The SIV programme commenced in November 2012, and according to Senator the Hon. Michaelia Cash this review will:

  • look at ways to bring about the faster processing of SIV applications;  and
  • examine both:
    • “ways of enhancing greater flexibility and investment choices [for SIV applicants]”;  and
    • “the possibility of introducing a new permanent visa stream for investment migrants”.

This announcement follows comments in October last year of the Hon. Scott Morrison MP in his address to the Migration Institute of Australia National Conference (21 October 2013) that the Government was looking for a “more flexible approach that could see more of the investment capital attracted under that programme being available to more small and medium sized businesses including entrepreneurial start-ups”.  The Hon. Mr Morrison also hinted in that address at “a broader range of … compliant investments” and noted the following with respect to residency requirements under the programme :

This requires the scheme to be flexible with the residence requirements of the principal applicant who will need to spend their time overseas predominantly running their global businesses.

Where we need to focus … is on the residence requirements for the secondary applicants and family members of the principal applicant because we’re looking to see that family anchor themselves here in Australia. …

As it presently stands, complying investments for an SIV include :

  • bonds issued by the Commonwealth or a State or Territory of Australia;
  • certain managed funds regulated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission;  and
  • investments in a private Australian company where the applicant has an “ownership interest” and where the company operates a “qualifying business”,

with each State and Territory of Australia having additional requirements that must be met for an applicant to be nominated in the SIV programme.   

The programme allows for changes to a visa holder’s investment profile – and it would be prudent for current visa holders to bear this in mind as the Government’s review is finalised and any resultant changes to the programme implemented.