New investment framework for Significant Investor Visa and new Premium Investor Visa

Effective 1 July 2015, the enhanced Significant Investor Visa (SIV) and Premium Investor Visa (PIV) will be introduced. The new investment framework forms part of a suite of Government policy initiatives, with the aim to promote investment, innovation and commercialisation of Australian ideas, research and development, facilitating a flow of capital into innovative start-ups and emerging Australian companies.

On 15 May 2015, a joint media announcement by Andrew Robb, Minister for Trade and Investment and Michaela Cash, Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection on the Australian Government’s much anticipated new investment framework for Significant Investor Visa (SIV) and information on the introduction of the new Premium Investor Visa (PIV) was made.

Minister Robb said: “Australian permanent residency is a great privilege – and the Government believes this warrants more dynamic investment in areas of the economy that will drive innovation and make a real difference.”

Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Michaelia Cash said the SIV programme provided a great pathway to Australian permanent residence for high net worth international investors.

The enhanced SIV framework still mandates an investment of at least $5 million over four (4) years in complying investments, which must now include:

  • A minimum allocation of $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;
  • Investment of at least $1.5 million in an eligible managed fund(s) or Listed Investment Companies (LICs) that invest in emerging companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX); 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 other ASX listed companies, eligible corporate bonds or notes, annuities and real property (subject to a 10 per cent limit on residential real estate).

New Premium Investor Visa

The new PIV targeting “talented entrepreneurs and innovators” to be introduced from 1 July 2015 aims to attract highly talented and entrepreneurial individuals to Australia who can contribute those skills and talents into areas that can deliver a long term economic benefit to the country.

  • New PIV is only available at the invitation of the Australian Government, with potential applicants to be nominated by Austrade.
  • Offers an accelerated twelve (12) month pathway to Australian permanent residency, to talented entrepreneurs and innovators who can invest $15 million into eligible investments.
  • Allows a wider range of eligible investments in comparison with SIV, which includes direct investments in a range of companies and financial products.

Earlier on 24 April 2015, new applications for the SIV were suspended for the purpose of preparing the new framework for the SIV in anticipation of its reintroduction on 1 July 2015.

The new framework for the SIV and PIV will come into effect on 1 July 2015.