Publications / International

20 Jun 12
Advantages of the Significant Investor visa and reforms to Business Skills visa program

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The Federal Government has announced new reforms to attract successful investors and entrepreneurs to Australia. The Significant Investor visa targets migrants who make an investment of at least AUD$5 million in the Australian economy.

The creation of this visa, as well as considerable reforms to the existing Business Skills visa program, will have a number of advantages.

Under the proposed criteria for the Significant Investor visa, applicants will be granted a number of exemptions - including reduced residency requirements and no requirement to meet a points test.

Applicants for the visa must:

  • make an investment of at least AUD$5 million as a direct investment in Australian companies, or into Australian Securities and Investment Commission regulated managed funds with a mandate for investing in Australia, or into state or territory government bonds
  • submit an Expression of Interest in SkillSelect
  • be nominated by a state or territory government, and
  • meet a lower residence requirement while on the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) (subclass 188) visa.

The investment must be held in the name of the applicant, or their spouse or de facto partner. The investment cannot be held in superannuation.

The new Significant Investor visa will be introduced during the 2012/13 program year, while another similar program targeting skilled innovators – the Business Innovation and Investment visa – will be integrated as part of the upcoming SkillSelect model.

Reforms to this visa program include a new points-based test that will better facilitate individuals with a strong track record of business innovation to make provisional visa applications.


This alert covers legal and technical issues in a general way. It is not designed to express opinions on specific cases. It is intended for information purposes only and should not be regarded as legal advice. Further advice should be obtained before taking action on any issue dealt with in this publication. 

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