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New rules for high net worth migrants under the SIV and PIV program

The changes effect migrants who have $5m+ to invest in Australia.

Prior to the changes, a non-Australian could invest $5m in Australia, with very little rules, and in return the normal English language and age limitations were removed.

The program, known as a 188 or 888 visa, was extremely popular, yet for some reason the DIBP closed this visa stream in early April 2015.

On Friday, the Government made the long-awaited announcement that the SIV program would be re-opened, with changes.

The main changes concern how the money is to be invested – namely from 1 July 2015, SIV applicants will be required to invest at least $5 million over four years in compling investments, which must be

  1. At least $500,000 in eligible Australian venture capital or growth private equity fund(s) investing in start-up and small private companies. The Government expects to increase this to $1 million for new applications within two years as the market responds;
  2. At least $1.5 million in an eligible managed fund(s) or Listed Investment Companies (LICs) that invest in emerging companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX); and
  3. A ‘balancing investment’ of up to $3 million in managed fund(s) or LICs that invest in a combination of eligible assets that include other ASX listed companies, eligible corporate bonds or notes, annuities and real property (subject to the 10 per cent limit on residential real estate).

In addition there is a new visa – the Premium Investor Visa (or ‘PIV’) – which will be introduced on 1 July 2015 and provides applicants with a 12 month fastracked pathway to permanent residency. Applicants must be invited by the Australian Government, and the PIV programme will be quite limited to only those who are considered highly talented and entreprenuerial individuals who meet the $15 million threshold.

Zeke Bentley, Principal of The Migration Place, notes that these changes mean that the SIV is now a more controlled program and hopes that the restrictions on investment will not scare away any of these high net worth migrants.

These new visa rules – especially the PIV which requires State or Commonwealth government sponsorship – really highlight:

  1. The importance of acting quickly when deciding to migrate (because the rules can change within a matter of weeks).
  2. The importance of engaging a migration lawyer experienced in seeking government sponsorship, and dealing with new visa rules.
  3. The need to apply using an experienced migration lawyer, to ensure that your application is strong and will be successful.

The Migration Place is a division of Irish Bentley Lawyers, which means you will also have access to our skilled commercial, tax and insolvency lawyers.
Please contact The Migration Place today on (07) 3229 4025 or mail@themigrationplace.com to be ready to apply on 1 July 2015.

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