App. Backlog Nears 20,000 for Australia’s Business Innovation & Investment Visa
Close to 80,000 investor migrants and family members had obtained Australian visas under the BIIP by the end of June last year, but 18,682 applicants were “in the pipeline”.
Australia’s Business Innovation & Investment Program (BIIP, or, subclass 188) is the stream of Australia’s general migration program that relates to investor/entrepreneur-type visas. Over the last decade, 77,886 principal applicants and dependents have received visas under the BIIP, some 71% of whom were from Greater China.
The BIIP stream, in turn, has seven substreams (official descriptions in italics):
- Business Innovation Stream:
A provisional visa for people with business skills that lets you operate a new or existing business in Australia.
- Investor Stream:
A provisional visa that requires you invest at least AUD1.5 million in an Australian State or Territory and maintain business or investment activity in Australia.
- Significant Investor Stream:
This provisional visa is for people who invest at least AUD5 million in Australian investments that meet certain requirements and maintain investment activity in Australia.
- Business Innovation Extension Stream:
This provisional visa lets holders of the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) in the Business Innovation stream extend their stay in Australia for 2 more years.
- Significant Investor Extension Stream:
This provisional visa lets holders of a Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188) Significant Investor stream holders extend their stay in Australia for up to 4 more years.
- Premium Investor Scheme:
This provisional visa is for people who are nominated by Austrade and who invest at least AUD15 million in Australian investments and/or philanthropic contributions.
- Entrepreneur Stream:
This provisional visa lets you carry out entrepreneurial activities in Australia.
Two data sets for the program are publicly available; the overall number of individuals (main applicants and dependents) granted visas under the BIIP (all streams) sorted by country, and detailed statistics only for the Significant Investor Visa (SIV) substream, which you can find here.
Since 2015, the BIIP stream has been limited to 7,260 places. For the last several years, the number of applications submitted has exceeded the number of places available by a wide margin.
In its annual report on the Australian Migration Program for the fiscal year 2017-18, the Ministry of Home Affairs revealed that “demand for places in [the BIIP] increased by 5.8% in 2017–18, with 16,816 applications
made compared to 15,888 applications made in 2016–17,” and that, furthermore, the “BIIP pipeline increased over the 2017–18 program year by 25.5 percent (3800 applicants) from 14,882 applicants as at 30 June 2017 to 18,682 applicants as at 30 June 2018.”
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In other words, the number of applicants is consistently more than double the number of available places. Recent reports from Hong Kong portend historically unprecedented increases in interest in Australian immigration for the 2018-19 fiscal year – to say nothing of 2019-2020, the period in which unrest in that city began in earnest. The report for fiscal year 2018-19 is due in November.
If you want to know more about Australia’s BIIP, visit its Program Page, where you’ll find statistics, recent articles, official links, and more. To see a list of companies that can assist with applications to the BIIP, explore the Residence & Citizenship by Investment Company Directory.
Christian Henrik Nesheim is the founder and editor of Investment Migration Insider, the #1 magazine – online or offline – for residency and citizenship by investment. He is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, documentary producer, and writer on the subject of investment migration, whose work is cited in the Economist, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, and Business Insider. Norwegian by birth, Christian has spent the last 16 years in the United States, China, Spain, and Portugal.