Australia Investor Visa hopefuls will need to invest an additional AUD 1 million under new program regulations slated to take effect on July 1st, according to Australian Financial Review. The total investment amount for the Investor Visa will rise from AUD 1.5 to AUD 2.5 million.
Originally flagged in 2015, when the Australian government altered the scheme, the reforms will now take effect in conjunction with a broader program revamp that will also include a change in the required structure of the investment portfolio.
For both the Investor Visa and the Significant Investor Visa, the reforms will mandate that visa holders allocate 20% of their investments in venture capital and private equity, 30% in emerging companies through managed funds, and 50% in managed funds as per state requirements.
The Significant Investor Visa will keep its aggregate investment threshold of AUD 5 million. The allocation of the invested capital, however, will change under the new rules; AUD 500,000 must go towards eligible Australian venture capital or private equity funds, AUD 1.5 million towards an eligible managed fund or specified investment entity funding emerging companies, and AUD 3 million towards managed funds.
The effect of the amendment, both for the Significant Investor Visa and the Investor Visa, is that investors will need to allocate at least half of the capital to startups or emerging companies. Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke sees this change as a boost to a vital sector of the Australian economy:
“Over AUD 15.9 billion has been invested into the Australian economy [under the investor visa schemes] since 2012 and the changes taking effect from July 1st will see this figure continue to increase,”
Hawke emphasized the critical role the changes would play in capitalizing high-risk/high-potential ventures:
“Australia is an attractive destination for investors, and these changes will directly benefit emerging enterprises, the commercialization of Australian ideas, and research and development. Increased investment thresholds and the adjustment of investment ratios to focus more on venture capital and private growth equity will better support innovation and emerging enterprises in Australia.”
Yasser El-Ansary, Chief Executive of the Australian Investment Council, echoed Hawke’s views, pointing out that stating that the changes would guarantee “an important flow of capital to support fast-growth businesses.”.
El-Ansary shed more light on the lingering impacts of the changes, saying:
“Increasing the venture capital and private equity component […] will provide direct benefits to job creation and growth through the development and expansion of innovative companies, which will provide flow-on advantages to the economy. With a clear path to permanent residency, significant investors are likely to continue to invest in Australian businesses for the long term after they have met the visa requirements. These are the small-to-medium-sized businesses that will generate real jobs and economic growth.”