Australia has hinted it could introduce an English language requirement as part of its residency-by-investment program.
The changes will come as part of a full review into the Australian Significant Investor Visa, for which the vast majority of candidates are Chinese nationals.
Under the stream, candidates must invest A$5 million and hold the investment for at least four years.
Alex Hawke, Assistant Immigration Minister, said: “The expectation from the Australian community is that migrants have competent English. I don’t think that is unfair.”
Australian Significant Investor Visa: Quick Facts
- AUD$5m investment threshold
- Four-year investment period
- 90% of candidates are Chinese citizens
The government is introducing a number of changes on immigration policy, including toughening up the country’s popular temporary work visa and making it more difficult to become an Australian citizen.
The trend for far-right, protectionist politics has gripped Australia just like many other countries around the world.
As the centre-right ruling party loses support, the more extreme One Nation party is gathering followers, much like the UK Independence Party did during the vote to leave the European Union.
Tightening of the Significant Investor Visa rules would be the second time the stream has been altered in recent years.
Permitted investments must be made in the manner described below.
How Significant Investor Funds Must Be Allocated
|Venture capital funds and growth PE funds that invest funds in startups and small private companies in Australia||A$500,000|
|Approved managed funds that invest funds in listed emerging corporate organizations||A$1.5 million|
|Managed funds investing money in assets like listed companies, corporate bonds, commercial real estate and other approved asset classes||A$3 million|
In 2015 the investment strands were made riskier, with property investment removes as an option, causing the popularity of the program to plummet in favour of the growing number of competing options.
Critics say the program has been of little financial benefit to Australia, with the investment returned to the candidate at the end of the four-year period.
There are also fears it is being used to launder money.
Meanwhile, Australia has already begun accepting applications for a new entrepreneur visa.
The new stream comes under the country’s Business Innovation and Investment Program.
To qualify, the immigrant must secure A$200,000 in funding from an agency specified by the Australian government (see below for a full list) in order to start their business in the country.
Securing the visa comes with a direct pathway to permanent residency.
Australia’s Entrepreneur Visa: Eligibility
- Be under 55-years-old.
- Have a competent level of English.
- Have an agreement in place for at least $200,000 to grow an entrepreneurial venture in Australia.
- Hold at least 30 per cent interest in that entrepreneurial venture.
- Be nominated by a state or territory government.
- Commonwealth agencies.
- State and territorial governments.
- Publicly funded research organisations
- Investors registered as a venture capital limited partnerships or early stage venture capital limited partnerships or any combination of these.
- Australia’s existing investment immigration program has been largely unsuccessful.
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