« New visa reforms targeting investors and entrepreneurs »

A new visa program will be introduced to encourage investors and business entrepreneurs to come to Australia.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) will introduce a new Significant Investor visa subclass which will be designed for migrants who can make an investment of at least $5 million in the Australian economy.

Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen, said, 'This new visa will make it easier for investors coming to Australia by offering some concessions on visa requirements - such as not having to meet a points test and reduced residence requirements - in recognition of their meaningful investment contribution.'

Investor options under consideration include state and territory bonds, Australian Security Investment Commission (ASIC) regulated managed funds and direct investment into Australian companies.

The changes will bring Australia into line with other countries, such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Singapore and New Zealand, which provide for migration on the basis of investment of a specified size and conditions.

Mr Bowen said the government was also reforming the Business Skills visa program to attract more entrepreneurial talent and diverse business expertise to Australia.

The measures include:

  • facilitating permanent entry of entrepreneurs who have sourced venture capital funding in Australia
  • reducing the visa subclasses from 13 to 3
  • introducing a points test for provisional visa applicants giving weight to people with a history of business innovation
  • allowing business migrants to extend their provisional visa should they need additional time to establish their business in Australia before applying for permanent residence
  • increasing asset thresholds to better align with the Australian business community.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship grants between 7000 and 7800 Business Skills visas per year. There have been 7200 places allocated to the program in 2011-12.

The Significant Investor visa will be introduced in the 2012-13 program year, while the new Business Innovation and Investment visas will be integrated with the skilled migrant selection model, SkillSelect,commencing on 1 July 2012.

You can find more information on the Business Skills Program Reforms - 1 July 2012 page of the DIAC website.

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