Australian Migration for InvestorsJess Hui
Australian Investor Visa
With one of the world’s most sought after living environments, favourable climates, great education opportunities, well developed markets, safety for women and political security and proximity to Asia, Australia continues to be the first choice of destination for emigration and investment for high net worth individuals from Asia (especially China) and other parts of the world, followed by US, Canada and the UK. The makes the Investor Visa Australia an attractive option.
Australia has become particularly popular nowadays due to recent US government changes in their visa process. The US has radically changed their investment requirements. Basically this has occurred under the EB5 program (a US immigration program to attract foreign investment for almost 30 years). Also recent significant UK reforms to the Tier 1 Investor visa (a UK visa to enable high net worth individuals to invest and migrate to UK) have increased Australia’s popularity. This alongside the uncertain immigration rules in the UK due to the chaotic Brexit events.
Supportive Government Initiative – Investor Visa Australia
The Australian government has made business and investor immigration to Australia very encouraging and supportive. There are a number of business and Australian investor visas to be awarded to experienced business people. This also includes high net worth individuals who migrate to Australia and set up or invest in businesses in Australia. Depending on the size of the investment and interest; investors have a choice of various types of visas. Ultimately the golden rule is that the higher the investment, the higher will be the benefits offered by the Australian states or territories which provide the nomination. One the other hand, lesser will be the eligibility criteria for permanent residency. Also, there are other considerations such as elements of business innovation and entrepreneurship for certain types of business and investor visas.
The Australian Business Innovation and Investment Visa Program is made up of three visa subclasses:
- Business Talent (Permanent) visa (Subclass 132);
- Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (Subclass 188); and
- Business Innovation and Investment(Permanent) visa (Subclass 888).
132 Visa – Investor Visa Australia
This is a permanent resident visa for high calibre experienced business owners or entrepreneurs. These people must have a genuine and realistic commitment to managing a new or existing business in Australia. This visa is not subject to a points test nor minimum English requirement but the intending migrant must be nominated by an Australian state or territory. This visa has two streams namely the significant business history stream and the venture capital entrepreneur stream.
This Australian investor visa is approximately a four year provisional visa.
This visa is usually read in conjunction with the 888 visa as the two visas together form a two-stage pathway to permanent residency. The holding of a 188 visa is the prerequisite for an application for an 888 visa, with some exceptions (e.g. apply as a holder of a Special Category visa).
Australian state or territory nomination is mandatory for all streams under this visa with exceptions in certain states or territories. Streams for this visa include:
- the Business Innovation Stream for those who have a successful history of doing business and wish to do business and invest in the nominating state or territory, and have total net business and personal assets of at least AU$800,000;
- the Investor Stream for those who make at least a AU$1.5 million investment and have net business, investment and personal assets of at least AU$2.25 million;
- the Significant Investor Stream for those who invest at least AU$5 million into complying significant investments;
- the Premium Investor Stream for those who invest at least AU$15 million into complying premium investments; and
- the Entrepreneur Stream for entrepreneurs who have a funding agreement from a third party for at least AU$200,000 to undertake a complying entrepreneur activity.
The 188 visa is only a provisional visa. Therefore, holders of 188 visas who wish to continue living in Australia indefinitely may apply for an 888 visa.
This is a permanent residence visa for holders of the 188 visas.
In general, an applicant must have been in Australia as the primary holder of a 188 visa in a corresponding stream in order to apply for an 888 visa. Nonetheless there are some exceptions that may apply (e.g. applying as a holder of a Special Category visa). In addition, an applicant must meet the following major requirements prior to applying for the 888 visa:
- meet the minimum provisional visa holding period and residence requirements under each stream; and
- meet business and/or investment requirements under each stream.
How we can help?
Our experienced lawyers will be able to help you with pre-visa investor visa Australia application assessment, paperwork preparation, visa application and appeals to visa decisions (if required). We’ll guide you through each stage of the visa application, answering any queries you may have during the whole process. We are registered migration agents and lawyers who specialise in business and investor migration/visas, please do speak to us before you incur any complications in your visa application.