Australia reveals new visa aimed at wealthy investors

The Australian government has launched a new visa aimed at high-net-worth individuals. The “Significant Investor” visa is designed for international movers who are willing to invest AU$5 million (approximately £3.25 million) into the country’s economy.
Immigration minister Chris Brown revealed the news, stating that the so-called “golden ticket” was an “important new tool in the armoury of Australia’s financial services sector”.
Wealthy professionals do have to meet certain criteria though, such as having to invest in certain options like state and territory government bonds; make “direct investment into proprietary Australian companies”;  doing so within a four-year period; and having to spend a minimum of 160 days throughout this period in Australia.
It is only after this period that these expats can apply for permanent residency – so long as they have realised all the requirements. They are, however, afforded some leniency, and on a case by case basis, can extend their provisional visa by two years.
What is unique about this visa is that it effectively bypasses normal visa restrictions: investors do not need to meet the points test and there is no age restriction.
South Australian minister Tom Koutsantonis commented that this new visa category would “simplify the pathway for the most experienced business people and high-profile investors to relocate [to Australia]”.
“This is a crucial time for our economy and it is imperative we are equipped to attract international capital and skills in a competitive global market,” he concluded.
Australia offers expats a lot. In general, it consistently scores well as one of the best places to live in the world.
For example, earlier this year, Melbourne was voted the most liveable city to be in; in October was found by HSBC’s Expat Explorer Survey to be a great place for families; and only recently came second as the best place to be born in 2013.