Changes to Business & Investment Visas

Changes were introduced by the Department of Immigration (DIBP) on 1 July 2015 for the Business & Investment Migration Program for Australia. Please find below a short summary and discussion of some of those changes.


The Premium Investor Visa (PIV)

The new PIV will be available from 1 July 2015, with Austrade the sole nominator for this visa. State governments will not nominate for these applications. The investment amount will be $15million and applicants will be eligible for permanent residence (PR) after just 12months. No time is required to be actually spent in Australia. More detail on the types of complying investments is to follow.

Significant Investor Visas (SIV)

The Complying Investment Framework was announced on 15 May 2015. Under these arrangements the following investments are now required:

  • At least $500,000 in eligible Australian venture capital or growth private equity fund(s) investing in start-up and small private companies. The Government expects to increase this to $1 million for new applications within two years as the market responds;
  • At least $1.5 million in an eligible managed fund(s) or Listed Investment Companies (LICs) that invest in emerging companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX); and
  • A ‘balancing investment’ of up to $3 million in managed fund(s) or LICs that invest in a combination of eligible assets that include other ASX listed companies, eligible corporate bonds or notes, annuities and real property (subject to the 10 per cent limit on residential real estate).

So there is less choice for applicants or investors under the SIV now. You have to allocate $2million
to the first two options mentioned above. It is still important to choose these investments carefully. I think the jury is still out on how the market will react to these restrictions – especially for conservative investors.

Flexible residency arrangements for SIV

From 1 July 2015, eligibility for the permanent SIV will require either the primary applicant to reside in Australia for 40 days per year OR the secondary applicant (spouse or de facto partner) to reside in Australia for 180 days per year.
This residency requirement will be per year and will be calculated cumulatively over the period of the provisional visa. For example, 160 days over four years for a primary applicant or 720 days over four years for the secondary applicant (spouse or de facto partner).

Investor and Business Innovation stream changes

Changes have been announced for the Investor and Business Innovation stream visas only:

  • Role swapping has been reintroduced, allowing a secondary applicant to apply to fulfil the primary criteria for the permanent visa on behalf of the primary applicant at the initial application stage
  • Role swapping for subclass 188A particularly is important. In a couple one person could meet the primary criteria for the 188A visa but their spouse could meet the criteria for the 888 permanent residence visa. This can be particularly useful if one spouse has to spend more time than planned overseas dealing with their business.

I think this all shows that Australia is serious and determined about attracting Business & Investment Migrants. It is a proven fact that these migrants really add to Australia when they come here.

To find out more information or to determine how this could affect you or someone you know please contact me.

Guest Expert:


Matthew Garvey


Matthew Garvey – Director, Four Corners Emigration