So what’s so special about Australia? The white sandy beaches, the blue skies and warm days, the vast stretches of untouched land ... the clichés go on. What you don’t hear much about is the steady growth figures, the favourable investment and business environment, the stability of the economy, and ... here also the list really does go on. Australia is prosperous.
Australia, like most developed nations, is looking for investment dollars and its immigration offering for high-net-worth individuals seeking to settle with their families and business interests away from home is reflective of this.
Australia first launched a ‘Significant Investor Visa’ (SIV) program in 2012. This is a visa category that allows immigrants to settle in Australia if they invest $A5m in Complying Significant Investments, held continuously over a four-year period. At the end of that four-year period, assuming the $A5m remained invested in Complying Significant Investments for that entire period, the visa holder and family are eligible for permanent residence in Australia. Permanent residency in Australia under the SIV program entitles you and your family to remain in Australia indefinitely, work and study in Australia without any restrictions, travel to and from Australia as often as you wish, and once eligible apply for Australian citizenship.
Prior to 2015, the mix of Complying Significant investments was heavily geared towards government bonds offered by State and Territory governments – a safe reliable investment, but one with very little return. From 2015 government policy altered the mix with a focus on emerging companies and a move away from bonds.
The reality of this change is greater opportunity for would-be visa holders. Returns may be greater, with some very good options available involving a mix of private equity in late-stage startups, emerging companies and balanced investments including real estate.
In considering investor visas, whether for Australia or elsewhere, here are some things to watch for:
To find out more about Australia’s immigration laws, please feel free to contact Neil Arora of Keypoint Law in Australia (part of the Keystone Law group) at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. It should not be used as a substitute for legal advice relating to your particular circumstances. Please note that the law may have changed since the date of this article.