The Significant Investor Visa (or SIV) has brought in almost AU$2 billion of investment into Australia since its inception in November 2012. After a slow start, the timeframe for processing visa applications has improved and the number of applicants and granted visas is steadily increasing. Fund managers who have set up SIV-compliant investment structures are now starting to see funds flowing into them, particularly those who can capitalise on their connections to Asia Pacific.
We take a look at some facts, figures and recent regulatory changes which shed light on how the SIV is impacting the Australian investment funds and financial services landscape.
NSW Changes Rules to Attract Investors
In August 2014, the NSW Government announced changes to its SIV investment requirements.
SIV applicants who choose to live in NSW and are nominated from 1 September 2014 onwards are no longer required to invest AU$1.5 million in NSW Waratah Bonds. Applicants nominated before 1September 2014, however, must continue to invest in, and hold, these bonds for the term of their visa.
This change increases the flexibility of investing in NSW and is likely a response to attract investors away from Victoria, which has so far received the majority of applications.
SIV Distribution Across Australia 386 visas have now been granted
half of them are in Victoria
0 2% Western Australia
[Text Box: Total value of SIV investments ($ millions)] 300
New South Wales
Amount invested Private companies Managed funds Bonds
Good News for NSW Fund Managers
So far, the majority of NSW SIV investment is in bonds, while the majority of Victorian investment is in managed funds (see left).
As Victoria is a more popular state for business migration generally, the changes to NSW SIV rules may not lead to
a big jump in the number of investors that choose to live in NSW, but could lead to a rise in the amount invested into NSW-based managed funds.
Source of information: Department of Immigration and Border Protection (as at 31 August 2014)
9 out of 10 investors are from China
91% of SIV visas were granted to Chinese nationals. The next leading countries of origin for SIV investors are Hong Kong (3.1%), South Africa (1.6%), Japan (1.3%) and Malaysia (1.3%).
Where are the funds going? Timeframes
It takes on average
from lodging the application to grant of the visa
Total: $1.93 billion
SIVs granted since November 2012
[Text Box: SIVs granted] 350
First SIV granted
5 May 2013
Apr May Jun Jul