The SIV changes and beyond – what are the options?

Friday, April 17, 2015
About 6 months ago I wrote a blog that looked at how well the Significant Investor Visa (SIV) was doing.  At the time the visa was almost 2 years old so a good time to see if it was meeting milestones and if any intervention was needed.

In that article I mentioned some of the possible changes following a review of the SIV and that 1 July 2015 was a suggested date for the implementation.  Well it looks like 1 July will be the date when the SIV gets a makeover.  The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has just announced that it will temporarily suspend all invitations for SIV applications from 24 April to 30 June 2015 in preparation for the changes to the legislation.  This will not affect any applicants that have already received an invitation to apply for a SIV (provided they submit an application before 1 July) or any applications currently being processed – these will be processed under current legislation and requirements.

Most of the state and territory governments have also announced a suspension in the acceptance of SIV applications for nomination.  The suspensions will happen over the next few days as the states and territories have different time lines for assessing nominations.  So in other words, if a person is not ready to lodge a complete application for state or territory nomination now, it is too late.  They will need to wait until after 1 July 2015.

Obviously any new applications will need to meet the new legislation but what this is, we don’t quite know as yet.  In February 2015, Austrade produced a document with draft complying investment options.  In this document it was suggested that at least half of the $5 million required to be granted the SIV be put in mandatory investments including venture capital funds and funds investing in small/micro cap companies.  The remainder could be put into other managed funds though with specific requirements including restrictions on investment funds containing residential property.

Austrade has not released the outcome of the review process so it is not known how much of the draft document will make it into legislation.  It is also not known exactly what role the state or territory governments will have in directing where the complying investment goes.  So watch this space!

In the interim however it is worth looking at what other options there are for investor visas, as these can be forgotten in the frenzy around the SIVs.

The Business Talent (subclass 132) visa is the only business category visa that is a permanent residence visa upfront (so no need for a provisional visa first).  There are two streams – the significant business history stream and the venture capital entrepreneur stream.  For the first stream, the applicant needs to have had involvement in a significant business (turnover of at least $3 million) and have assets to invest in a business in Australia of which they will have management responsibilities.  The venture capital stream is for applicants who have secured venture capital funding of at least $1 million from an Australian company to start up or expand a business in Australia or commercialise a product.

The investor provisional visa is for applicants who have had a successful business or investor history and who have net assets of at least $2.25 million.  The applicant is required to put $1.5 million into state government bonds for 4 years and live in Australia for at least 2 or those 4 years, to be eligible for a permanent visa at the end of the 4 years.  While in Australia they can work or study if they want, so it is a very flexible resident requirement.

If you want to know more about the options for these investor visas please contact our team of qualified registered migration agents.

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St Patricks Day

Tuesday, March 17, 2015
Shopping in the heart of Brisbane’s bustling inner city is usually a great way to spend Saturdays.  Last Saturday on March 14, as I began searching for a car park in the city centre, I was blissfully unaware of the difficulties that lay ahead for my plan of shopping. Upon driving into the car park, chaos descended. It seemed that the population of Brisbane had congregated in one convenient location: the Myer Centre car park. I circled around, trying desperately to find a space. This was to no avail. 

But what had caused it? Just as I admitted defeat I detected a sea of green out of the corner of my eye. I looked closer at the crowds walking through the city. More green. Of course, how could I have overlooked the St Patrick’s Day Parade?  

So why is St Patrick’s Day such a big event in Brisbane? The true blue Aussie justification may just be that any event which inherently leads to drinking in an Irish pub is worth celebrating. However this barely begins to scratch the surface. Brisbane is rich in Irish heritage – as Saturday’s display can attest to – and with around 6 million Aussies being of Irish descent the day has become more about community spirit. 

Children spend the weeks leading up to the day learning traditional dances, the Irish Choir perfects their performances, Irish community fundraisers are in full swing, and street performers are out to show pride in their heritage. The fun, community minded spirit of the day has influenced not only Irish descendants but also everyday Aussies to join in on the celebration. 

Not only is St Pat’s Day a unification of Irish culture in Australian capital cities such as Brisbane, but take a trip out to one of the most iconic outback towns of Australia, Broken Hill, and you will be surprised to find that on St Pat’s day this town becomes known as the city of the outback.  People flock from all over Australia to attend the St Pat’s race day and this year was a special one for the Silver City, as the St Patrick’s Day Race Club celebrate their 50th year.  

The St Patrick’s Day races may be a far cry from ‘the race that stops a nation’ but it is most certainly no less fun, as punters travel long distances to dress up in the middle of the Australian desert and watch horse racing and raise money for local schools and community groups.

Irish culture has certainly forged a footprint all over Australia and events such as these will see that this continues for the next generations.   

Even though my shopping trip was cancelled for the day I’ll be looking forward to joining in on the fun of the St Pat’s Day Parade next year! 

Cassie W

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Australian Sporting Tips

Friday, March 06, 2015

Blog by Hamish Martin, Registered Migration Agent (MARN) 1462173 at AMVL Migrations

With the ICC Cricket World Cup in our backyard and the NRL/AFL season about to kick off as an avid sports fan it’s hard to be anything but excited for this time of year. Whether it’s a slash of a Maxwell bat, a spectacular around the corner goal by Gary Ablett or a barnstorming run by Greg Inglis everyone is excited to see their favourite stars back in action. 

And if those names I mentioned above don’t mean anything to you, they should. There is no better feeling than enjoying a relaxing beer at the cricket, cheering on your AFL team with an 80,000 strong crowd at the MCG, or watching some devastating tackles from some big lads in your NRL team. 

In fact loving sport is an Australian tradition, almost a part of our culture. And why shouldn’t it be? – For a country of 23 million we sure do punch well above our weight on the world stage. Swimming, Cricket, Rugby and more recently soccer (having won the Asia World Cup) are all sports that Australia excels in. 

Now back to my tips. Tipping isn’t my forte as my online tipping account will attest; however there are some standout teams that I’d keep an eye on throughout this cricket world cup. The obvious standout (now I may be a little biased) is Australia. They were the number one ranked team leading into the tournament and are rightfully favourites to win. 

They do however have some strong competition from our cross Tasman rivals New Zealand who recently gave Australia a touch up. If Brendon McCullum fires so do the Black Caps. Then of course there is South Africa with AB de Villiers and the record breaking Chris Gayle from the West Indies. In all fairness any of the top ranked six teams on their given day can beat anyone.  

From one sports tragic to another if you’re looking to migrate to Australia and have a love of sport you’re looking at the right place. 

If you’re interested in applying for a visa to the world cup or simply looking at options to migrate to Australia please do not hesitate to contact myself or one of our other friendly Registered Migration Agents. 

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