The Australian Government offers the opportunity for high net worth individuals to secure Australian visas via its Business Innovation and Investment programme, through a subclass 188 visa. There are four streams:

  • Business Innovation stream: for individuals with business skills who want to create, develop or manage a business in Australia;
  • Investor stream: for individuals with a minimum of AUD $1.5million in an Australian state or territory and maintains business and investment activity in Australia.
    Applicants for the above must be nominated by a state or territory government;
  • Significant Investor stream: for high net worth individuals to invest AUD $5 million into complying significant investments in Australia and want to maintain business and investment activity in Australia; and
  • Premium Investor stream: for high net worth individuals to invest at a minimum AUD15million into complying premium investments in Australia and want to maintain business and investment activity in Australia.

Applicants for the latter two streams can be nominated by a state or territory government or Austrade on behalf of the Australian government. The Provisional, (Subclass 188) visa is the precursor requirement for holding a Permanent, Subclass 888 visa; the Permanent visa is available to individuals after four years of completing the investment programme, both allow for investment immigration.

This visa stream allows the individual applicant to develop an existing business, create a new business and/or make a compliant investment in Australia within a chosen Australian State or Territory. This visa will allow travel in and out of Australia of the life of the visa and to bring family members with you. This visa will also allow eventual permanent residency to be sought.

This article explores the Significant Investment Visa (SIV) 188C (Provisional) under subclass 188.

Roadmap to Securing an (SIV) (188C)

  1. Eligibility Assessment of Application
  2. Expression of Interest and Submission
  3. State Nomination Outcome
  4. Country of Origin Application (Consulate Application)
  5. Request from the Department for the making of the complying investment
  6. Visa Outcome
  7. Managed Fund

1. Eligibility Assessment of Application

The SIV requires an AUD $5 million initial investment. The potential SIV individual must hold this money legally, and the money must be traceable to the source. The individual must comply with a character assessment and health assessments to be eligible. Unlike other migration categories for business, there is no upper age limit for this visa stream.

2. Expression of Interest and Submission

An Expression of Interest (EOI) must be prepared to be submitted to the State, Territory Government, or Austrade on behalf of the Australian Government. This is based on your eligibility requirements.

3. Nomination Outcome

After you have submitted your Expression of Interest to the state, territory government or Austrade, appointed Government nominators will decide if the individual will be compliant with their criteria. If you are compliant, you will receive an invitation from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) to apply for the SIV visa and will have 60 days to apply online.

4. Country of Origin Application (Consulate Application)

You must now submit an application online and courier all supporting documents to the Australian Consulate General in your country of origin e.g. Hong Kong.

5. Request from the Department

SIV investors are required by the DIBP that each investment they choose to invest in is compliant with the “complying investment” guidelines. It is typical that the relevant fund manager will make a confirmation to DIBP that their investment services in Australia will be compliant.

6. Visa Outcome

The process is complete, and the investment can commence.

7. Investment Distribution

Upon receiving Department approval for making a complying investment. SIV applicants will be required to invest at least $5 million over four years in complying investments, see below for a guide of investment allocation. Managed Funds typically manage the portfolio for you, managed funds must comply with Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and must be managed in Australia. It is important to be aware of the large commission some manage funds take.

Requirements of a Managed Fund

  • $500,000 of the total investment must be placed in eligible Australian venture capital or growth private equity (VCPE) fund(s)these will should have an investment focus on startups or small business.
  • At a minimum $1.5 million of the total investment in an eligible managed fund(s) or Listed Investment Companies (LICs) (with an investment focus on emerging companies).
  • $3 million or the balance of the investment must be placed in managed fund(s) or LICs that invest in a combination of eligible assets that include Australian listed securities, eligible corporate bonds or notes, annuities and real property (subject to the 10 per cent limit on residential real estate).

Interested parties should seek professional legal advice to ensure their SIV applications and chosen investments are compliant with the DIBP. LegalVision can assist with your visa application. It is important to seek advice from a registered Migration Agent only. Questions? Call us on 1300 544 755.

Sophie Glover

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