The Significant Investor Visa was recently introduced by the Government, providing a new pathway for migrants who invest more than A$5 million in certain Australian investments and opening the door to more investment opportunities for Australian businesses in the Asian century.
The Significant Investor Visa: Key Facts
What is the Significant Investor Visa?
The Significant Investor Visa is a new stream within the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) (Subclass 188) visa and the Business Innovation and Investment (Permanent) (Subclass 888) visa. The purpose of this new visa is to provide a boost to the Australian economy and to compete effectively for high net worth individuals seeking investment migration.
Who can apply for the Significant Investor Visa?
Applicants with a successful business and/or investment career, may be eligible to get a temporary visa by investing A$5 million into complying investments for a continuous period of 4 years from the grant of the visa.
The advantages of the Significant Investor Visa for migrants
For migrants, the Significant Investor Visa has a number of advantages over other types of visas including that they do not need to satisfy the innovation test and there are no upper age limits. There is also no English language threshold requirements for applicants of the new visa.
What are complying investments?
Complying investments are:
● Australian government bonds;
● Australian Securities and Investment Commission regulated managed funds with a mandate for investing in Australia (this includes wholesale unregistered schemes); and
● direct investment into Australian proprietary companies.
For an ASIC regulated managed fund to qualify as a complying investment, it must be limited to categories of investments specified by the Minister in a legislative instrument in writing. These categories include:
● infrastructure projects in Australia;
● cash held by Australian authorised deposit taking institutions;
● bonds issued by the Commonwealth Government or a State or Territory government;
● bonds, equity, hybrids or other corporate debt in companies and trusts listed on an Australian stock exchange (this includes shares in ASX listed entities);
● bonds or term deposits issued by Australian financial institutions;
● real estate in Australia; and
● Australian agribusiness.
Sponsorship by a State
Each successful applicant will need to be sponsored by an Australian State. New South Wales has indicated that in order for it to sponsor an applicant, the applicant must invest 30% of the A$5 million (i.e. A$1.5 million) in NSW State Bonds (known as Waratah bonds). By contrast, Victoria has announced it has no investment requirement and simply would like applicants to plan to live in Victoria. The other States have not yet given any indication of their sponsorship criteria.
The importance of the Significant Investor Visa: Opening the door to more business opportunities with wealthy Asian investors
The Significant Investor Visa provides an invaluable investment pipeline that will enable Australian businesses to benefit from the immense wealth that has accumulated in Asia over recent decades.
The new class of visa presents exciting opportunities for Australian fund managers, in particular those investing in infrastructure, real estate and agribusinesses. It would also benefit the providers of the underlying investments of the managed funds and private wealth management businesses.
For more information on the Significant Investor Visa, please contact one of the Partners above.