The new Australian immigration minister Scott Morrison has said that he wants to fast-track 400 wealthy visa applicants for permanent residence.
The 400 applicants have applied under the Significant investor visas (subclass 888) that we announced back in November last year.
The immigration minister believes that, between the 400 applicants, they have about AUS$2bn to invest in the Australian economy. He also says that he wants to ‘reboot’ the Significant Investor Visa so that it creates more Australian jobs.
At the Migration Institute of Australia National (MIA) Conference held recently, Minister Morrison said there were 400 wealthy foreigners ready to invest $AUD 2billion in the Australian economy under the program. However, due to the lengthy visa processing time, Australia could lose potential investors as they “are starting to get cold feet and look to alternatives elsewhere.”
The Significant Investor Visa was established in November 2012 by the previous Australian Labor government to try to attract international investment into Australia. So far, 28 Significant Investor visas have been granted. To qualify, applicants must have at least AUS$5m to invest in Australia. The investments must be made in investments approved by the Australian government.
There is currently a nine-month waiting period before an applicant can receive an significant investor visa but Mr Morrison says that he wants to cut this for fear that wealthy Chinese citizens will take their money elsewhere.
“We think people who create business, people who risk their capital, people who go out there every day and create jobs off their own effort and off their own enterprise is what we need to see more of in this country and certainly within our immigration program,” said Minister Morrison.
“We will send a clear message that we are open for business on this visa. We will put in place the assessment capacity to back that up once we have the system rebooted and remodelled. We will look to review the investment criteria for this program, with a view to having a more flexible approach that could see more of the investment capital attracted under that program being available to more small and medium sized businesses including entrepreneurial start-ups.”
Still, you’ll need a spare $5 Million first!