Asia-PacificPolicy Updates

Australian Govt. Says Min. Investment Requirements for Investor Visas Are Too Low

Australia’s Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has opened a formal public consultation process on the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP), a substream of the country’s overall skilled immigration program.

The government wishes to know whether there are opportunities to streamline the program to maximize the value it generates and whether higher investment requirements or different investment types could boost economic benefits to the Australian economy.

Specific questions include:

  • How can the investment thresholds be increased to provide the best outcome for Australia?
  • How could we achieve better outcomes for the Australian economy through the composition of designated investments for the Investor and Significant Investor visas?
  • How could a simplified BIIP framework make the program more efficient and effective in maximizing benefit to Australia?
  • How can the points test be adapted to encourage investments above the minimum threshold?
  • How can incentives be provided to encourage prospective migrants to operate a business in regional Australia?
  • What factors should be considered in introducing any changes, including phasing in changes over time?

Noting that the Investor Visa and Significant Investor Visa (substreams of the BIIP) programs are invariably oversubscribed (applications to the BIIP stream are limited to 6,862 per annum) despite their relatively high investment thresholds, the DHA believes there may be room for a higher price tag.

“Investment behavior and measures of wealth indicate that applicants have some capacity and willingness to invest above the current thresholds,” writes the DHA and further suggest that price elasticity is high. Raising thresholds, therefore, appears a viable means of maximizing the program’s benefit to Australia.

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The BIIP consists of nine different visa streams for business owners, entrepreneurs, and investors. This multifaceted framework of visas that sometimes overlap for similar cohorts of applicants, the DHA fears, may render the program less attractive to prospective investors. The Department, therefore, would like suggestions on how this could be streamlined.

The DHS would also like proposals for how to improve its current points-based system, specifically regarding how it may be redesigned to boost investments in regional parts of the country.

The Department of Home Affairs writes that it welcomes written submissions sent to their email at by close of business 14 February 2020, addressed to:

The Director, Skills and Innovation Policy Section
Migration Planning and Visa Policy Branch
Department of Home Affairs

Want to know more about Australia’s investment migration programs? To see recent articles, statistics, official links, and more, visit the Australia BIIP Program Page. To see which firms can assist with applications to the program, visit the Residence & Citizenship by Investment Company Directory.

Christian Henrik Nesheim AdministratorKeymaster

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.

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