It pays to be an investment immigrant during the COVID-19 pandemic. Australia’s borders have been closed since March 2020 with exemptions from these travel restrictions granted to a select few categories of individuals. These include citizens, permanent residents, diplomats – and Significant Investor Visa holders.
In fact, all migrants under Australia’s Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) were allowed to apply for individual exemptions from the travel restrictions in August 2020, which was subsequently upgraded to an automatic exemption in September 2020.
Concerted Move to Attract More BIIP and SIV Investment
There has been a clear shift in the strategy of the Australian government towards its investment immigration programs.
Between March and September 2020, Australia issued just 485 BIIP visas despite receiving more than 3,150 applications. But the pace has increased significantly since then. As of June 2021, the Department of Home Affairs has issued close to 15,000 BIIP visas – provisional and permanent – since March 2020.
Further, Australia has shown a willingness to relax its travel restrictions for investors. Around 3,500 BIIP migrants have entered the country despite the closed borders and stringent travel restrictions.
These numbers reflect the concerted move by the Australian government to attract more BIIP and SIV investors into the country.
In September 2020, around the same time, BIIP migrants were granted automatic exemptions, the government had decided to prioritize the processing of BIIP applications and placed them on par with skilled workers in high-shortage occupations in the country.
Further, visa reforms that came into force from July 1, 2021 saw shift in focus from skilled workers to high-value investors, business owners, and entrepreneurs. With this, Australia’s focus has effectively moved from attracting skilled workers to getting more investors and business persons into the country.
Why BIIP and SIV Investors Exempted?
Hidden behind COVID-19’s medical and social impact is its devastating economic impact. Entire sectors have been shut down for months as the world battled the pandemic. Fiscal control has evaporated with governments forced to increase spending to control the spread of the virus.
In such a scenario, ensuring the steady inflow of foreign investments may, in the long run, make all the difference between a short crisis and a prolonged and crippling recession.
The government has gone on record highlighting the potential of BIIP investors to significantly contribute to the national innovation system and the economy as the reason for granting them an automatic exemption along with citizens and permanent residents.
Under the Business Innovation stream, applicants with net worth of $1.25 million or higher can settle in Australia by buying or starting a business.
To qualify under the Investor stream, you must be nominated by a state or territory and invest at least $2.5 million in eligible investments including at least $500,000 as venture capital or private equity.
The SIV is the most popular option for HNIs with a hefty price tag of $5 million investment in specific asset classes including venture capital funds and funds specializing in emerging companies.
Between 2012 and May 2021, these programs have brought in close to $16 billion worth of direct foreign investments into the Australian economy.General 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.