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Australia Investment Program

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Similar to other countries with a robust investment potential, Australia offers beneficial investment schemes that open the door to the country’s permanent residency through investing in governmental bonds. The amount of money that unlocks the door varies from country to country; for Australia, it is one and a half million Australian dollars. Attracting high net worth personalities and business tycoons with bulging purses and investment grip, Australia doesn’t grant the permanent residence on the very first stage of investment but uses a step-by-step visa principle regardless of the amount of investment.
The provisional 4-year investor & business visa (subclass 188) works as the first step of investment migration to Australia. During this period, an investor needs to show an outstanding success of their investment in order to obtain a permanent investor visa (subclass 888). These visas were developed for people younger than 55 years. High-net-worth personalities older than 55 (retirees) can be eligible for the retirement investor visa 405.

Why Invest in Australia?

  • Robust economic development and stable political climate benign for doing business
  • Booming industries of resource development (iron ore, gas, and coal extraction), agriculture, and tourism
  • Australia is a mighty financial hub of the Asia-Pacific region
  • Developed infrastructure and communications
  • Intelligent workforce and comfortable working conditions
  • High standards of life (education, healthcare, housing etc.)
  • Opportunity of getting the permanent residence
  • Investment visas allow taking a family along to Australia

Investor’s Visa 188

This temporary 4-year visa opens the door of investment migration to Australia but doesn’t grant the permanent residence. After the trial investment period ends, investors are assessed for getting the permanent residence through the visa 888.

The visa has 3 investment streams that differ by the amount of money being funnelled:

  • Australia investor stream requires investing at least 1.5 million AUD into a new startup or already operating Australian business and participating in its management. Nomination of the government is mandatory for this stream.
  • Significant investor visa (SIV) requires investing at least 5M AUD into a new or already operating Australian business and participating in its management. The nomination of the government or the Austrade (Australian Trade Commission) is mandatory. There is a certain way how these 5M AUD must be distributed: 500k AUD in a venture capital or private equity funds supporting new startups, then 1.5M AUD in investment companies or managed funds investing in new companies, and finally 3M AUD in companies investing in assets. All of these recipients must be eligible.
  • Premium investor visa (PIV) requires investing at least 15M AUD and being engaged in Australian business. The government is interested in a smaller, but more skilled group of investors who are able to introduce more value and greater long-term effect on the country’s economy. For this reason, only those candidates invited by the government are allowed to apply for the visa and the selection for this kind of visa is very strict.
  • Business innovation stream requires establishing a new business in Australia and managing it. Government’s nomination is obligatory. This stream is a perfect opportunity for business talents to get a permanent residence (with the next stage – visa 888) without making any direct investment.

It is important to know that, according to the recently updated rules, investing directly in non-commercial real estate doesn’t count as complying for the SIV. The government finds no sense in funnelling funds in already thriving real estate sector that has no deficit in a constant flow of money. Of course, investing in this sector isn’t prohibited as the investor meets overseas investment principles, but this doesn’t guarantee them getting the SIV. The government plans to limit even indirect investment in the non-commercial real estate.

Requirements for Australian Investors

  • Applicants of the Australian investment program must be younger than 55 years.
  • Fluent English.
  • Potential investors must be faithful to their investments and involvement into businesses during at least 4 years (duration of the visa 188).
  • The investment must positively impact the national economy.
  • Applicants need to claim for the sponsorship of either a government or the Austrade using the national online skills system.
  • Candidates must boast prominent investment and business profiles as well as at least 5-year-long relevant experience (for example, running a successful business where your part was at least 10% or a record of successful investment of at least 1.5M AUD).
  • Potential investors are required to have net assets generating at least 2.25M AUD yearly (the candidate must prove that the money was earned legitimately).
  • Being of good character and health.

Applying for any of the streams (investment visas) is made in 2 stages:

  • submitting the expression of interest using the governmental online skill system called SkillSelect (in your claim, you need to represent your business, relevant experience and investment skills and outline your investment plans for Australia focusing on the outstanding benefit for the local economy – it is of paramount importance to approach the task creatively and responsibly exhausting all means of research and planning in order to represent an outstanding investment idea);
  • if invited to apply – applying for the relevant visa (a potential investor has 60 days for submitting a well-considered application supported by thoroughly compiled documents that prove all claims they make in the application. Rules for this documentation are very demanding and require a professional approach).

Whatever kind of investment visa you apply for, processing of your application will take up to 9 months.

Investor’s Visa 888


To get the permanent base for your investment undertaking in Australia, you need

  • to have your investment in AU bonds show an outstanding benefit for the country during the 4-year provisional visa 188;
  • to be still sponsored by the Australian government (either a state one or a territory one);
  • to be committed to maintain the established investment in AU;
  • to have lived in Australia at least 2 years out of 4;
  • to show an excellent compliance with local laws.

If these requirements of the temporary visa are met, the investor gets the right to settle in Australia permanently (with his family) and access all perks the locals enjoy: better opportunities for doing business, bigger investment freedom, benefits of Medicare, better education, and even upgrading to the status of the Australian citizen.

Although the permanent investment visa doesn’t expire, its re-entry component does. With your visa 888 approved you get a 5-year entry permission which means that you can travel abroad and come back with saving your PR status. This permission needs to be renewed every 5 years (which actually means getting a special “return” visa). Please, make sure your return visa is updated before going on travels.

For your visa 888 application, you don’t need to submit your interest through the SkillSelect once again unless you want to change the region of sponsorship (for example, being on visa 444). The fact of being still sponsored by the government is a sufficient reason for the application. Ensure you submit impeccable papers and provide well-grounded documentation that proves exceptional success and benefit of your investment.

Retirement Investor Visa 405


High-net-worth personalities older than 55 years who aren’t dependants and don’t have dependents have an opportunity to spend 4 years of their retirement in Australia under the condition of making a significant investment. The visa 405 allows an aged foreigner to dwell in Australia with their partner (without dependents) for 4 years, work 40 hours per 2 weeks, and freely cross Australian border.

Key Requirements for Visa 405

  • Being sponsored by the government (either the state one or a territory one).
  • Having sufficient funds for living in Australia for 4 years: annual income mustn’t be less than 65k AUD (for living in the regional Australia, the amount is less).
  • Having assets worth 750k AUD (for living in the regional Australia, the amount is less); assets must be legally earned and prepared to a transfer to AU.
  • Making an investment worth at least 750k AUD in the state you got sponsored in.
  • Having no other dependents except a partner (a partner mustn’t have dependents as well).
  • Meeting AU standards of health and character for your age.
  • Suitable medical insurance covering healthcare expenses for your age for the whole period of your stay (at least 4 years).
  • Being faithful to the performed investment during the visa duration (4 years): you won’t be able to withdraw your funds unless your circumstances are special.

Making an investment is a mandatory requirement for getting the visa 405. It is important to mention that the amount of contribution can be less (500k AUD) if you plan to settle in the regional Australia. Don’t confuse this investment with transferring your assets (numbers are similar). Both of these actions must be done in order to get qualified for the visa as they aren’t interchangeable.

Applying for the visa entails filling up relevant application forms and submitting them to the government of the territory you have chosen for the dwelling. Then ask the treasury corporation of that territory for details of your future investment and for the investment application form. After your application is processed, you can handle the transferring with the chosen treasury corporation. You will find out the exact interest rate after transferring money.

The visa cannot be renewed, so if you wish to stay after the visa terminates, you need to pursue another visa.

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