Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection has announced that a review will be undertaken to reboot the significant investor visa (SIV) programme.
“We recognise there are significant implementation issues that are currently holding up the progress of this programme and want to get this review underway to send a clear message that Australia is open for business on this visa,”explained Michaelia Cass, Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection.
The significant investor visa programme is designed to facilitate migration of investment migrants who are willing to invest a minimum of AUS$5 million in a complying investment in Australia over at least a four-year period.
However, the programme has so far been underused; although the current government says that is has already made steps to try and address this.
“From the programme’s commencement in November 2012 until September 2013 when the election was held, just 28 visa applications were approved with AUS$140 million in complying investments,” Minister Cash continued. “Since the Coalition Government came to office, more than 116 significant investor visa applications have been approved with more than AUS$580 million in complying investments.”
The review of the scheme will look at all options to enhance the significant investor visa programme. The internal review will be conducted in close consultation with the financial services industry and stakeholders.
“There will be particular emphasis on examining ways of enhancing greater flexibility and investment choices to significant investor visa applicants, as well as faster processing of applications for this visa,” stated Cash. “The review will also examine the possibility of introducing a new permanent visa stream for investment migrants,” she added.
Terms of reference for the review broadly cover the policy settings of the significant investor visa, the application processing arrangements, and international promotion of the programme.