Background

On 14 October 2014, the Australian government announced its intention to expand and improve the Significant Investor Visa (SIV) programme as part of its Industry Investment and Competitiveness Agenda (Agenda), available at this link

The changes are intended to:

  1. Streamline and enhance the processing of visas, further promote the SIV programme internationally, and strengthen integrity measures to increase the attractiveness of investing and settling in Australia, whilst protecting Australia’s interests.
  2. Align the criteria for complying investments with the government’s national investment priorities. The investment eligibility criteria will be determined by Austrade in consultation with key economic and industry portfolios.
  3. Introduce a new Premium Investor Visa (PIV) which offers a 12 month pathway to permanent residency for investors who meet a $15 million investment threshold. The Government intends for the PIV to be introduced on 1 July 2015.
  4. In addition to the current States and Territories’ governments, Austrade will be tasked as a nominating entity for SIV (complementing the current State and Territory governments' role as nominators) and the sole nominating entity for PIV.

These changes are intended to take effect during 2014-2015.

Further details can be accessed here.

What it means for you

If you are a trustee, IDPS platform operator or fund manager and you want to promote investment into your funds by SIV applicants, you should take note of the upcoming changes and consider if your investment strategies and SIV documentation need to be updated.