Changes to Australia’s Business Migration Program - March 2021

On 19 December 2019, the Australian Minister for Home Affairs announced a public consultation process, seeking submissions from stakeholders to inform the Department’s review of the Business Innovation and Investment Program (BIIP) with a view to getting a better deal for Australia.  The consultation process closed on 14 February 2020.

Stakeholders were asked for their views on whether:

  • There are opportunities to streamline the BIIP to maximise the value the program generates. 
  • Increased investment thresholds and different investment types could provide better economic benefits to Australia compared to the current settings used for the Investor visa and Significant Investor visa.

Stakeholders provided written responses to six questions outlines in the consultation paper:

  1. How can the investment thresholds be increased to provide the best outcome for Australia?
  2. How could we achieve better outcomes for the Australian economy through the composition of designated investments for the Investor and Significant Investor visas? 
  3. How could a simplified BIIP framework make the program more efficient and effective in maximizing benefit to Australia?
  4. How can the points test be adapted to encourage investments above the minimum threshold?
  5. How can incentives be provided to encourage prospective migrants t to operate a business in regional Australia?
  6. What factors should be considered in introducing any changes, including phasing in changes over time?

41 written submissions were received and nine roundtable discussions were held with a range of stakeholders, including state and territory governments, Commonwealth agencies, fund managers and migration agents.

At that time, it was expected that the review outcomes would be announced sometime in March 2020, but by then Covid-19 intervened and the finalization of the review was put on hold.

In mid-December 2020, the Minister for Home Affairs finally announced some of the review outcomes with others to follow prior to the end of April with all changes to be implemented on 1 July 2021.

Review outcomes

The Government will put in place measures to ensure the BIIP is well-placed to support Australia’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery by maximizing its economic contribution.

Key changes (in effect from July 2021)

  • From 1 July 2021, the program will be simplified from nine to four streams:  Business Innovation, Entrepreneur, Investor, and Significant Investor.  There will be a clear pathway to permanent residency for each category.  
  • The permanent subclass 132 Business Talent visa will be scrapped and it is likely no new 132 visa applications will be accepted after 27 April 2021. 
  • The Premium Investor, Significant Business History and Venture Capital Entrepreneur visas will be closed to new applications from July 2021.  Applications already lodged for these visas will still be processed. 
  • Provisional visa holders in all four streams will be able to apply for permanent residence if they meet the requirements after three years, but the provisional visa will now be valid for five years, meaning they have additional time to meet the requirements. 
  • Business Innovation and Significant Investor visa holders will also continue to be able to extend their provisional visas if they do not meet the business and residence thresholds in the required timeframes. 
    • Business Innovation provisional visa holders can apply for a two-year extension provided they demonstrate a realistic commitment to continuing to manage a business that has been actively operating in Australia for the previous two years. 
    • Significant Investor provisional visa holders can apply for two 2 year extensions provided they continue to maintain their complying significant investment. 
  • The requirement for Business Innovation visa holders will be increased to ensure the program is attracting migrations with proven business skills. Business Innovation visa holders will be a requirement to hold business assets of $1.25 million (up from $800,000) and have an annual turnover of $750,000 (up from $500,000) to prove their business acumen.
  • The $200,000 funding threshold required for Entrepreneur visa applicants will be scrapped, but applicants will need to be endorsed by a State or Territory government. 
  • The Government will also be consulting widely with industry to inform changes to the Complying Investment Framework and these changes are expected to be announced by the end of April 2021.

Action Required

  1. Fill in the business application form at https://www.australianmigration.co.za/visas/business-assessment
  2. Contact Garry on +61 404 371 683 or Tracey on +27 82 419 3696 or Michelle at the office on +27 11 783 9440

Contact

Office Johannesburg: +27 11 783 9440
Garry: Mobile Australia: +61 404 371 683
Tracey: Mobile Johannesburg: +27 82 419 3696
Email: [email protected]

Apply Now

So that we may assess your eligibility for a Business Innovation and Investment Visa, please complete the following Assessment Form.


So that we may assess your eligibility for a General Skilled Migration, please complete the following Assessment Form.

Speak to our Consultants

Michelle Oztas: +27 11 783 9440

Tracey Lawrence: +27 82 419 3696

Garry Loseby: +61 404 371 683

Registered Migration Agent No. 9803463

Contact Details

Tel: +27 11 783 9440
Australian Mobile: +61 404 371 683

The Business Exchange, 2nd Floor
Grosvenor Corner
195 Jan Smuts Ave (corner of 7th Avenue)
Rosebank, Johannesburg
South Africa
2196

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