The Siginificant Investor Visa (“SIV”) scheme will hit $1 billion this month with a further $2.6 billion worth of applications lodged.
The scheme, which gives residency to wealthy foreign nationals who invest $5 million in government bonds or eligible managed funds was boosted in November last year when the categories of qualified managed funds investment were expanded to include annuities, derivatives, mortgages, and interests in unregulated managed funds. Investment in real estate through a fund is also allowed.
The surge in Significant Investor immigration to Australia has contributed to the closure of Canada’s long-running Immigrant Investor Program in February this year. The Canadian program – which was launched in 1986 and enabled 130,000 people, predominantly from China, the Philippines and India, to migrate to Canada – closed with a waiting list of 59,000 people.
Wealthy Chinese have been the primary beneficiaries of the Australian scheme, making up 85 per cent of the visas granted to date and 91 per cent of the 772 applications that have been lodged.
The SIV is gaining momentum, with primary grants averaging one per day in May 2014. Visa applicants do not need to satisfy the Innovation Points test, nor is there any upper age limit.
Levitt Robinson’s Immigration Division headed by Tamara Rabadi has extensive experience in all facets of business migration and is happy to assist any enquiries in relation to SIVs.