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How to get an Investor Visa in Australia

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Australia visa

An investor visa is for people who undertake business and investment activities in Australia. This visa allows you to stay in Australia for an indefinite period of time. To apply as a primary applicant, you must have a qualifying visa granted on a particular basis.

In recent times, the Australian government has given new regulations. As such, investors will find it even harder to get a visa to Australia in 2021. But there are alternatives.

Let’s what you can do with this investor visa in this overview –

 With this visa, you can -

  1. stay in Australia permanently
  2. work and study in Australia
  3. enrol in Australia's public health care scheme, Medicare
  4. sponsor your relatives to come to Australia
  5. travel to and from Australia for 5 years
  6. if eligible, become an Australian citizen

Newly arrived residents may have to wait before they can access certain Australian Government payments and benefits.


Take a look at some of the FAQs about Australia's investor visa below:

How long can you stay?

Sydney, Australia

This is a permanent visa, letting you stay in Australia indefinitely. This visa has a travel component that expires 5 years after the date of the visa grant. You become a permanent resident on the day we grant the visa. For citizenship purposes, your permanent residency starts on the day:

  • we grant the visa if you are in Australia
  • you enter Australia on this visa if you are outside Australia

Can you include family?

asian family

You can include members of the family unit in your application. You can:

  • include them when you lodge your visa application
  • add them after you lodge your application but before we decide on your visa

A family member can include family members who hold an eligible visa that was granted on the basis that they were a member of your family unit at the time their eligible visa was granted. This provision may apply even where the person would no longer meet the definition of family unit members, for example, a child who has turned 23 years of age since their eligible visa was granted.

Members of the family unit who apply for the visa must meet our health and character. Members of the family unit not accompanying you to Australia may also need to meet our health and character requirements.


What are the Costs?

Australia money

  1. Application charge -

The visa costs the Australian Dollar (AUD) 2,450 for the main applicant.

There is also a charge for each family unit member who applies for the visa with you.

  1. Second instalment charge -

You might have to pay an extra charge for any applicant 18 years old or older who has less-than-functional English and who does not hold an eligible visa when they apply. This charge is called the second instalment. It is only payable if you are requested to pay it, and an invoice will be sent to you. The second instalment charge for family members is AUD 4,890.

You might also have to pay other costs for health checks, police certificates and biometrics. To work out what your visa will cost, you may use the Visa Pricing Estimator here. The Visa Pricing estimator does not include the second instalment or other costs.

The application cannot be processed if you do not pay the correct visa application charge. You will be notified if this is the case, and if necessary, return your application.


Where do you Apply from?

You must be in Australia when you submit your application. Members of your family can be in or outside Australia but not in immigration clearance. It would help if you held an eligible visa to make a valid application for this visa.


Processing times

Australia plane and watch

We assess applications on a case by case basis, and actual processing times can vary due to individual circumstances, including:

  • whether you have lodged a complete application, including all necessary supporting documents
  • how quickly you respond to any requests for additional information
  • the amount of time it takes to perform required checks on the supporting information provided
  • how long it takes to receive additional information from external agencies, particularly about health, character, and national security requirements
  • for permanent migration visa applications, how many places are available in the migration program

Your obligations

You and members of your family unit must obey all Australian laws.

We expect you to continue your business or investment activity in Australia or make a realistic commitment to doing so.


Travel

You can travel to and from Australia as many times as you want for 5 years from the date after your visa has been granted. After 5 years, you will need a Resident Return (RRV) visa (subclass 155 and 157) to re-enter Australia as a permanent resident.


Visa label

Your visa will be digitally linked to your passport. You will not get a label on your passport.


Eligibility of applying for Investor Visa:

There is no age barrier for this Visa Subclass, but there are some specific requirements, which are being discussed below.

  • Residence requirement-

You must have lived in Australia as the holder of a Subclass 162 (Investor (Provisional) visa for a total of at least 2 years in the 4 years immediately before you applied. The 2 year period does not have to be continuous.

  • Business requirements-

You, or you and your partner together, must:

  1. have held continuously for at least 4 years, in your name or your name and your partner's name,

a designated investment of AUD1.5 million made to satisfy a requirement for the grant of a Subclass 162 - Investor (Provisional) visa.

  1. Have a genuine and realistic commitment to continue a business or investment activity in Australia.
  2. I have never been involved in unacceptable business activities.

In addition to that, the applicant must fulfil the basic requirements of health, character, Australian values, outstanding debts to the Australian government – if any and not have had any visa cancellation or previous visa refusal issue.


Steps of getting an Investor Visa:

Australia visa

There are five steps involved from application to your visa approval, given below for your better understanding:

  • Step 1:

Before you apply, notify the business development agency in the state or territory you intend to continue your investment activity. To do this, you have to complete the official form and send it to the appropriate agency. You can send it to more than one agency. The agency will sign, stamp and send it back to you. Include this completed form with your visa application when lodging.

  • Step 2:

You must provide documents to prove your identity and information about your business and investment activity. You also have to provide documents about members of your family.

  • Step 3:

Apply for the visa. You must be in Australia when we receive your application. Members of your family unit can be in or outside Australia but not in immigration clearance.

  • Step 4:

After you apply – the Australian Visa authority will let you know when they have received your application.

  • Step 5:

You will receive the visa outcome. You can be in or outside Australia when we decide on your visa application, but you must be inside Australia if the visa is granted in your favour. The authority will let you know their decision in writing. If the visa is granted, they will tell you:

  • your visa grant number
  • the date your visa starts
  • your visa conditions, if applicable

Keep a copy of the decision with you. If your visa is refused, they will tell you why your visa has been refused and edify you whether you have a right to review the decision. Please note that they will not refund your application charge if your visa is refused.


The recent changes for Australia investor visa

Australian Parliament House in Canberra

The Australian Parliament House in Canberra.

The Australian Government will reduce the number of visa streams under the Business Innovation and Investment Program.

It will increase the minimum amount of assets an investor needs to hold to participate in the program. The changes will take effect on 1 July 2021.

Below are the changes and the alternatives.

  • Immigration Minister Alan Tudge said the changes would help the government make the most of foreign investment. He believes the revamped programme will play an important role in rebuilding the economy after the pandemic.

  • Trying to reduce the flow of new applicants is another reason for the changes. Australia allocates about 7,000 visa quotas annually to business people and investors. But that’s not enough to meet the demand for the program: in 2019, the application queue grew to 20,000 people.

  • Tougher requirements will screen out those investors who don’t plan to do business in Australia in the long term. This will help the government shorten the visa waiting list and attract more investments.

 

  • How will the conditions of the programme change?

In 2020, the programme department was issuing nine different visas for business people and investors. They come in indefinite and temporary versions. With any of these, an investor can enter, live and do business in Australia.

Australia visa

The government will reduce the number of visas flows in 2021. The minimum amount of assets and an annual turnover of a company will also change. New visa holders will be able to obtain a permanent residence permit through a single transparent procedure.

Four visa streams will remain in the programme instead of nine; visa streams are:

  1. Business Innovation
  2. Entrepreneur
  3. Investor and
  4. Significant Investor

The visa streams differ in the conditions an investor fulfils to participate in the programme. It also depends on the stream whether the duration of the visa will be limited or not.

Applications for the Premium Investor, Significant Business History and Venture Entrepreneur streams will be accepted until 1 July 2021.

The minimum amount of assets and an annual turnover of a company will increase for applicants in the Business Innovation stream. Entrepreneur stream participants now need to obtain funding from sources in Australia. The new rules remove this requirement. Whether the conditions for the Investor and Significant Investor streams will change remains to be seen.

 

  • Conditions for an investor visa to Australia

Visa flow & condition Amount until 1.07.2021 Amount after 1.07.2021
Business innovation:
the value of assets
800,000 Australian dollars,
or about $600,000
1.25 million Australian dollars,
or about $950,000
Business innovation:
annual company turnover
500,000 Australian dollars,
or about $380,000
750,000 Australian dollars,
or about $570,000
Entrepreneur:
financing
200,000 Australian dollars,
or about $152,000
No

Temporary visas will be issued for 5 years. Participants in the Business Innovation and Significant Investor streams will be able to extend their visas by 2 years if they have not met the requirements for a permanent residence permit. For example, if in 5 years the business has not reached the level of annual turnover set by the programme's conditions.

permanent residency

You can apply for permanent residency in Australia after 3 years if the investor has met all the program's conditions. The number of quotas for 2021 will double. The department plans to issue 13,500 visas, but even that number may not be enough for all applicants. In 2020, the investors completely dispersed the quotas within a couple of months after accepting applications.

Approval from the Australian state or territory remains a key condition. The investor receives confirmation that their business project will benefit the region. Preference is given to the manufacture of medical products and medicines, companies with high levels of investment and businesses that create new jobs.

 

The Australian Government has not yet finalised the changes, but they will announce all the changes in 2021 so that business people and investors have time to prepare to apply.


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