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Australia’s Significant Investor Visa To Be Dropped From Next Month

Australia’s most controversial program, which issues visas to individuals who invest a minimum of $5 million in Australia, will be dropped from October’s budget.

Since 2012, more than 2,000 people have been issued Significant Investor Visas (SIV), with 85 per cent from China and 3.6 per cent from Hong Kong.

During this period, the amount invested in Australian businesses has been more than $11 billion, with the program being adjusted in 2015 to redirect capital toward up-and-coming companies instead of real estate.

Successful SIV candidates are not obligated to learn or speak English, and there is no age limit, which is unlike other visa categories.

The federal government is keen to focus on skilled worker migration after the international border closure.

Recently, Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil firmly expressed that the visa, which is often referred to as a “golden ticket,” would be put an end to after years of evaluations and changes.

The Home Affairs Minister stated that she thinks most Australians would be displeased by the idea that Australia has a visa category through which a person can buy their way into the country. She added that presently, she does not see Significant Investor Visas being beneficial to Australia.

Recently, an Australian newspaper reported that the members of Cambodia’s Hun Sen regime were practically buying their way into Australia with a route to permanent residency.

The visa scheme has been criticised by the American-British Fund Manager and Political Activist Bill Browder, who also campaigned for Magnitsky Sanctions that target corrupt political officials worldwide.

But the program has been very beneficial to businesses, particularly for fund managers.

In 2019 Andrew Martin, the managing director of asset management at Moelis Australia, stated that the scheme brought vast amounts of money into the country.

Mr Martin stated that according to estimations, the subsequent investment from SIV investors had been up to four to five times more than the required $5 million, which means that capital invested into Australia could be around $50 billion.

The idea of eradicating the so-called ‘Golden Visa Scheme’ has been welcomed by Transparency International Australia chief executive Clancy Moore.

Mr Moore said that Fast-track investment migration strategies have resulted in kleptocrats, crooks and criminals being provided visas, and then they laundered their dirty money through the Australian real estate and other sections of the economy. The government’s reexamining of the immigration system is an excellent opportunity to get rid of this unfair visa category and close another backdoor for dirty money.

Change In Migration Limitation

The Federal Government has publicised the migration limit will be increased by 35,000 in next month’s budget to 195,000.

The government is hopeful that this increase will help solve an economy-wide skills shortage.

The Home Affairs Minister, Ms O’Neil, said that this could mean thousands more nurses and engineers settling in Australia this year. For the first time in Australian history that Australia is not the dream destination for many of our skilled migrants, she added.

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