Australia’s perennially oversubscribed Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) will see the number of visas it is allocated rise from the current 7,260 to 13,500, a near-doubling, according to a statement from Acting Minister for Immigration, Alan Tudge.
“A carefully managed Migration Program is an important part of Australia’s economic recovery and will create jobs and bring high-value investment to help Australia rebound from COVID-19,” Tudge wrote, and also indicated the terms under which investors qualify for BIIP visas would change.
“The program will have a strong focus on attracting the best and brightest migrants from around the world, with a tripling of the Global Talent Independent program allocation to 15,000 places and an increase in the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) to 13,500 places. The BIIP will also be streamlined and reformed to ensure that investments are targeted at Australian venture capitals and emerging small and medium size businesses to support the economic recovery.”
In a separate press release, Minister Tudge said the primary target of the Skills program would be “innovators, investors and job creators – those who are going to grow Australian businesses, create Australian jobs and supercharge our economic recovery.”
Commenting on the news, James Hall – Managing Director of ANZ Migration – indicated the Ministry’s announcement presaged a bumper year for investment migration in Australia and gave his view of how he believes the program will change to fit the government’s overall immigration strategy.
“From the 1st of July 2021, there will be changes made to the business/investment program that will likely increase investment requirements, and increase visa application charges (11.3% above the regular indexed increases),” said Hall. “These changes are to focus on ‘higher-value investors, business owners, and entrepreneurs and improve the economic outcomes of the BIIP’. I have been expecting changes to the program for a while now and believe it was due to be implemented earlier this year but delayed due to the COVID-19 situation.”
The current 7,260 spots tend to “sell out” quickly each year and Hall anticipates that – even with heightened minimum investment requirements and a near-double quota – that trend will persist.
“From personal observations, the interest in migration to Australia remains strong, so I expect the quota to be fully realised, and with pending changes we could see an increase in applicant numbers.” said Hall. “In the previous year we saw nomination places used up by early 2020, just over half way through the program year. The advice for potential clients then is to apply earlier. We should see the states and territories making announcements in the next few weeks for their programs to become fully open. There will likely still be a preference for businesses that are perceived to benefit economic recovery to the state/territory (health industries, job generation, regional business opportunities, larger investments etc).”
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.