On 14 October 2014, the Australian Government released the findings of a review into the Business Innovation and Investment Programme, which covers the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa (subclass 188).
Already containing three streams (Business Innovation, Investor, and Significant Investor), the subclass 188 visa is designed to cater for those people looking to either manage or purchase an existing Australian business, to create their own, or to invest in an Australian state or territory.
Changes to the Significant Investor stream
The Department of Immigration have announced there will be changes to the Significant Investor stream as a result of the review. Some of the changes include:
- Allowance of ‘role swapping’ between primary and secondary applicants during the provisional visa stage in order to meet residency requirements;
- Residence requirement of 180 days per year for secondary applicants; and
- Austrade being introduced as a nominator, in addition to the Australian states and territories.
There will also be more streamlined processing for the visas.
New Premium Investment stream
In addition to the above changes, there will soon be a fourth stream – the Premium Investment stream (PIV). The PIV will require an investment of $15 million into approved investments and will involve nomination by Austrade. The PIV will have no residency requirements, with successful applicants being eligible for permanent residency after maintaining their investment for 12 months.
When will these changes be in place?
Some of these changes are being implemented throughout the rest of 2014 and in 2015, however some changes will require legislative amendments. Those changes requiring legislative amendment are likely to be effective after 1 July 2015.
If you would like further information on the Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa, or for an assessment for your visa options, please contact our migration team.