Australia has suspended its Significant Investor Visa program, and has stopped accepting new applications until the proposed changes to its Investment Immigration Program come into effect from July 2015. The suspension means that the state and territory governments cannot issue Invitation Letters under existing rules. All formalities will now have to be completed after the new rules come into force.
The Significant Investor Visa program offers permanent residency to individuals making and holding investments in Australia for a period of not less than four years. The visa has a validity period of four years, which can be extended subject to continued fulfillment of investment and other norms. Further, the Investment Immigration program requires applicants to prove a genuine intention to reside in the state or territory that has nominated them under the Program.
Investment immigrants seeking a Significant Investor Visa are required to file an Expression of Interest with the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection. Applicants are then required to file a nomination with the government of their preferred state or territory. If the application is accepted, the government issues an invitation letter. This allows the investor to proceed ahead and finalize investments into permitted asset classes.
Now that the Program has been suspended, applicants will be required to comply with the new norms and regulations set to come into force from 1st July, 2015. The proposed changes, which have not yet been finalized, are expected to include the following new norms:
- 20% of the minimum investment of $5 million must be directed towards early-stage growth capital investments. This shall be routed through approved venture-capital funds.
- Investors will be required to route at least 40% of the minimum investment into emerging listed companies. This investment will be made through managed funds that invest in small Austrian companies that are listed on the stock exchange.
- The proposed framework reemphasizes the existing ban on flow of investment immigration funds into the residential real estate sector. Further, rules are expected to prohibit even indirect investments into the Australian residential property market. However, investors are expected to be allowed to invest a part of their funds in this sector via the managed funds route.
The suspension of the Program comes as a blow to those investors who sought to file applications under the comparatively lenient rules and norms applicable under the original framework. Applicants will now be required to wait for the new framework to come into effect before seeking permanent residence under the Significant Investor Visa Program.
Source: Australiaforum.comGeneral Information: Contact us to receive more information about this article.
Interested Investors: Kindly complete the following form and we will contact you to discuss your global residency and citizenship investment options.