The Australian Government has made regulations which
a new Premium Investor Visa (PIV) program;
and its proposed changes to the Significant Investor Visa (SIV)
from 1 July 2015.
The SIV still requires an AUD$5 million investment to be made in
Australia, however there have been a number of changes to permitted
Premium Investor Visa
The PIV is a new visa stream available from 1 July 2015. The PIV
requires an AUD$15 million investment in Australia. The PIV enables
successful applicants to obtain permanent residency after an
accelerated period of 12 months. Austrade is responsible for
recommending applicants for PIV. However, the States and
Territories are able to make referrals of applicants to Austrade.
The assessment will be made on an individual basis.
The PIV is aimed at attracting business skills and
entrepreneurial talent to Australia which are aligned to National
or State and Territory investment priorities. Permitted investments
may be through Australian managed investment funds1, LICs or direct
investments in only one or more of the following:
Annuities issued by a life company, where the annuity does not
repay capital during the period of the visa
Philanthropic contributions approved by States or
Australian proprietary limited companies
Corporate bonds or notes issued by an Australian exchange
listed entity (or its wholly owned Australian subsidiary)
Investment grade rated Australian corporate bonds or notes
rated by an AFS licensed rating agency
Australian government or semi-government bonds or notes
Cash (for investments through managed funds only) held by
Australian ADIs (including certificates of deposit, bank bills and
other cash-like instruments) - but cash must not make up more than
20% of the fund's net assets
Derivatives - but these must be used only for risk management
Australian exchange listed securities; or
Commercial real property in Australia.
Direct investments into residential real property cannot be
made, however, indirect investments can be made through a managed
fund, provided the fund's residential real property investments
do not exceed 10% of the net value of the fund's assets.
In any case, an indirect residential real property investment
may not be made if it is for the dominant purpose of:
deriving financial benefits; or
assisting the investor, investor's spouse or de facto
partner, or any member of any of their families, to reside in or
gain legal ownership in Australian residential real property.
Significant Investor Visa
The changes to the SIV program came into effect on 1 July
Austrade is now one of the referring agencies able to make
recommendations for the SIV (in addition to the States and
There have been a number of changes to permitted SIV
investments. The new arrangements are set out as follows:
New SIV investment mix
Australian Financial Services Licensing (AFSL)
The general partner of a venture capital fund, trustee or
responsible entity of a managed investment scheme, issuer of shares
in an LIC, insurer or investment manager in relation to the above
investment vehicles, must hold an AFSL or be exempt from the need
to hold one. Further, they must have their central management and
control in Australia and be unrelated to the investor, their spouse
or de facto partner.
1Includes financial products issued by
Friendly Societies and Life Companies. Managed investment fund
investments can be held through an IDPS or fund of
2Includes Australian real estate investment
trusts and infrastructure trusts.
3No direct residential real property investment
may be made through the fund or LIC. The value of all indirect
residential real property investments made through the fund or LIC
must be no more than 10% of the value of the fund's net assets.
The investment must not be made for the dominant purpose of
deriving financial benefits, or of assisting the investor,
investor's spouse or de facto partner, or any member of any of
their families, to reside in or gain legal ownership in Australian
residential real property.
This publication does not deal with every important topic or
change in law and is not intended to be relied upon as a substitute
for legal or other advice that may be relevant to the reader's
specific circumstances. If you have found this publication of
interest and would like to know more or wish to obtain legal advice
relevant to your circumstances please contact one of the named
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