Latest update to Investor Visa and Significant Investor Visa

Changes to the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) that came into force on 1 July 2021 has as from our experience lead to a large increase in enquiries for the 188b Investor Visa (IV), with no noticeable downturn in demand for the 188c Significant Investor Visa (SIV).

Along with the usual strong demand from the top five source countries from China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Vietnam and South Africa, we are seeing increased demand from the UK, Thailand, India, Japan, Cambodia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Iran.

It is important to remember that the Australian Government does not discriminate on race, religion or nationality for visa applications.  The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has made it clear that all visa applicants must meet the legal criteria for the visa they have applied for. If applicants meet all health and character requirements, then a visa is granted, regardless of where a person is domiciled at time of application.

The Ord Minnett team supports Australia’s stand on anti-discrimination and works with clients from all races, religions and nationalities.

States and territories
The changes introduced Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) and the Complying Investment Framework (CIF) were designed to maximise the economic contribution of these visas to Australia and help support Australia’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery.

Most state nomination requirements for the subclass 188 and subclass 888 visas are generally the same as those required by DHA. However, there has of late been a number of states that have introduced some strict or unique criteria of their own.

NSW – for example, will refuse a nomination application for a provisional visa 188b IV or the 188c SIV and the permanent visa (subclass 888) if you cannot show your complying investments meet their strict percentage-based and definition based, investment criteria. The feedback we have been receiving from the migration, investment community and IV and SIV applicants are that these strict criteria are difficult to satisfy and add another layer of complexity to the already complex and multi-faceted DHA complying investment framework.

For South Australia, the choice of investment options is based on the client’s own preference and DHA complying investment requirements. However, the complying investment fund or funds must be of material benefit to South Australia (SA). So it’s important that applicants get advise on an investment solution that they are comfortable with, and will be acceptable to SA.

If you are over 55 years of age and want South Australia to nominate you for the 188b IV, then you will need to maintain compliant investments of A$3.75M in lieu of the DHA requirement of A$2.5M. This is a substantial premium and needs to be taken into consideration when considering a SA state nomination.

Western Australia’s state nomination requirements for the subclass 188 and subclass 888 visas are as per the CIF requirements of the DHA. However, applicants seeking Western Australia (WA) State nomination for the permanent residency Investor visa subclass 888 and the Significant Investor visa subclass 888 must agree to reinvest their maturing complying investment funds into WA assets and provide details of the investments when making their application.

Tasmania’s program recognises the significant contributions business migrants make to Tasmania’s economic growth and cultural diversity. Tasmania seeks successful business owners, innovators and entrepreneurs with the ability to operate businesses and develop business concepts that will genuinely benefit Tasmania’s economy.
It is interesting to note that Tasmania is not offering any spots for the Investor and Significant Investor Streams in their current program.

The ACT also insist that, to qualify for their nomination, you must show that your complying investments will make a contribution to the ACT economy.

The Northern Territory is currently working on their new criteria. In the interim applications are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Every state or territory has their own unique criteria. The common theme is that each state wants every applicant, in varying degrees to demonstrate a genuine commitment to the nominating state.

With all of the complexities introduced by the BIIP review, combined with each states own criteria, our message that all investor visa applicants should seek independent financial advice is more important than ever.

Please ensure that your clients receive investment advice from an ASIC licenced Financial Adviser who specialises and is experienced in the Investment Visa (IV & SIV) space. This advice should be sought before you even lodge an EOI, to ensure that the applicant’s investment goals, objectives and options are aligned with their intended state of nomination.

At Auslife Migration, we have a team of experts to assist you to go through the maze. Please do call us at +603 2300 2380 (Kuala Lumpur office) OR +61450 772380 (Melbourne office) for more information.


20 Dec 2021

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