On Thursday 17/12 by Acting Minister for Immigration Alan Tudge announced changes to the business and investment visas that will see business migrants facing tougher requirements.
There are currently nine different types of business and investment visas. These will be cut back to four.
There will be changes to eligibility requirements and adjustments will also be made to the thresholds of required investment.
Acting Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs Alan Tudge said the changes would drive investment in key sectors and create Australian jobs.
“Almost $1.3 billion dollars was invested through the Business Innovation and Investment Program last year, investment that is critical to our COVID-19 economic recovery,” Mr Tudge said.
“These changes will maximise the economic contribution of these high value investors to get the best possible outcome for Australians.
“Our Migration Program for 2020-21 is clearly focussed on job creators, those with key skills and migrants who are going to invest in Australia’s future.”
The number of places available in the BIIP has almost doubled from 6862 in 2019-20 to 13,500 places for 2020-2021.
The changes align with feedback received from stakeholders as part of the Department of Home Affairs review into the BIIP that concluded in February 2020.
Key changes: (in effect from 1 July 2021)
The program will be simplified from nine to four visa streams: Business Innovation, Entrepreneur, Investor, and Significant Investor. There will be a clear pathway to permanent residency for each category.
The Premium Investor, Significant Business History (132a) and Venture Capital Entrepreneur (132b) visas will be closed to new applications from 1 July 2021. Applications already lodged for these visas will still be processed.
Provisional visa holders in all four streams will be able to apply for permanent residence if they meet the requirements after three years, but the provisional visa will now be valid for five years, meaning they have additional time to meet the requirements.
Business Innovation and Significant Investor visa holders will also continue to be able to extend their provisional visas if they do not meet the business and residence thresholds in the required timeframe.
- – Business Innovation provisional visa holders can apply for a two-year extension provided they demonstrate a realistic commitment to continuing to manage a business that has been actively operating in Australia for the previous two years.
- – Significant Investor provisional visa holders can apply for two, two-year extensions provided they continue to maintain their complying significant investment.
The requirements for Business Innovation visa holders will be increased to ensure the program is attracting migrants with proven business skills. Business Innovation visa holders will be required to hold personal and business assets of $1.25 million (up from $800,000) and have an annual turnover of $750,000 (up from $500,000) to prove their business acumen.
The Entrepreneur visa which requires high calibre entrepreneurs to obtain $200,000 funding from third parties in Australia to start a business will also be changed. Entrepreneur visa applicants will not need to obtain $200,000 from a third party. Applicants will only need to be endorsed by a State or Territory government.
The Government will also be consulting widely with industry to inform any further changes to the Complying Investment Framework. Any changes to the framework will be announced in the early half of next year, with sufficient time for businesses and investors to adjust.
Details of the review and information about the changes are available on the Department of Home Affairs website.