Federal Government shakes up visa system in bid to lure overseas investors

The Federal Government has unveiled a new scheme that aims to attract overseas investors who will plough at least $5 million into Australian businesses.

The new Significant Investor visa will fast track wealthy migrants who intend to boost innovation and job creation by investing in Australian businesses.

Foreign investors who put money into state and territory bonds, Australian Security Investment Commission (ASIC) regulated managed funds and direct investment into Australian companies will be considered of the visa.

The move will see Australia follow other countries, such as the UK, Canada and New Zealand, that offer visas to people who provide investment.

Meanwhile, earlier this week, lawmakers in the US introduced a new bill, dubbed Startup 2.0, that will make it easier for entrepreneurs and investors do businesses in America.

The Australian government measures will provide a permanent visa to entrepreneurs who make venture capital investment in an Australian business, a more favourable view of business innovators in the visa points system, and an extension to provisional visas for foreigners looking to establish a business in Australia.

The government will also shake up the business skills visa program in a bid to attract more entrepreneurs to Australian shores.

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship grants between 7,000 and 7,800 Business Skills visas a year. There have been 7,200 places allocated to the program in the coming year.

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen says: “The Significant Investor visa will provide a boost to our economy and help Australia to compete effectively for high net worth individuals seeking investment immigration.”

“Our migration program is important to our economy, not only in the area of skills but also innovation and capital investment.”

“This new visa will make it easier for investors coming to Australia by offering some concessions on visa requirements – such as not having to meet a points test and reduced residence requirements – in recognition of their meaningful investment contribution.”

“This is an important part of Australia’s skilled migration program because it targets migrants who have a demonstrated history of innovation and success in business.”

“Such individuals make a strong contribution to the Australian economy, innovation and job opportunities for Australians. We are implementing several measures to increase the volume and quality of applicants for this program, which will be renamed the Business Innovation and Investment program.”

This article first appeared on StartupSmart.

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