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Significant Investor Visa

From the 1 July 2015 this visa is required to be nominated by Austrade immigrant investoralongside State and Territory Governments. Austrade and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection will continue to consult with stakeholders to explain the investment framework ahead of the changes to the programme being implemented on 1 July 2015.

Migrant investors will be required to invest AUD5million into complying investments for a minimum of four years before being eligible to apply for a permanent visa SC888(C)

  • No age limit
  • Not points tested
  • No English language requirement threshold. Conditions apply
  • Relaxed residence requirements towards permanent residence – only a minimum of 160 days over the 4 year provisional visa
  • No “Skill requirement”– i.e. the applicant does not have to demonstrate a “successful business career” as is the case in the other streams

Significant Investor Visa stream SC188 (C) – Main Criteria

Austrade announced that the following changes will be applied from the 1st of July and in order to be eligible to apply for the Significant Investor Visa, the complying investments will be required to include:

At least $500 000: To be invested in Australian venture capital or growth private equity fund(s) which are investing in small and start-up private companies. This amount is subject to change over the next year to $1million.

At least $1.5 million: To be invested in LIC’s that invest in emerging companies listed on the ASX or an eligible managed fund(s).

Up to $3 million: To be invested in a ‘balancing investment’ in managed fund(s) or Listed Investment Companies (LIC’s). The LIC must invest in a combination of Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) listed companies, annuities and eligible corporate bonds and notes. The combination of required assets must also include real property which is subject to the 10% limit on residential real estate.  A SIV holder can independently invest in real estate for their own interests but a direct investment into real estate will not (as is the case currently), contribute to the complying investments.

Significant Investor Visa SC188 (C) Complying Investment Overview

Direct investment in real estate has never been a complying investment for SIV and this will not change under the new arrangements. Indirect investment in residential real estate through managed funds will also now be limited. Importantly, a SIV holder can still independently invest in residential real estate so long as it complies with foreign investment rules, but this would not count as a complying investment to qualify for a visa.

Eligibility for the Significant Investor Visa (SIV) requires the acquisition of funds for complying investments to adhere to the following:

  • Funds used towards the required investment threshold must be attained lawfully.
  • The Premium Investment Visa (PIV) is categorised and completely segregated from the existing Significant Investor Visa (SIV).
  • The current requirements for whom is directly supplying the funds and making the investment will remain the same.
  • If funds are being attained from either withdrawing them from a complying investment or cancelling an investment, the funds must be reinvested within 30 days.

Investments that are excluded and will not contribute towards the required threshold of a SIV are:

  • ‘Loan back’ arrangements will be excluded in the instance of the investment being used as collateral.
  • Direct residential real estate investment.
  • Investment vehicles (investment will be restricted to less than 10% of a vehicle’s net assets).

Contact us to speak to a migration agent for further information on complying investments and criteria.

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Signficant Investor Visa – SC888 Permanent stage SIV (C)

To be eligible for the permanent stage visa application for residency both the main applicant and or investor must have:

  • Met residency requirements as specified in their visa conditions
  • Maintained eligible investments for the duration of their provisional visa validity
  • Maintained active operation and ownership of a qualifying investment/business for the duration of the provisional visa
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