed securities" as provided for under the regulation.

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