Reforms May Make Significant Investor Visa (SIV) Less Attractive

The Australian Government announced reforms to the Significant Investor Visa (SIV) on 15 October 2014.  These changes when implemented may make the SIV program less attractive to future applicants.  These changes are likely to take effect over the next few months but should not affect people who have already been granted an SIV visa or who apply before these changes are finalized.  People considering applying for the SIV should consider applying now before these changes take effect.

The changes are:

– the type of investments accepted for the SIV may be further restricted.  AUSA Migration understands that acceptable SIV investments may exclude low risk investments such as government bonds, other bonds or cash deposits.  Investments may be directed into other higher risk areas,such as agribusness, energy, mining technology, medical technology and advanced manufaturing.

– secondary applicants will have to spend HALF their time in Australia (180 days per year for four years) while on the SIV visa to qualify for permanent residence.  The primary applicant will still only be required to spend average 40 days per year  to qualify for PR.

The Government announced on 15 October 2014 that it would create a new Premium Investor Visa (PIV) from 1 July 2015 that will require a $15 million investment to obtain permanent residency in 12 months.  Further details will be announced in a few months.

The Government also announced that it would allow ‘role swapping’ between primary and secondary applicants within all streams of the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) including the SIV visa.  However secondary applicants for the SIV 888 visa will still have to live in Australia for 180 days per year for four years to qualify for PR.

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